drywall saw vs. jigsaw

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  #1  
Old 05-07-04, 10:22 AM
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drywall saw vs. jigsaw

hi! in the next week or so, i'm going to install an in-wall ironing board in our master bedroom. to cut the space out in between the studs, should i drill a hole first, and then cut the opening out with a drywall saw or will a jigsaw be easier & quicker?

also, should i screw in a few screws & leave them sticking out enough for "handles" so i have something to grab as i'm cutting the last of the 4 sides, so the cutout doesn't fall into the wall when it's completely cut?

any other tips? hacking into an interior wall for the first time ~ kinda nerve racking!!!

thanks!!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-07-04, 01:07 PM
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If I were do it I'd use a roto-zip, but if you don't have one, you could get away with the jigsaw or the manual drywall saw for this little job. Need to make sure there's no plumbing or electrical in there prior to cutting into the wall and using the screws for a handle to prevent the cut-out from falling into the wall would be ok, but probably not really necessary. Good luck!
 
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Old 05-07-04, 01:12 PM
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nope, don't own a roto-zip-thingy! choices are manual saw or jigsaw. i'll start out with the drywall saw & see how it goes.

one more question: other than using my x-ray vision ( ), how exactly does one "make sure there's no plumbing or electrical in there prior to cutting into the wall"??? do they have a stud-finder of sorts for electrical & plumbing?
 
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Old 05-07-04, 04:27 PM
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For electrical look to see if you have any outlets on the wall. If you do, than you SHOULD be safe with a hole cut above 32". Although you never know what is behind a wall. Your best best is to probably go down to the city hall of records or even the county accessors office and look for a set of plans for the house. Other than that it's trial and error. Good Luck
 
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Old 05-07-04, 04:33 PM
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I wouldn't personally use a jig saw to cut drywall. It would probably work just fine, but the dust is pretty abrasive to the internal workings and I prefer to not abuse my tools.

The screws are a good idea since the cutout piece may fall down inside the wall.

Don't stress about this job. Measure carefully and cut slowly - it will go just fine. Put a drop cloth on the floor under your cut. You'll make quite a bit of dust and it's easier to clean up if you can roll it up in something and carry it outside.
 
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Old 05-10-04, 10:28 AM
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Thumbs up

thanks for all the advice, guys! i stained the unit this past weekend, and will attempt the installation this coming weekend! i'll let you know how it turns out!

thanks again!!!
 
  #7  
Old 05-10-04, 11:08 AM
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If we see a fire we'll know you hit a wire.
 
  #8  
Old 05-10-04, 11:16 AM
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thanks a lot! at least be running in my direction with a hose!!!

but since you brought it up........exactly how crispy will i become if i do hit a wire??? i was using an electric hedge trimmer once and sliced thru the power line going from our house to our detached garage, and never felt a thing....would this be the same kind of deal? or should i update my will before the weekend?
 
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Old 05-10-04, 03:58 PM
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If it's just a 110 wire, unless you're standing in a puddle of water, it'll be just like the hedge trimmer incident. Now a 220 wire could knock ya across the room.
 
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Old 05-10-04, 08:03 PM
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Cut a small hole first and stick a small mirror in the opening and shine a flashlight onto the mirror. You'll be able to spot any wires that are in there. If you're using your handsaw and it has a wood or plastic handle that will insulate you and most power tools have appropriate insulation. Avoid hitting wires at all costs. Although hitting a wire might just result in "getting your picture taken" or even nothing at all, don't take it lightly 110v can kill you.
 
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Old 05-10-04, 09:24 PM
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Annette:

If you use a drywall saw you should be able to feel any objects in the wall.

To start the cut you need not drill a hole.
The saw has a pointed tip that will penetrate the drywall easily if you just hit it with the palm of your hand or a really gentle tap with a hammer.

You could also run the saw in a circle to make a hole to look for objects in the wall as phillyguy suggested.
 
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Old 05-11-04, 06:36 AM
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Thumbs up

wow! thanks for all the advice! confidence is high!

since you've all been so helpful, i'll throw one more question out for you: i'm installing this built-in ironing board cabinet in an OUTSIDE wall. i'm assuming after i cut the hole out, i'll be staring at some of that blanket-type insulation. if so, will i be able to just cut it with scissors or a utility knife at the top & bottom of my hole? is there any other kind of insulation that i might encounter? any other foreseeable problems/issues?

thanks!
 
  #13  
Old 05-11-04, 06:51 AM
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Hmmm,

Installing this in an outside wall might be a mistake.

If insulation is needed in your home you do not want to remove it at all, also there is the issue of the vapor barrier if you have one.
You could be causing problems if you do this.

Perhaps someone familiar with your climate could offer more on this but I think you would be better off doing something different.

One thing might be removing the fibreglass and installing closed cell foam insulation to the same value as fibreglass and then re-sheeting the opening.
 
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Old 05-11-04, 07:07 AM
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you mean after i cut out the opening, i'll hit a vapor barrier (plastic tarp thing) first, and the insulation is behind that?

the ironing board cabinet is a completely closed unit, meaning it has a back and sides and a top and bottom (and a hinged cabinet door on the front), so why would i need to sheetrock the opening? just to close the hole up more? it's made to fit right in between 2 studs.

warning: i will be arguing this to death, because this is the absolute only place we have in the room (or entire house, for that matter) where we can install this thing. so i've got to be able to make this work. i figure it's no worse than cutting a hole for a window, and we have plenty of windows, so what's another hole that doesn't even go all the way thru the wall???
 
