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Thread: best saw for cutting out a floor plate?

  1. #1

    Smile best saw for cutting out a floor plate?

    Hey guys - Dick submitted this question to Do you have enough information based on what he said to give a good answer? If not let me know and we'll dig for more information from him.

    Here's the question:
    I need to saw out the floor plate in a cold air return.

    Normally, the entire space is cut out for the cold air to flow. However, my contractor only drilled a series of holes and now I need to saw out the wood between the holes. The drywall is installed on both sides so I must reach through the cold air register.

    What type of saw would you suggest?

    I was thinking a keyhole saw. Is there a power or air saw that is small enough to get within the 3.5 inch wall and cut out the wood?
    My buddy Adam (yes there are more of us shot this question at the LumberJock community. Their response thus far is:

    "You may have to go the old fashion way, by using a hammer, & chisel."
    Check the post here if you want:

    We don't typically like to ask the same question in more than one forum, but in this case we thought a second opinion from the "family" would be helpful to our woebegone site visitor facing a potentially tedious job .

    I'm the editor of

  2. #2
    Garret....It sounds like the holes were marked in the cold air return but never cut. Now the wood floor has been installed over it and he wants to cut the hole through the wood floor? Down below, it sounds like they've wall boarded over the cold air return duct...

    If that's the case and I'd try to transfer the hole from the cold air return up through the wood floor and then use a Jig saw, a sawsall or if you're skilled enough a circular saw could be used to cut through the wood and if necessary a jig saw to cut the metal if that's necessary.

    A little more information would be handy in giving advice in this case.

  3. #3
    Hi Ken,

    Thank you - I will see if I can get any more info out of Dick. I'll send him this thread too so if you have specific questions that would help you answer HIS question let me know here

    I'm the editor of

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    I'm with Ken on this, thinking that to transfer the dimensions to the outside would make sawing easier. How about a right angle drill inside the duct and drill holes at the 4 corners - then the jig or sawsall to connect the holes?
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    pictures would be nice.....i can`t understand where he`s trying to fit a saw?...tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Southern Louisiana
    ok in my mind, since he says that the drywall is applied to both sides, and he needs to cut a "floor plate" i would assume he has a wall mounted return for the air, and it needs to flow air through the floor. so again i'm guessing that he is needin to remove the section of 2x4 that makes up the floor plate in this area. depending on how big the air return opening is would determine how big of a saw he can get in there. i would think a jig saw.

    all in all like others said it's hard to tell by the description.

    hopefully we'll get more info so we can better help.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Arena, Wisconsin
    I agree with others that there is too little information here, but I will say that I have found the Fein MultiMaster to be an amazingly versatile tool for many close quarters cuts in remodeling. Mine will fit into the stud space on a 2x4 wall. The cutters cost a lot, so dont trash one by hitting a drywall screw or nail. Maybe best to use a metal cutting blade from the get go if you are not sure.

  8. #8

    some pix of the problem

    Dick shot us some pictures of his problem... hope this helps solve it a little better.


    I'm the editor of

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Southern Louisiana
    should be able to easily get a jigsaw in that space. maybe a recip saw at an angle. other than that i can't think of anything else. well besides a hand saw of course.

    good luck Dick

  10. #10
    Why bother?

    I don't think you're going to significantly increase the air flow by cutting out the little pieces of wood between the drill holes;

    If you are only going to us them as starting points and you're going to cut closer to the walls and further to the right, then I think the Multimaster is the way to go.


    Alternatiavely, just drill a couple of more holes with a forster bit on the wood at the right hand side of the picture.


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