Control the Mess When Cutting a Ceiling
I had to install two bath-vent fans and a whole-house fan, and I was dreading the mess from the plaster dust I would create as I cut the holes in the ceiling. To minimize cleanup, I first found a plastic storage tub larger than the holes that I needed to cut in the ceiling. Then I cut a 1×2 furring strip (one with a natural bow works best) about 1 in. longer than the distance from the top of the tub, which was sitting on the floor, to the ceiling. I then screwed a couple of pieces of 1x scrap to the ends of the 1×2 to form a post that looked like a capital “I,” as shown in the drawing at left. After marking the locations for the ceiling holes, I held the plastic tub while I wedged it securely in place with the post. I then went into the attic, where I cut the holes from above. Afterward, cleanup was as simple as dumping the tub’s contents into the trash.
Tom Hazelleaf, Seal Beach, CA