How to Make Difficult Cuts on a Bead Board Panel

What You'll Need
Spare piece of bead board
Jigsaw with metal cutting blade, or Chinese saw (you need small teeth to avoid splintering the board)
Measuring tape

During installation, it is often necessary to make cuts in the bead board panel to accommodate fixtures such as electrical outlets, taps, pipes, and to go around built-in furniture and sinks. Here is the technique to create a neat hole for a pipe with only a few tools and careful measuring.

Step 1 – Disconnect the Pipe

If you are installing bead board around taps or pipes, turn off the water first. Disconnect any taps or pipes if possible, so you can install the boards.

Step 2 – Measure from the Floor

Use the spare piece of bead board to get the measuring and drawing right before using the good boards.

For taps and pipes, measure from the bottom of the pipe to the floor and subtract 1/8 inch from the figure. If you are using bead board paneling, mark the width of the pipe at the bottom of the paneling, if you are using individual boards, mark the width of the pipe at the right height on the affected boards.

Step 3 – