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Thread: Gently Removing an Electrical Box Punchout

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    Supporting Member rgsparber's Avatar
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    Gently Removing an Electrical Box Punchout

    Removing a punchout from an electrical box is easy if you can use a hammer and a screwdriver. But what if something delicate is already in the box? Or, what if there wasn't room to swing a hammer? One answer is probably already in your shop.

    If you are interested, please see

    https://rick.sparber.org/PunchoutRemoval.pdf


    Your comments are welcome. All of us are smarter than any one of us.


    Thanks,

    Rick

    2000 Tool Plans
    Rick

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    Thanks rgsparber! We've added your Punchout Removal Tool to our Electrical category,
    as well as to your builder page: rgsparber's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




    186 More Best Homemade Tools eBook

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    Supporting Member suther51's Avatar
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    Got me thinking about modified vice grip pliers

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    Toolmaker51 (Dec 2, 2022)

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    Supporting Member rgsparber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suther51 View Post
    Got me thinking about modified vice grip pliers
    I'd sure like to see a picture when you get it done.

    Rick
    Rick

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    Supporting Member marksbug's Avatar
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    I have the "c" clamp style vice grips that would do great for this, as long as the punch out is 1" or biger, but a small c clamp would be eazy to use too for the small ones. I just happen to be doing all the electrickel in my 3rd shop Im just about done building. the effing square D POS breaker box has punchouts.... but the effing things are not centered withen each other. and the largest size is what I need... but... for some stupid reason they did not make that one round. they made the smaller ones the back edge of the biuger one... yup 2 different radii so the fitting wont go through.I had to take it all appart and put in milling ,achine and use a carbide hole saw to cut the holes.....you cant fix stupid. some know it all effing moron engineer. to top that off all the reciptical boxes are made for 1/2 emt fittings... I wanted to use 1" conduit throught, but there is none to be found due to covid 19.so I went with 3/4 and had to machine every box for 2-3 fittings. oh well Ive always got to be different and I like things the way I want them so Im used to it.

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    Supporting Member rgsparber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marksbug View Post
    I have the "c" clamp style vice grips that would do great for this, as long as the punch out is 1" or biger, but a small c clamp would be eazy to use too for the small ones. I just happen to be doing all the electrickel in my 3rd shop Im just about done building. the effing square D POS breaker box has punchouts.... but the effing things are not centered withen each other. and the largest size is what I need... but... for some stupid reason they did not make that one round. they made the smaller ones the back edge of the biuger one... yup 2 different radii so the fitting wont go through.I had to take it all appart and put in milling ,achine and use a carbide hole saw to cut the holes.....you cant fix stupid. some know it all effing moron engineer. to top that off all the reciptical boxes are made for 1/2 emt fittings... I wanted to use 1" conduit throught, but there is none to be found due to covid 19.so I went with 3/4 and had to machine every box for 2-3 fittings. oh well Ive always got to be different and I like things the way I want them so Im used to it.
    Marksbug,

    What would you do differently if there is a next time? I'm sure you learned a lot from this experience.

    Rick
    (Engineer)
    Rick

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    Supporting Member bimmer1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marksbug View Post
    I have the "c" clamp style vice grips that would do great for this, as long as the punch out is 1" or biger, but a small c clamp would be eazy to use too for the small ones. I just happen to be doing all the electrickel in my 3rd shop Im just about done building. the effing square D POS breaker box has punchouts.... but the effing things are not centered withen each other. and the largest size is what I need... but... for some stupid reason they did not make that one round. they made the smaller ones the back edge of the biuger one... yup 2 different radii so the fitting wont go through.I had to take it all appart and put in milling ,achine and use a carbide hole saw to cut the holes.....you cant fix stupid. some know it all effing moron engineer. to top that off all the reciptical boxes are made for 1/2 emt fittings... I wanted to use 1" conduit throught, but there is none to be found due to covid 19.so I went with 3/4 and had to machine every box for 2-3 fittings. oh well Ive always got to be different and I like things the way I want them so Im used to it.
    FYI, there are sizing rules by the NEC for the co suit size, box size, minimum distance from the nipple to the far side of the box per conduit size, etc. Hence, the reason the boxes were limited in size. While I'm not an electrician, I did pick up a couple of technical handbooks for the NEC code. (I'm an engineer.....)

    I did all of my garage with conduit, so I have worked with it ... ;-) There's over 50 outlets, so it was a fair bit of conduit and boxes .......

    My main panel has six 2" conduits coming into it. To meet code, I used a 18x18 junction box below the panel. This is due to the rules I refered to above.

    Also keep in mind, that unless you are using larger wire that requires the 1" or larger wire, you are limited in the number of circuits per conduit before you start de-rating. Generally, the code encourages you to run one or two circuits per conduit.

    I get that the main panel punch outs were not good for you, but generally a set of dikes or a punch out tool work nicely.... While I'm sure the milling machine did a nice job, that was a bit over kill, but use what you have! :-)

    I have a hand held hydraulic punch tool that will knock out 1/2 to 2" trade size holes.

    Hopefully this is helpful, let me know if you have questions...
    Last edited by bimmer1980; Jul 7, 2020 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Sorry, if you are using a hammer and screwdriver you are working to hard. I use a screwdriver and my linesman pliers and where there is little clearance I grab the my flat nose pliers. This method works where there is less clearance than using a clamp. I can do that faster than you can get the clamp screwed on. Of course I have forty years of experiance and thousands of KO's.

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    Toolmaker51 (Dec 4, 2022)

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    Quote Originally Posted by suther51 View Post
    Got me thinking about modified vice grip pliers
    I can see usefulness there, especially for an electrician working aloft hanging conduit and rows of lights, like me,this coming spring!
    Except for the electrician part, I'm just hanging hardware. But there'll be dozens of knockouts to remove.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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    Supporting Member marksbug's Avatar
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    yes most knock outs are easy to remove.some are a bitch and sometimes you want a different hole size. yes there are rules.there are also workarounds. and doing things the way you want it for a particular reason. things I would change or do different? make that barn taller by at least 2 feet. buy all materials before covid& the demoncrats shot the prices up3x & more of what they were when I started,tin roof,witch it may get over the shingles any way.longer foyer,lighter color siding it's light brown now but that sure does heat up probably 4x as much as white does. run a few extra wires, extra box or 2, awning.and more. but my pockets are not deep.
    Last edited by marksbug; Dec 4, 2022 at 09:24 AM.

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