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Steelmesh 11-05-2008 10:05 AM

Plaster wall - cutting out an access hole, but how to replace it?
I am re-plumbing my bathroom, I must go through the plaster wall behind to replace the pipes. What would be the most economical method of replacing this section? Is there a good way to install an access panel that looks good?

I have a mini circular saw to cut this baby out, i'm guessing I should use a blade that has a lot of teeth per inch.

Thanks for the help!

glennjanie 11-05-2008 11:01 AM

Hello Steelmesh:
The access panel could be made of 1/2" drywall with the opening surrounded with casing to match your doors and windows. A creative panel could be covered with padding and upholstery or fabric, but you may not want it to be 'out of place'.

If you could use a fibered grinder blade in the saw it may cut the plaster a little easier. Either way, there will be plenty of dust. The dust can be minimized somewhat by holding the hose of your shop-vac in front of the saw. Also, a reciprocating saw with a Milwakee Ax blade is quick on plaster.
Be sure to wear eye protection and/or full face protection along with a dust mask.


Steelmesh 11-05-2008 01:25 PM

Thank you for the advice.

handyguys 11-11-2008 09:28 AM

Glennjannie - I love those Axe blades for demolition. They last a long time and cut just about anything. Unfortunately I need to disagree. Using a reciprocating saw in this situation can be an issue. First off - Someone less experienced with a recip saw will have a hard time starting the plunge cut. Also, we have all seen newbies with a recip saw shaking hard because they are not leaning into it or holding tight. This shaking can do really bad things to a plaster wall. (we don't even know if its actually is plaster).

I think the circular saw would be a much better choice for a homeowner in this case. Or, even better, a utility knife. It costs 99c and won't make as big of a mess.

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