Cutting out electrical outlets

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Forum topic by paul1474 posted 01-24-2014 11:21 AM 9175 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 1671 days

01-24-2014 11:21 AM

I’ve got a bunch of outlets to cut out of 7/16 osb for the interior of my new garage. Does anybody have a slick way to do this , or do I just measure, mark and cut with jig saw. Thought about making jig and using router.

20 replies so far

View generic's profile


105 posts in 1627 days

#1 posted 01-24-2014 11:33 AM

I am not sure if they make a bit for Rotozips that will cut OSB, but I know it’s the easiest/best way to cut holes in drywall for outlets. It leaves a nice clean opening and its easy to learn how to do. If you have a small trim router and flush cut bit that might do the same thing.

View fisherdoug09's profile


122 posts in 2703 days

#2 posted 01-24-2014 11:51 AM

I finished the inside of my shop with OSB and did the measure, mark and cut with a jig saw method. I laid my boxes out so they hit on seams and it all worked out fine. Have fun.

View WibblyPig's profile


172 posts in 3303 days

#3 posted 01-24-2014 12:17 PM

I made all of mine surface mount so I could change them out to quads, move them, etc. as needed.

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

View macatlin1's profile


78 posts in 2971 days

#4 posted 01-24-2014 12:24 PM

In my shop I used the following method to locate the box openings in the upper half of the wall. First I put a ledger board about 1/4 inch below the panel (48 1/4 down from ceiling). I then used my framing square to transfer the sides of the electrical boxes to the upper edge of the ledger board. For each box I made a story stick and marked the upper and lower edges of the box. Each story stick was “tacked” to the ledger board with a drywall screw so as not to loose it or get it mixed up.

When I placed the panel on the wall I used construction shims between the OSB panel and the ledger board to hold the panel tight against the ceiling. I attached the OSB panel along the top only to the studs. (You did pre-mark the stud locations, right?). Once the panel was hung along the top, I used the marks on the ledger board and the story stick to lay out the box on the panel and checked it with a spare box. Cutting out the opening was done with a Oscillating Multifunction Power Tool Harbor Freight #60428. I found that if I cut to the line I usually nicked the box so I tended to cut outside the line by about 1/8 of an inch. I used the semi-circular blade so the cuts went past the corners. These cuts I later filled with spackle and after painting the walls white don’t show a bit.

Once the holes are cut out the OSB panel easily moves against the studs and I shot in the remaining drywall screws. For the lower panel on the wall I stuck painters tape to the floor and again using my framing square I marked the sides of the boxes on the tape. The story sticks were again used (original marks covered with painters tape) to indicate the upper and lower edges of the boxes. Same process, attach the OSB panel along the upper edge, layout the box, check with a spare box, cut outside the line, push the panel against the studs and fasten. The whole garage (20+ boxes) took an afternoon with most of the time spent using the saw.

View paul1474's profile


41 posts in 1671 days

#5 posted 01-24-2014 01:27 PM

I tried Roto Zip but the bits broke. I’ve got a oscillating tool, will give that a try. I like the idea of story stick

View Robert Tidwell's profile

Robert Tidwell

19 posts in 1646 days

#6 posted 01-24-2014 02:48 PM

I did this just this past weekend and used a jigsaw, as I could not find a more suitable option. It turned out great..

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2102 days

#7 posted 01-24-2014 03:07 PM

Its easy to cut a template from plywood that will fit the base of the router so you can plunge through and then cut the hole. temp screw in place. turn on . cut unscrew and repeat. finished of the inside of a 1000 sf garage this last summer with 1/2” osb inside.

View paul1474's profile


41 posts in 1671 days

#8 posted 01-25-2014 12:09 AM

Used my Sonicrafter on one wall today, turned out ok. Might try router on next wall.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4153 days

#9 posted 01-25-2014 12:51 AM

I have plaster over button board in my house, and have made a little jig that gets me a consistent height that I use to mark the outline on. Mash a hole through with a cold chisel and a hammer, and hit it with the Sawzall with a ceramic blade.

The equivalent for OSB would just be drill a hole and use a utility blade. So, yeah, jigsaw or Sawzall.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View oldnovice's profile


6904 posts in 3396 days

#10 posted 01-25-2014 01:10 AM

I did some electrical work at my church/school and I used the template trim router/bearing bit method even though it was only 3 I find it difficult to cut with a saw due to RA.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Todd's profile


398 posts in 1705 days

#11 posted 01-25-2014 02:00 PM

I used a jigsaw. Tried a Rotozip but it didn’t work.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2325 days

#12 posted 01-25-2014 02:09 PM

I would measure and jigsaw it, you can use a story stick as well. However you do it make sure the face of the box sits flush with the OSB. Not supposed to have combustible surfaces exposed to an arc.

View Eastsolutions's profile


1 post in 1161 days

#13 posted 04-20-2015 07:54 PM

Hi, I made myself an aluminium jig/template to cut recesses for wall sockets, worked a treat. I am now selling these on eBay.

£30 but will last and do dozens of recesses.
Just search on eBay for Patress jig or contact me direct on

“This is a exclusive Pattress / Wall Socket Jig made from tough Aluminium Alloy
It will enable you to create a recess in a brick or block wall by guiding a 8mm drill to give a series of up to 62 holes which can then easily be chiselled out to give the recess required for a single or double socket
Firstly drill and rawl plug holes for up to 6 screws to secure the plate to the wall. Drill the 8mm holes with a masonry drill. Remove the plate and remove the loose brickwork to reveal a recess for the Pattress box.
This jig is very durable and will enable dozens of recesses to be cut, unlike the alternative plastic versions
Free postage UK, international postage extra.”

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1427 days

#14 posted 04-21-2015 05:41 AM

I have once marked a panel for a light box by dabbing some black paint on the edge of the light box, then pressing the panel (3/8” ply) in place and on the box. The paint made a ring, which I followed with a jig saw. I have read of a tip using chalk line chalk. That must be where I got the idea. Did not have chalk, so I used paint.

View Hermit's profile


186 posts in 1353 days

#15 posted 04-21-2015 01:30 PM

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