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  1. #1
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    Cutting your ceiling for making a service trap

    The monkeys who did my house thought it was cute to make a service trap 30x30 cm

    I need to make a bigger one, and I am not sure what kind of work it involves. I have found a nice "ready made" service trap but will need to cut the ceiling precisely, and it looks messy up there, metal frames etc... what to do ?

    Cutting should be easy, but how do you fix the trap ? what mistakes need to be avoided ? I am also worried about the invisible metal frames, don't want to cut them wrongly and have the whole ceiling fall on me ?

    btw, how much would it cost to redo entirely the ceiling ?

  2. #2
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    Pay someone who knows (or at least says they know) what theyre doing. Blame them when it all goes wrong.

  3. #3
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    ^ hum, I am trying to avoid that precisely, and I know they will fuck up the job, so why even bother

  4. #4
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    Stick your head in the 30 X 30 cm existing one and have a look before you start cutting.

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    Need some place to hide the bodies?

  6. #6
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    Use a hacksaw blade, its only plasterboard and aluminum.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda
    Stick your head in the 30 X 30 cm existing one and have a look before you start cutting.
    well I did already, so I know where to cut. I am just worried a bit about the metal frame, will it hold ? also how to patch things up when done,

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    Use a hacksaw blade, its only plasterboard and aluminum.
    bought one, however I need to cut near the edge of the wall where the metal frame starts, what wrong could happen there ?

  9. #9
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    Had one done in our house so that we could put in roof insulation. Assuming that your ceiling is of plasterboard, you can actually cut out a measured square using a stanley knife. ( new blade advised ) . Once you have cut out the hole you line the edge with aluminium L shaped strip which you can easily cut to length yourself using a hacksaw. Glue the aluminium strips around the edge of the hole to stop it crumbling. For the hatch itself, either cut out a plasterboard square to fit the hole ( usually you use the square you have just cut out ) or get one made of plywood.

    A service trap like this has no hinges and you can't lean a ladder against the rim of the whole. I use a stepladder to get up into the attic where I have made a wooden platform between the rafters.
    A good place for a service trap is in the bathroom as then, if the bathroom is narrow you can use the walls that rise into the attic to mount your platform on. If you're interested I'll try to post some pictures.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    A good place for a service trap is in the bathroom as then, if the bathroom is narrow you can use the walls that rise into the attic to mount your platform on. If you're interested I'll try to post some pictures.
    yes, that's the idea. Use the bathroom and the support wall to climb the service trap. Where did you get the "aluminium strips" or what is the exact name if I want to find those as the usual staff from HomeMart and HomePro are completely hopeless if you don't tell them exactly what they are.

    Yes posting pics is always nice if that's ok with you,

  11. #11
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    its a "T" strip you need.
    Also the aluminum runs every 30cms and you wont be able to cut that with a stanley knife, use a hacksaw.

  12. #12
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    Id like this to be photographed for posterity please, step by step.

  13. #13
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    so if I cut near the edge, is there any risk of the ceiling to partially fall ? from what I see, the metal frame is attached to the walls, and if one or two break during the cutting, I am a bit afraid that the whole thing collapse

  14. #14
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    Make sure you don't cut through any wiring. The electricians here sometimes run the wiring along the metal ceiling support framework.

    Common sense will tell you, and when picking up the service trap whether the framework is strong enough to support it.

  15. #15
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    ^ oh yeah, forgot about that. I did see a few wires around,

  16. #16
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    Forgot to mention Butters!

    The ceiling service trap should be provided with a fitment diagram and or a template drawing that you can mark out on the ceiling with a pencil and then you cut the Gypsom board with a Stanley Knife or a hacksaw blade according to the exact shape.

    If you do it neatly there make be no real finishing required except for a paint touch-up.

  17. #17
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    but how do you put up there ? can't glue it for sure ?

    I will try the basic service trap Thai style before I install the pre-made one,

  18. #18
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    ^ Not having seen your pre-made one I would imagine it had an outer faceplate and an inner flange surround. Just screw through the outer plate, through the ceiling membrane and into the inner surround I would of thought.

    Quite difficult to advise you mate and without seeing the item!

  19. #19
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    cut...or get a perfect square cut (size you want the access to be) out of MDF or plywood or whatever. Screw that to the ceiling where you want the access panel. Use that as a template to cut your access neatly (case cutter will do the trick on gypsum). then cut a panel out of gypsum 5mm smaller on 2 sides (2.5mm all around). screw a larger piece of MDF (10mm bigger all sides) to the top of the gypsum and it will act as a lip for your ceiling panel. hard to explain in words. PM me with you email address and i'll sketch it up for you.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    The monkeys who did my house thought it was cute to make a service trap 30x30 cm I need to make a bigger one,
    fat bastard.

    30x30 would be fine for me.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    30x30 would be fine for me.
    Geez willy how wide are your shoulders?

    Just over 12 inches by 12 inches! My missus would struggle to get through that and she is only 48 kgs.

  22. #22
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    I have a trap door access to the attic which is based on a wooden frame secured to adjacent internal brick walls. I'm assuming that your ceiling, like mine, is made with plaster board (gypsum) sheets secured to an aluminium frame and skimmed over. In my case the aluminium strips are secured at each end to the brick walls and also supported by vertical wires fixed to the roof beams. My take on this is that it isn't a good idea to cut any of the aluminium strips without a good idea of how you are going to join adjacent strips, cut ends etc to get a strong frame around the cut-out trap. I don't think putting some 'L' shaped aluminium mouldings around the hole with glue is really the way to go. Perhaps something could be sorted out by pop-riveting in some additional cross members between the existing strips and trying to enlarge the hole in such a way that the new edges align with existing strips on two sides. My own preference though would be to try to put in some additional wooden or steel beams to support a strong frame for the cut-out.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by melvbot
    Id like this to be photographed for posterity please, step by step.
    yep, i'd like this too!

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  25. #25
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    sounds quite complicated, too professional and well done, definitely not Thai style

    a few useful tips though that I will definitely use, nice video, thanks

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