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I was expanding a hole in what I think is drywall in between two closets. When I took the drill out I noticed some metal protruding and it looks like I went through a braided cable, but the metal looks pretty thick.

No idea if it's electrical or structural.

I attached some pictures please let me know (I took out the fuses before drilling and still have them out). Also in the picture the other side of the hole is NOT a cavity between two walls, rather it is the other side of the wall and is the other closet.

Thanks for any help!

Image

  • 10
    That looks like Stucco Mesh/Netting to me. – brhans Jan 31 '18 at 19:25
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    You didn't mention the purpose of the hole. In case you intend to pass a wire through there, I suggest installing some kind of sleeve first to protect the wire more than the wire's jacket alone can do. Maybe a nylon bushing from the hardware store, a small bit of PEX or other plastic water tubing, etc. – Greg Hill Feb 1 '18 at 2:55
33

That's plaster, not drywall, and you've encountered metal lath. It was commonly used at corners and other vulnerable locations to add strength and crack resistance.

It won't be a problem to cut a small amount away for your purposes. Just be careful to not snag it with a power tool and rip things loose. An abrasive grinding wheel might be a good bet.

  • 4
    In New England at least it is not uncommon for entire homes to have been plastered like this. I assume it is the transition form between wooden lathe and plaster to drywall – mikes Jan 31 '18 at 21:05
  • In the case of my late 1950s upper midwest home the hybrid scenario was 3/8" gypsum panels with plaster over it. Metal lath only existing at key locations. I'm not sure how plaster would be installed with metal lath alone. It wouldn't support the base layer of plaster on its own. – isherwood Jan 31 '18 at 22:05
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    @isherwood - The right consistency of scratch coat will adhere to metal lath just fine, with nothing behind it. Of course, finding someone who even knows what "scratch coat" means anymore can be a challenge. – Hot Licks Feb 1 '18 at 3:20
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    That stuff will cut the hell out of your hands too. Wear gloves when you are messing with it. – JimmyJames Feb 1 '18 at 16:48

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