I have wall sconces similar to the one pictured below in my apartment:
The only difference between this and the picture is in addition to containing the switch, there is a power outlet in the bottom of the fixture. So, instead of having a light, then underneath it a switch controlling the light and an outlet somewhere else, it's all in one unit.
Long story short: I hate hate hate hate these sconces. The light they give off is terrible, mainly because of that translucent glass "shade" that covers the bulb.
My intention is to replace these with a standard sconce, then below that a switch to control it. So I don't lose the outlet, I was going to add an outlet further down the wall not controlled by the switch. I set about digging into the plaster.
What I expected to find was BX that I could cut with a metal blade. Instead, I found what looks like iron pipe. I've seen this once before in my kitchen, but it was going into the ceiling. This appears to be headed towards the floor (because I discovered it below the existing fixture).
What are my options here? What is this pipe made of? Can it be cut? Do I need to rip the whole thing out of the wall? Where does it end?
I live in a high rise building in UWS Manhattan NYC. The building was built approximately 1957. FWIW, the walls are a combination of concrete (hooray) and plaster on metal lath (which is what this wall is made of). It's a horrible mess dealing with that stuff, and I'd rather a) not do any more demolition and b) not my efforts so far count for nothing.
My inclination is to dig out just enough more plaster so I can get a pipe cutter around that pipe, just above and below where the new switch box will go. Thus the remaining pipe will continue to armor the cable. But obviously I've never done anything like this before.
Recommendations on specific tools and techniques are most welcome. Also, feel free to tell me if it sounds like I'm in over my head here.
Picture of the pipe: