I dunno about the metal lath, but with the wooden lath it certainly is a
concern about damaging the other side. Basically, just take care. Don't
knock any of the plaster coming through the back of the other side, since
that's what holds it in place. And don't do anything that vibrates the wall
since that will knock the other side loose. e.g. using a sawzall.
My entire 1930s Cape Cod was constructed of plaster walls with that
infernal diamond mesh underlying it, which makesany sort of renovation
involving the original walls such a joy. Knock off the plaster with a
good heavy hand hammer (or a 7-lb sledge, but good luck trying finding
one of those these days) and then either a Sawzall or use a 4" angle
grinder with a GOOD diamond blade to hack dispatch the now-exposed
diamond mesh. The cheap $7 diamond blades don't last anywhere near as
long as the $20 ones (they're best for small one-off jobs you'll
probably never do again), so if you've got a lot of diamond mesh to plow
thru, it's a better investment to go with the pricier blade.
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