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I'm looking to move this outlet to the other side of these studs, so that the outlet doesn't overlap with a wainscoting stile. Doing so will involve putting a ~3/8" hole though the studs to run the existing romex to the other side. I'd prefer not to use an old work box, as those seem kinda unstable for the long term, and instead opened the wall to install a new work box. Paneling is going over the hole anyway.

Question: Any idea why there would be two studs here? There's no window above it or door -- just a blank wall. Is it safe to drill through? I don't want to weaken the structure.

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    Do you have enough slack in the existing Romex to get it over to the new location & still have 6" of it pulled in thru the box?
    – brhans
    Jan 12 at 23:15
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    I can heartily recommend old work boxes. I installed light switches for new overhead lighting in my house over 30 years ago and haven't had the slightest problem with them. I do have plaster and lath walls, but in some ways, there are greater weaknesses with that, depending on exactly where the cuts landed than there are with drywall. My point: There's nothing to be afraid of in long-term use of an old-work box.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 13 at 16:40

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Could be a 100 different reasons or just someone overdoing something. Whatever it is you are fine drilling a hole for electric.

Also note your cutout will need to at least be bigger and stretch to the stud to the left (not sure what's to the right). You will need to do this to attach drywall and will make drilling easier.

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    Thank you. I intend to use a right-angle attachment for my drill which, along with a spade bit and some firm pressure, seems to get the job done. I'll definitely have to open the wall more to fit it in. Will also use a strike plate on studs as per code.
    – JaredH
    Jan 12 at 21:46

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