Working with lathe and plaster

graywings123February 11, 2013

I have a one-gang electrical outlet in my bathroom above the toilet that I want to expand into a two-gang. (I have someone to do the wiring.) As I was unscrewing the screw at the middle back of the gangbox to loosen and remove it, I heard a piece of metal clank to the ground and the box freed up.

I pulled the gangbox out, stuck my hand in, and there is space all around except for the lathe and plaster from the room on the other side of the wall about 6 inches away. I can't figure out A) how the one-gang box was attached and B) how to attach the two-gang box.

Any suggestions for how to proceed?

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snoonyb

There are 2gang jiffy boxes.
In the mean time you might want to reconsider attempting to fit you house into the jaws of a LATHE.
And just repair the LATH.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:28PM
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columbusguy1

I'd put in a piece of blocking between the studs to screw the new box onto.

And a BIG THANKS to snoonyb for taking the words right out of my mouth.

Stop using the freaking spell checkers--look the word up yourself! A LATHE is a power tool to turn wooden forms--a LATH is a thin strip of wood which holds plaster in place.

When will people freaking learn to use a brain--sound the word out if you must--an 'e' at the end makes it a long 'a' sound--does AY sound anything like the AH in lath? No wonder schools are so pitiful these days...I heard they don't even teach handwriting any more, just printing.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 5:37AM
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sombreuil_mongrel

He's just using the archaic spelling, I'm certain. The two words come from the same root; early spring-pole lathes (tool) used a flexing wooden strip (lath) for the spring action. Saw this on Roy Underhill's show, then got to try a spring-pole lathe at a fair once.
Casey

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:12AM
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graywings123

lath

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:35AM
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greg_2010

The link below shows several ways of attaching old work boxes to drywall.

Here is a link that might be useful: no studs

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:23PM
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graywings123

Greg 2010, that site explains the metal clunk I heard when I removed the gang box. Now if I can just figure out where to buy those specialized parts.

Thanks for the link!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:33PM
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antiquesilver

Sometimes you can find them at a big box store. Try each one in your area if necessary because electrical parts at one store are not necessarily the same at the next. Ask me how I know, LOL.

Also, a well stocked hardware store near an older neighborhood might have them. Logically,an electrical supply should carry them but I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:11PM
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columbusguy1

Dare I say that I am a huge fan of Roy Underhill? I'd let him do anything he wanted to my house before even thinking of using Tom Silva or Norm Abrams!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:12PM
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graywings123

lath

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:31AM
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greg_2010

No problem. Glad to help.
I found those metal supports at the home depot near me. I'm in Canada, so it may be different where ever you are but I think they must be a common item. It's just that the average person wouldn't know what they were for if they hadn't seen a demonstration.

Here is a link that might be useful: device support at home depot canada

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:33AM
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greg_2010

Oh, and I don't know if anyone's mentioned this, but it's spelled 'lath' not 'lathe'. :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:37AM
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snoonyb

"Oh, and I don't know if anyone's mentioned this, but it's spelled 'lath' not 'lathe'. :)"

So much for following the thread.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:15AM
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greg_2010

So much for following the thread.

It was a joke. Maybe just not a funny one. I tend to make those sometimes. I think it would be pretty hard to not notice that that spelling error issue has been beaten to death and blown out of proportion.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:33AM
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graywings123

I got the joke.

Home Depot didn't have the part, but I found this at Lowes. I think it is designed to work with a metal gang box, but I'm going to try it with a plastic one.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:49PM
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greg_2010

These metal pieces keep the box from pulling forward. Does your plastic box have the "wings" (for lack of a better term) on the top and bottom that prevent it from being pushed in?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 2:07PM
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millworkman

Actually greg_2010 I do believe that would have been "sarcasm", lol.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 2:09PM
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greg_2010

Oops ... I guess I need to buy a dictionary cheap at a used book store and look the d**n words up...I can't use my brain for a simple task.

;)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 3:26PM
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graywings123

It's a basic two gang box. The sides are flat, so this should work - right? The wings that tighten with screws probably won't work because the wall is too thick - they can't slip behind it.

I have thought about putting a magnet on a string and going fishing for the metal thing that held the box in previously.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 3:46PM
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snoonyb

Or, you could buy longer screws for the securing tabs.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 3:56PM
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greg_2010

I wouldn't bother fishing for it, it's probably sized for a single gang box anyways. (We're assuming it's one of these in the picture, right?)

The metal things you bought should work fine, or replacing the screws like snoonyb said (if they are removable, I've never tried those types of boxes before)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 4:09PM
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graywings123

I thought about longer screws, but I believe part of the strength of the system is that the wing nests in the channel of the plastic rim, and a longer screw would take it outside that channel that keeps it upright.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:15PM
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