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home improvement update i went back to work on saturday, cutting holes in the amish room for future electrical outlets. its challenging to decide where to cut, because of the wood stripts (lath) that run horizontally behind the plaster wall. they can sometimes freak the stud finder right out. this makes sense, i suppose. the little battery-powered gizmo is set to find a piece wood behind plaster or sheetrock, and the whole wall has a layer of wood in it. in the amish room, this isn't a huge deal, i just cut the hole laterally to a suitable location for the receptacle box. afterwards, we will just patch the holes, and it will be time to paint those walls. the problem will definitely be when i start cutting holes in the living room walls, which have already been painted. I'll want to be as precise as possible, not making any holes that wont be concealed by an outlet cover. my first hole on saturday made me a little bit nervous, keeping in mine that i haven't done this for over two months now. the stud finder was giving me all sorts of trouble, beeping at little intervals that, when graphed together, entirely failed to define the location of a stud in the wall. if i was to believe the flashing lights, it seemed that there were two small lines of something, far too narrow to be the support structure, about 3 inches apart. i chalked this oddity up to the wood lath behind the plaster, and decided to just cut. bonus question: when using a rotozip to cut through plaster with wood behind it, do you use the plaster bit or the wood bit? the hole is beautiful, i might say. just the right height and width, it will accomodate a wire box perfectly...except for the two copper water pipes running up exactly through the space i vacated for my wiring. apparantly the stud finder was correct. two small narrow somethings running parallell, a half inch wide each and three inches apart. well, at least it was a good warmup for the rotozip. i cut two more holes after that. the one to replace the pipe-access opening i had created i decided to locate exactly inline with the light switch on the opposite side of the wall, in the dining room. this worked very well. for the next one, behind the television, i decided to give the stud finder the benefit of the doubt, and it was remarkably precise, my hole is directly alongside a stud, so i can nail a plastic work box to it if necessary. i have two more openings to cut in the amish room, and i hope to eventually replace the light fixture overhead with new wiring and switch. there is a good chance that none of this will be attempted before september, though, because I am pretty busy for the next few days, and then we leave for a vacation in Maine next tuesday evening.

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