I am attempting to run wire up a wall and hit an interesting problem behind the drywall.

Behind the drywall is what appears to be inch thick wood paneling.

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Apologies for the rotation, will fix.

Behind the paneling is, I think, blocking which I have to drill through to get the wire where I need it.

Can I cut out this paneling to give me access to the blocking?

The house was built in 1905, and renovated sometime in the last 30 years.

Also, can anyone identity the paper between the drywall and the wood? It appears to be a thin wood laminate with a paper back?

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  • Are you adding another outlet next to the existing outlet and then run the wire up the wall. If so, why not convert the existing outlet to a double box and run the wire up from there. Then you won't have to drill through the vertical stud to reach the new outlet on the other side of the stud. Jun 20, 2020 at 23:29
  • It's data, not power.
    – Steve
    Jun 20, 2020 at 23:35

2 Answers 2


Same process As programmer suggests with a 4’ flex bit since you have opened the wall. I use a tennis ball to keep the bit centered in the wall. The wood was probably the original backing for plaster walls that were removed when updated. But yes it can be removed , a long flex bit may save time and a mess but if you feel more comfortable cutting the wood out sheetrock is not that hard to repair.


No need to cut the panel behind the dry wall. You have already made the decision to cut the drywall to gain access behind the drywell. Just cut a little more below your current cut . Insert drill and drill up through the blocking. You may have to use a 6 or 12” extension with the bit to drill through. Extensions are only a couple of bucks.

There are flexible drill bit that can reach 6' or more. If there are only two fire blocks these would work. Use regular drill and extension for the first block. then use flex drill bit to reach the second block. The flex extension can pull the wire or a string to pull the cable back down. These are used a lot to pull security wire through out a house. Cheap one from HF cost about $8, Good ones about $25-30 dollars.

If you have difficulty in fishing the wire through the blocks after the holes are drilled. just cut a 3" circle above the block in the panel and fish it through by hand.

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  • It's a little more complicated than that as there's blocking higher up that I can feel with a probe through where they drilled for insulation. I can't get the drill bit into place through the multiple layers.
    – Steve
    Jun 20, 2020 at 23:32

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