Installing a new ceiling fixture


Old 12-16-02, 12:57 PM
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Question Installing a new ceiling fixture

I am trying to install a new fixture in a finished ceiling and have run into a snag. In order to run the wire i need to go across the ceiling and across to an existing outlet. Unfortunely there is beam at the juncture of the ceiling and the wall. In reading a book on wiring, they suggest "notching" this beam. What would you suggest using to notch this. I was trying a hacksaw, but the space is too tight.

Any advice?
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Old 12-16-02, 04:04 PM
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I'll sometimes just take a couple of passes with a 1/2" spade bit and drill partially into the face of the top plate to make the notch. Don't forget to add a nail plate to protect the wire where it crosses the wood.
Old 12-16-02, 04:06 PM
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I would be extremely reluctant to notch a "beam". It is impossible to do so without weakening it. Maybe it's okay, but maybe it isn't. I don't think I'd risk the collapse of my house for a lighting fixture. I suggest that you either get a professional out to advise you, or simply run this around the beam -- even if it is then visible in front of the wall. I'm sure you can figure out a clever way to hide the cable.

If this is merely a 2x4 top plate, then the danger is not so great. But you should be absolutely certain as to the structural function of this piece of wood.
Old 12-17-02, 08:28 AM
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If this is a horizontal beam bearing on verticle wall studs then a notch in the beam is O.K.-----Curious-----if you cut a notch in the wall/ceiling finish (sheet-rock,plaster), why isn't the notch deep enough to conceal the cable after you patch the finish?----Good Luck!!!
Old 12-17-02, 09:01 AM
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Thanks all. It is indeed the horizontal beam bearing the wall studs - so I am just trying to cut a notch big enough to lay the wire flat under the nail plate. Hadn't thought of merely notching the wallboard since the book I was refering to suggsted the use of a nail plate over the wire. Thanks for the advice!
Old 12-17-02, 11:17 AM
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A hole is always better than a notch if you can drill it.
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