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Old 05-11-04, 07:48 AM
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Annette,

I'm also from Mo., live an hr north of Columbia. My feeling is you'll be fine with the installation. From the sound of the unit, I think all you're going to want to do is tape the corners of the sheetrock once it's cut for the opening, or it may be possible to simply cover the cut edges with come sort of trimwork.

As a general rule, in my area anyway, anything built since the late 60's-early70's, you're going to find drywall that's hung over a poly (plastic sheeting, like what you've seen put over windows in winter) then you will probably find unfaced batts or blown-in insulation. Yes you can cut the moisture barrier & insulation with a utility knife, but what I'd do is reapply the poly into the opening behind your new ironing board. If there is enough room it would also be a good idea to stick in a piece of styrofoam sheet insulation gut to fit the opening.

Now if you live in a real old house, it's anybody's guess what you'll find when you cut into the wall, alot of old houses I've worked on just have a 2"x4" wall with lap siding on the outside & plaster & lath on the inside & nothing in between but studs, wiring & plumbing. If this is the case, you do need to seriously consider getting the walls blown with insulation, but from your earlier posts, I don't think that's the case.

Good luck!
 
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Old 05-11-04, 08:00 AM
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Smile

thanks, awesomedell, that's what i wanted to hear!

the house is only 13 years old, so i'm sure it's got the pink insulation stuff. and the ironing board unit has a wood trim flange that covers the cut opening, so this should be really easy.

i think it'll work out just fine. if not, i'll be reposting with questions on how to repair large holes in drywall! ha!

thanks again, everyone!
 
  #17  
Old 05-11-04, 12:21 PM
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There really is nothing to argue about.

You only have to install this unit according to local conditions.

Any time you have outside temperatures that are below freezing you need to have a vapor barrier on the warm side of the insulation to prevent warm moist air from inside the house condensing on the inside of the cold exterior wall.

Missouri has three months of the year that show average lows below freezing with near 0 degF on occasion.

As far as I know frost would accumulate inside the wall cavity on the coldest of days, but like I said, you have to go by local conditions.
 
  #18  
Old 05-11-04, 12:32 PM
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so.......worst-case scenario is what? mold will start growing inside the wall? the siding will fall off the house right there?
 
  #19  
Old 05-11-04, 12:49 PM
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In theory, condensation will accumulate and be absorbed into whatever is below it.

Please understand that the climate where I am requires very close attention to the subject of insulation and vapor barriers because of our extreme temperatures.
A normal winter temperature for us is -20 degC (0 degF) and we get occasional chilly spells of -40 degC (-40 degF).

I'm not really sure how much moisture would accumulate in your climate.

Perhaps if the space in the wall permits you could install a layer of closed cell styrofoam insulation behind the ironing board as awesomedell has suggested.

What I'm suggesting here matters where I am........... not fully sure what would be proper where you are.
 
  #20  
Old 05-11-04, 01:10 PM
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space permitting, i'll try to put that styrofoam stuff plus the plastic film behind the unit. will i be able to purchase one sheet of the styrofoam? probably not, huh? what if i take the section of pink blanket insulation that i'll be cutting out & slice it thin enough to fit behind the unit? or will i be itching with fiberglass dust for weeks after?
 
  #21  
Old 05-11-04, 03:25 PM
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Not sure if you have the same brands but we use Styrofoam - SM which is a water resistant type that is used for insulating basements below grade.

It comes in 2' x 8' sheets and has an R value of 7.5/inch as compared to the white styrofoam in 4'x 8" sheets at R 5/inch.
You can get it in 1 inch and up thickness.

I'd prefit the ironing board to see how much space is behind it and then get what ever thickness will fit.

This insulation will also reduce outside noises from coming through the wall.
 
  #22  
Old 05-17-04, 10:43 AM
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Thumbs up Project Update - Success!!!

i'm sure you all have been lying awake at night wondering how my in-wall ironing board installation went ~ ha!

well, it went GREAT! no problems whatsoever. there was only about 1/2 inch of space behind the unit, so i didn't put any insulation behind it. i guess i'll just wait & see if any problems arise because of that.

but i was able to easily cut the opening with the drywall saw, exposing the insulation, which was papered on the warm side and just fiberous on the outside. i cut that section of insulation out with scissors, leaving the stuff above & below the opening alone. then inserted the ironing board unit & screwed the sides to the studs. easy as pie and it looks & works great!

thanks for all your advice.....if i end up with condensation problems, i'll know why & i'll know how to fix it!
 
  #23  
Old 05-17-04, 02:40 PM
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Smile Laying awake all night.........................

Well, as a matter of fact, I do wonder as I'm sure you do what comes of the sharing of one's experience.

I always err on the side of doing it the right way but know all too well that the wrong way will often work just fine.

Thanks for letting us know.
 
  #24  
Old 05-17-04, 08:26 PM
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Glad all went well for ya Annette. Happy ironing!
 
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