Cutting A Sheetrock Panel

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The easiest way for me to get access to the space behind my bathroom vanity to run some electrical wiring will be to cut a big hole in the sheetrock. It seems that if I cut the vertical lines down the center line of the 2 x 4 studs on each side, the panel will be much easier to reinstall. It's a no-brainer to cut a hole in sheetrock with a sheetrock saw, but how can I cut just the 5/8" or so of sheetrock that is against a stud?
A circular saw would work, but the sheetrock would probably destroy the blade. A MultiMax tool might be a good idea, but I don't have one. The ideal solution in my mind is a Rotozip, but I don't have one of those, either. While I do have a router, it's quite large and would be hard to handle on a wall like that.
How you you professionals do this, or is there a better way?
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mcp6453 wrote:

Sharp,strong sheetrock knife and a long straightedge?
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With a utility knife. It's probably only 1/2" thick, not 5/8".

Sheetrock is far too soft to do any damage to a saw blade. You'll make one helluva mess, though.

Cut it with a drywall saw (hand saw) flush to the near side of each stud. To reattach the panel, attach a 2x4 cleat to the studs on each side, and screw the panel to the cleats.
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On 1/16/2010 10:05 AM, Doug Miller wrote:

Doesn't drywall rapidly dull drill bits and saw blades?
I thought about buying a Rotozip since I'm going to be learning to do some drywall work for a future project. However, the reviews on it at the new Lowes (horribly slow) website are bad. Can I buy a Rotozip drywall bit and use it in my battery Dremel for very small jobs, like outlets? I thought I understood that the drywall dust destroys power tool motors. If I'm wrong, that's good news.
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wrote:

Yes you can. Most Dremels do not ship with the base plate which makes the cuts straighter and cleaner but it will work using your highest speed.
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Didn't I just say that it doesn't?
To answer your question directly: NO. Plaster does; maybe that's what you're thinking of. But drywall is just pressed powdered gypsum. It's nowhere nearly as hard as a steel saw blade.

Dunno. Depends on whether it fits, and what the max speed on the Rotozip bit is -- the Dremel runs somewhere around 13000 rpm, I think. Not sure if Rotozip bits are OK to run that fast. You could Google it.

Again, you appear to be thinking of plaster. Drywall is sometimes referred to as "plasterboard" but it's not at all the same thing. Plaster is far harder and more abrasive than drywall, and it *does* ruin motor bearings, drill bits, and saw blades, and should be cut only with carbide-tipped tools (or tools you're willing to throw away).
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Doug Miller wrote:

Numerous things can be called "plaster"...lime plaster, cement plaster, plaster of Paris. The first two have sand; the last - what most people mean by "plaster" does not normally...it is the same mineral as that in drywall; namely, gypsum. As you said, it is quite soft.
--

dadiOH
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wrote:

That is *not* what's meant by "plaster" in the context of making a lath and plaster wall. Plaster *ornaments*, yes, but walls, no. Walls are normally lime plaster.

True, but irrelevant. Nobody makes walls out of plaster of Paris.
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On Jan 16, 10:32am, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

While power tools will easily cut it, the gypsum dust _will_ rust the hell out any steel/iron it gets on. The dust will also be very hard on the motor. I have ruined one vacuum cleaning up after a drywall job.
Harry K
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To the op-- a sheetrock knife works just fine. Take several shallow cuts, don't try to do the entire 1/2" or 5/8" at once.
-snip-

I'm no stickler for cleanliness and have never noticed gypsum dust taking any toll on tools. Especially the vacuum! If your vac died after a sheetrock job there are a dozen things I'd suspect before the presence of some gypsum dust.
Jim
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What in the world are you talking about? Iron doesn't rust unless it gets wet.
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On Jan 17, 6:40am, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Tell that to my drawer of drywall tools. They get thoroughly washed and dried after every use. Try taking a look at a box cutter blade that has been used on sheetrock and left laying around. Harry K
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That has more to do with the steel used in the drywall tools than the gypsum dust. Use stainless drywall tools and you won't have to worry about drying them.
As far as the utility knife blades with gypsum dust, mine always have some gyp dust on them and I've never noticed accelerated rusting. Are you in a particularly humid environment? When I lived in New Orleans everything rusted. _New_ cans of paint would have rust spots on the lid.
R
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-snip-
His tools are *when he washes them.*
Jim
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I was asking because of the utility knife blades - you snipped that part out.
R
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On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 19:13:36 -0800 (PST), RicodJour

Because it doesn't matter if he is living in the Gobi desert or using steel wool for a tool. Once he washes them he adds moisture & gets rusty tools. . . and blames gypsum, instead of soapy water.
Jim
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You must have missed DRYING.
Harry K
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You're selectively reading, Jim. Harry did not mention washing his utility knife blade - he said he used it and left it laying around, which is what everyone does.
So, unless you feel he's making stuff up, what would you attribute his rusting knife blades to, if not excess humidity - rust gremlins? That's why I asked about the humidity level in his area.
R
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Really, the humidity level in his geographical area isn't anywhere nearly as important as the humidity where he stores his tools -- if they're in a damp basement, they're going to rust. Conversely, it's pretty humid in Indianapolis, where I live, but I don't have a rust problem on my tools, which I credit to the dehumidifier in the workshop.
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Climate here (E Washington) is semi-arid. 16" average/yr.
I think I will test my old shredder. Last time I used it was to shred sheetrock scraps on a bad patch of pasture land hopping the 'rock' would sweeten up the soil abit. Couldn't see the machine after the first chunk :). Wonder if it will even turn over although I have it a real washdown with a hose and left it parked in the sun for two days.
Harry K
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