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I am replacing my existing light fixtures for my patio and need to enlarge the original hole to fit the new light. I believe my ceiling material is stucco with steel mesh rib lath.

What can I use that will cut through the stucco and steel lath? My original thought was to use a hole saw but open to suggestions Thanks in advanceHere is a picture from the attic

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A carbide grit type hole saw should do. For enlarging holes where the pilot bit has nothing to engage, I usually cut a hole in scrap with the hole saw, and attach the scrap to the top of what I'm trying to enlarge.

Do not saw the hole and just walk away - hot bits of steel have the potential to start a fire, so you want to be present to put it out if that happened and you didn't notice it - though the picture looks like you may be able to drill from above and have less odds of that happening in a concealed space you can't see.

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  • A hole saw usually has a pilot bit to ensure that the hole is in the right place and to guide the "saw" portion, keeping it on track. Enlarging an existing hole with a hole saw usually requires something to guide that pilot bit. Placing a piece of plywood on the inside of the hole & using a longer pilot bit (to hit the plywood before the saw hits the material to be cut) is one way of going about it. Getting the saw to start cutting where you want it without the pilot bit is... difficult...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 17, 2022 at 14:10
  • I usually cut a hole in scrap with the hole saw, and attach the scrap to the top of what I'm trying to enlarge.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 17, 2022 at 14:18
  • Good idea! Might be useful to include that tip in the answer. I certainly hadn't thought of it.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 17, 2022 at 14:19

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