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Old 02-10-2011, 11:30 PM   #1
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removing old box


I'm trying to figure out how to remove an old (1940s) box while minimizing damage to the (lath and plaster) wall. The box is attached to the wall firmly, but there aren't any screws inside the box, except for the tips of two screws pointed INTO the box. I'd like to know exactly how the box is attached so as to get a better idea of how to remove it.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:36 PM   #2
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removing old box


Looks like the plaster has a grip on it. If it were mine I wouldn't worry so much about minimizing damage. Are you replacing or removing the box? If removing you'll still have a patch.


Last edited by jlmran; 02-10-2011 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:46 AM   #3
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removing old box


I'd like to take the box out just to get a feel for how hard it would be to fish new wire through the wall (to replace knob and tube). The box must have some kind of flaps or ears on it. It's definitely not being held just by the plaster.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:09 AM   #4
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:10 AM   #5
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:11 AM   #6
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Yep you'll need to remove more plaster and probably lath.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:18 AM   #7
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removing old box


I wonder if the screws coming in from each side are actually for adjusting flaps, and the flaps are attached to braces which are attached to the studs.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:58 AM   #8
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You would typically be dealing with a box that looks similar to this. The screw tip you see holds a bracket on. It does not hold the box in the wall. You will need to slide a hacksaw blade next to the stud and cut the nails.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:55 AM   #9
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You will need to slide a hacksaw blade next to the stud and cut the nails.
I've had great success with the hacksaw blade method in my late 60's home. I had one box it didn't work on. An electrician friend tore it to pieces with the linesman's pliers. It didn't take much longer than cutting it out by hand.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:16 PM   #10
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I had a box in my house that looked like your box from the outside but was mounted like this: http://www.garvinindustries.com/Elec...uts/54181-TBAR That was a pain to get out.

Others were nailed to the stud side, while some were nailed to the front of the stud like this:
http://www.garvinindustries.com/Elec...ackets/52151-B

I've had good success with a reciprocating saw held near but not on the wall. But still might be too much vibration for plaster and lathe (I have plaster over drywall).

Also see this thread: Running wires for NEW outlets In Plaster and Lathe

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Old 03-01-2011, 02:33 AM   #11
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I finally got the box out. It turned out to have two ears, which were not visible at first because they were covered with lath. I removed the lath with a chisel. The box was held by one screw on each side.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:10 AM   #12
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they cheated when they installed that box it would not be allowed today
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:00 AM   #13
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every box in my house was installed the same way, except vertically instead of sideways
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:15 AM   #14
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That is how pretty much every box like that, of that era, is installed.
Many had metal rails that the box ears were slid into, and the rails nailed to the studs on each side.

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they cheated when they installed that box it would not be allowed today
Why?
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
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they cheated when they installed that box it would not be allowed today
Explain?

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