Best tool for shortening half wall

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Old 10-13-16, 12:05 PM
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Best tool for shortening half wall

I am going to shorten a half wall from 4 feet to 3 feet for a kitchen island. There are approximately 4 wood studs and electrical will be removed prior to cutting.Which tool is best for the job: a reciprocating saw or circular saw?
 
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Old 10-13-16, 12:41 PM
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Depends. Some people cant make nice cuts with a sawzall. Sawzalls will also shake a wall that isn't sturdy, making the cut difficult. If you cut while the top plate is still attached that would help. Personally I would use the sawzall... especially if you still have drywall on at least one side... but if the top plate is gone and drywall on both sides is gone, circular saw.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 01:22 PM
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Agree with X about the sawzall. Suggest you screw a 2x4 across the width of the wall at the height you want it and use that as a guide for the cut. Screw it into every stud. The 2x4 acts as a guide and also holds the studs steady to resist the shaking of the sawzall and keep the sheetrock in place (if there is sheetrock).
 
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Old 10-13-16, 01:49 PM
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I will be cutting with the countertop removed, so yes the top will not be secured besides the horizontal 2x4. I will also be cutting through drywall. Wall is 5 feet long and 5" wide with drywall on both sides.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 01:55 PM
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I was considering taking this advice to guide the circular saw but didn't think about using the sawzall. I don't own either tool, so also considering which would be used more after this project. The drywall will still be in place, I would attach photo if possible.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 02:04 PM
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A circular saw would get more use. I bought my skil saw years before I ever got a sawsall .... not that I'd want to give either one up.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 10-13-16, 02:31 PM
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I was able to attach the photo, thank you.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 03:11 PM
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Be sure to have helpers hold the wall while you cut..... especially if you use a sawzall.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 05:39 PM
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Keep in mind that the typical circular saw will not cut through a 2x4 wall in one pass. Typical 7 1/4 circ saw will cut a little over 2" deep. With the sawzall you can cut all the way through.

Consider renting or borrowing one if this is only job you have for it.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 05:54 PM
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I cut down quite a few pony walls in kitchens.

What I do is use a level to mark lines, then cut out and remove the drywall first. I want to see everything in the wall and it makes it easier to trim the studs.
Once the drywall is removed level and clean on the back, you can use that as a saw guide.

Get a good cut on the studs, but it doesn't have to be perfect. If anything you want the pony wall a little lower, not higher than cabinet level.
Normally any gaps at the top of the wall are filled to match wall or covered with trim.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 06:22 PM
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Thank you, that's very good info. Would you recommend a circular saw or sawzall for the job?
 
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Old 10-13-16, 06:47 PM
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A sawzall. If you use a new blade and cut real slow it helps stop the vibration.
I remove the top plate of the wall first so the weight doesn't bind the blade, you want each stud to fall off after cutting.
 
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Old 10-14-16, 06:59 AM
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Shorten Wall

I would remove the island, remove the old wall, build new wall, and install the island. Seems like all you are doing is extending the back side of the island by four inches.
 
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Old 10-14-16, 07:55 AM
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I am only lowering the wall, I will not widen the wall. Going to lower the bad top to a large countertop island.
 
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Old 10-14-16, 09:29 AM
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Remember to lower it enough to be able to put a 2x4 across the top and still get the final height you want. You will need something across the top when you are done to help stabilize the studs. On top of that you will put your finished surface. You will likely need to do some drywall repair to make it all look nice.

- Peter
 
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Old 10-14-16, 09:31 AM
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Thank you, I took that into consideration and plan to put corner round or crown moulding around the wall for aesthetic purposes.
 
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Old 01-06-18, 07:25 AM
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End result

I ended up using the reciprocating saw but I think a circular saw may have had a little more finesse to it. Made sure to take in to account the height of cabinets and used a larger crown molding to cover the imperfections. Came out nice. Thanks everyone for your input.
 
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Old 01-06-18, 07:38 AM
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I'd be happy with that....... nice job.
 
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Old 01-06-18, 09:03 AM
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Good Job
I've done it a lot more than you and don't think it would look any better.
I would add some 1/4 round around the cabinet toe kick and sides, that will fancy it up.
 
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Old 01-06-18, 09:41 AM
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I'm going to remove all the time and put new tiles down and I planned to do a nicer crown molding got the toe kicks, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.
 
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