older ceiling light boxes

I've always wondered how people retrofit/replace the old pancake light boxes that are about 3" in there is barely room in them for a single wire nut but are sometimes a pain to remove/replace due to lath in the ceiling, plaster issues, sometimes the box is just flat up against the joist or slightly embedded in the joist, etc. Basically I always end up wishing I didn't have to replace them. Is there any method that people have had any luck with?
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If you don't care what it looks like, you can add an extension box to get yourself more room, but if you didn't care what it looked like, you could just rip out the box, couldn't you? Using wingless wire-nuts would help a little, if you're not already, and using the smallest nut that's legal for the job. Long term, you'll just have to get comfortable working with plaster and lathe. Sometimes, it's easier to do the work than to avoid it.
--Goedjn
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mi partTime wrote:

You should resist the temptation to notch the joists to take a deeper box unless you want to run afoul of building codes.
Jeff
--
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying."
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Yeah, unfortunately with these situations to follow code it always seems to end up in a hole that has to be patched. so I thought there might be an easier way out. :-)

boxes
but
plaster
have
with?
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to
Fan/fixture boxes similar to this: http://www.aifittings.com/n_1.htm are available in the fan section at HD, Lowes, or similar stores.
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volts500 wrote:

Hey, those are neat!
Thanks for teaching me something new.
Jeff
--
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying."
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