In putting up 4x8 sheets of beaded ply, I need to make holes for
electrical outlets in the middle of the sheets. Is there an easy way of
doing this correctly? This will be visible so I need to get the
placement of the hole pretty exact the first time.
If it were easy, they wouldn't call it work.
Try to install a sheet first that has no cut outs. Get this sheet
installed, glued, nailed, plumbed, etc. If there is no such
sheet, then draw a vertical line with the help of a laser, plumb
bob, or carpenter's level that represents one of the edges of your
sheet. Measure from that full sheet or line to each side of the
electrical rough in box (make sure you remove the finish plate).
Decide whether your sheets are more important to have fit at the
top or bottom. If the fit at the ceiling is most important,
measure from there to find the top and bottom of the electrical
rough in box.
If you are cutting this out of the sheet with a circular saw or
jig saw, it would be best to make these marks on the back side of
the sheet. Be careful, it can get confusing - stand the sheet up
as it will install and write on the back side: top, right, etc.
Lay out the measurements. Cut carefully, do not cut past the
I usually cut my box holes slightly undersized which may require
pulling the screws completely out of the receptacles and bringing
the recep out through the hole in the panel (kill the recep, tape
off the side screws, or BE Careful). An electrical inspector can
demand no flammables exposed to the recep. They sell a thin box
extension like this:
http://doityourself.com/store/6290100.htm that can be used to meet
his requirements. To use them, you will need to make your hole
line up exactly with the rough in box..
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
1. Very careful measurement and cutting.
2. Drywall router, new/sharp bit, luck, splinters (probably)
3. Use an old lipstick to color the edge of the box,
push panel into place, thump with hand a few times,
remove, cut out tracing left on back of panel.
4. Least best option: use old work box and mount
outlet to beaded ply, rather than studs. Bad option
in my view, and probably against code, as well.
But it would let you place outlet symmetrically with bead pattern,
if you care about that kind of thing.
5. Move outlets to baseboard. Orient horizontally.
6. Use candles, mail real letters, cook over fire, go outside and read a
(Just kiddin' on that last one.)
The "slop" in the drywall hole necessary to align the outlet cover
with the bead board (next sentence in the post) may (again I say, may)
cause there to be largish gaps between the drywall and the box. (Box
would be free floating until mounted to panel, instead of fastened to stud.)
This gap would be hard to fill (but not, I grant you, impossible) after
of the paneling. If the wall in question is a garage wall in an attached
(firewall, in some jurisdictions) then some inspectors want everything
Code violation would be building code, not electrical. But, as always, it
on where you live, who your inspector is, and whether or not I put the word
"probably" before the words "against code."
I've torn out a few commercial installations like this, and it almost never
out well. Unless the wall paneling is 3/8" thick or so, the box ends up
the paneling away from the wall every time you unplug something. Then
of plaster or drywall fall down behind the panel, causing it to stick out,
continually applying outward pressure to nails/glue/fasteners holding the
Over time, it just gets worse and worse.
Here's how we did it with drywall...
Locate a spot on the sheet that will be within the box area. Doesn't
have to be exact, just inside the box.
Tack the sheet into place with a few screws. If the box sticks out from
the stud then don't put any screws near the box.
Cut through the marked area with keyhole saw to the edge of the box.
Now just cut around the outside of the box and put in the rest of the
Remember, you can have a quarter of an inch all the way around the box
and still have the cover plate cover the hole. So that kind of
accuracy shouldn't be too hard to achieve.
Here's the best link I have seen in a long time for the DIY guys:
Be sure and click on the pic in the upper right hand corner that says
to "click to enlarge".
Line up the cross-hairs, from about 6 feet, of a cheap B&D Crosfire laser level
on one of the corners of the electrical box.
Slide your 4x8 sheet in front of it..position it..... A couple of quick touches
with an e-35 blade on a Fein MultiMaster, and you're done, dead-nuts accurate,
Back in 1974 when Georgia Pacific paneling ruled the world,
I was building my first house by myself. My older uncle who
was a old carpenter showed me at least three ways to do it.
(1) Mark and measure
(2) Chalk lip of box and slap paneling against lip leaving a
(3) Nail paneling up and cut around box with keyhole saw.
Mark and measure is the single best way...... Use a framing
square and don't forget which side is the correct edge.
I still hate paneling and the ex-wife that picked it out.
Buy a Fein MultiMaster and never look back.....
Thank you all for your suggestions. I think I will have to go with the
laser/measuring. The boxes are mounted to the studs, installed,
inspected and approved. And since I have installed in all 16 boxes with
32 individual outlets - you can never have too many outlets, this is a
smallish two car garage - I'm not about to make any changes :)
One issue is that the little "Mickey Mouse ears" on the outlets that
sticks out past the box needs to catch the bead board to prevent putting
a load on the plastic cover if the outlet is a little on the tight side.
I have a Craftsman laser, and I used it in putting the boxes up, so
measuring one side and using the laser for the other should work. And
my Dremel with one of those RotoZip-like bits should help things along.
Thansk again for your suggestions and help. But lead lined lederhosen
is not a toy. Not even by the most liberal interpretation of the word :)
Now I don't feel alone . . . I am building a new workshop . . . 20' X 22'
with 10' ceiling . . . .
Main panel with 220VAC & sub panel with120VAC
(16) 220 VAC outlets - (35) 120VAC outlets (22) twin bulb 4' fluorescent
fixtures . . .
Inspector could not quit laughing . . . ask me if I had every seen an
extension cord . . . .
These are all connected to the switched outlets (as are the fluorescent lamp
fixtures (some of these have their own pull-chain switch as well) so that
one switch shuts it all down.
Were I to do it over, I would double up on my duplex outlets to have four
outlets at every point I installed just two (with the exception of the
ceiling where the duplex outlet has proved sufficient).
All my lighting fixtures are the cheap ($6-$8 dollar) "worklight" 4' hanging
fixtures which are cheaper to replace than a ballast and hang on hook eyes
and plug into the ceiling-mounted duplex outlets.
One shop feature I ran across after I'd completed my construction was a piss
tube. This fellow had installed a piece of 2" PVC into a corner of his shop
and used an end-cap to close it off when (mostly) not in use. A great
feature for the older male woodworker.
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