New Work in lath and plaster

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Homeownerinburb, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    I think I will be working for a few weeks in some lath and plaster.

    A couple has purchased a 2400sqft home that dates back to the 20's. At one time it was wired with knob and tube, but that has all long ago been abandoned and replaced with emt and cloth and rubber wire.

    I will be doing a fair amount of work to bring the house up to modern standards. Many of the rooms have only one or two outlets, for example. Much of the lighting is via sconces, and without switches at the doors: the sconces have switches built in....

    Has anyone got some good tips on cutting lath and plaster cleanly? Each time I take one of these on, I feel like I am doing surgery on an egg.

    The painters will close up after me, but I simply will not be one of those guys who opens walls with a hammer.

    I own and oscillating saw and a roto zip, although the roto zip is a disappointment.

    The oscillating saw is new to my kit and I expect it to serve well in making rectangular holes.
  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Jun 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    The Roto Zip is the correct tool for what you are planning even though it is a lot slower. With the saw you will damage the back of the wall or jerk slabs lose that you wasn't planning on.
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    A RotoZip will be dusty, at least those I've seen do not have dust collection...make sure to use a vacuum and a good dust mask or you'll be cleaning up dust everywhere! Once you get the hang of it, those can be quite good at making nice, clean holes.
  5. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Feb 4, 2009
    Fein or one of the new knock offs is the best for this work. Fein is the best and has a toolless blade change that is quite handy.

    Makes cuts smooth like butter on your toilet seat. Won't throw dust across the room. Very little danger of overcutting.
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