removing sections of drywall (and putting them back)

I want to run some new circuits to my drywalled and insulated shop.
The panel (100A seperate from house with shutoff at the pole) is about 2 feet from the ceiling and the outlets are 20+ feet away and will be 4 feet down from the ceiling. Walls, ceiling are all drywalled, taped, and mudded and textured.
I have a pretty low slope roof so I don't think I can get over to the top plate from the attic.
I was thinking to cut away a "bay" width of drywall so I can get access to the top plate.
Any tips greatly appreciated. I'd really like to minimize the damage to the drywall as it's professionally installed and textured.
Thanks,
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Just make a hole where you need one. Usually a foot square gives plenty of access space. When you are finished fasten some boards across the back of the hole and then replace the piece you cut out. A little mud and you'll never see the repair. They make drill bits about 4 feet long for this job. I make a hole and drill thru a couple of studs to another hole about 4 feet away. Then pull the wire thru and move on to the next 4 feet. If you can't match the texture yourself get a professional to come by. It will be a quick and easy job for him. Watch close. Shops need drywall repairs often and you need to learn.
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Great tips, thank you.
I found this, http://www.acmediy.com/techniques/remove-drywall-intact.php
which is exactly my situation.
I my current case, I need to to up from the ac panel, through the top plate then through the attic and down through the top plate to where I place the 220v outlets. So I need to remove 2 sections.
Any tips on how to route the wires? I have to do it from the wall upwards. I cannot get to the top plate from the attic. I was thinking to fish the wires up from the ac panel and then fish up from the outlet with my fish tape or other -- tape the two ends in the attic and try to pull the outlet end back through.

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This is my technique for cutting and patching drywall access holes: http://www.wd40jobsite.com/secret_detail.cfm?idt8&c=1&q=&s=1
I usually cut a hole around 6" wide by 14" long about 3" below the ceiling. This gives me enough room to get my drill in the wall so that I can drill straight or slightly tilt the bit so that it pitches inward. You may be able to do as you suggested by taping the fishtape and wire together, but you might need a helper to help feed the wires and guide them through the holes. Pull enough slack into the attic on the wire and you might get lucky.
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Tip #1 Consider all possibilities. Surface mounted conduit. Working from the outside. Working in the wall without going into the attic at all. For instance you could remove a 4 inch wide strip the length of the wall and cover it with a 1X6 chair rail.
Tip #2 Going thru the top rail requires 2 holes. One in the wall and one in the ceiling. You do the work from inside the shop without having to enter the attic.
Tip #3 I don't find a lot of plugins installed in the walls very useful. I like boxes installed in the ceiling with a short 16" cord hanging down that I can plug into. I find that my walls get covered with cupboards and material and tool storage. Work is performed more in the center working with extension cords. I run my big tools off of a large 220 outlet located near the door. That way I can work outside too. My large tools get rolled into the center or outside to be used and rolled back against the wall to be stored until needed again. Everything is movable and gets positioned according to the needs of the job. I do run a circuit to the stationary tools like my air compressor. I find one 220 outlet enough because I can only run one tool at a time. I am a one man operation. Likewise one 110 outlet is enough as well. I use an extension cord with multiple outlets to get the power to where I am working. I do zero work near a wall. Car work, building cupboards, furniture all happen in the center of the room. Table saws, welders, planers, miter saws, shapers all get pulled away from their storage location next to the wall to the center to be used.
Tip #4 What you plan on doing would not be something I would do. In my shop plugins located along the wall would be unreachable/unused.
Tip #5 Sheet rock is inexpensive. You could remove all the sheetrock, do the work and replace it with new. Material cost would only be about $300 and 3 days work or so. If you do this I prefer a flat finish. Easier to broom the muck off.
Tip #6 I also have a extension cord that plugs into the 220 outlet giving me 2 110 volt circuits to use.
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Great tips on the wiring..I'm going to be wiring my new garage soon and like yours I can't get to the walls either except for the workbench...LOL...THANKS.....
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for a shop install some acess panels, home depot etc sell them.
easy future access, no need to texture etc
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What is the outside wall made of? If R panel. that would remove painlessly.
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Outside is some form of textured siding.
I don't think I'd want to go that route in my situation.
wrote:

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Andy comments:
Another trick that I have used is to buy a $3-4 air condx vent cover at Home Depot and put it over the access hole in the sheet rock. That way you can go back and do stuff if you ever need to... When painted, it looks like just another air condx duct in the walls....
Probly isn't a good idea in your case, but I thought I'd present the idea.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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On Sat, 22 Nov 2008 18:13:14 -0600, "Kevin"

Make a small hole and look around inside with a light and flex mirror before taking out a large section. Doing a ceiling patch would be my last resort. Someone said, "There can not be too many electrical outlets in a shop."
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I'm sure somebody got paid, but drywall texture only serves 2 purposes; hide shoddy work or... ... I forget the other one. -----
- gpsman
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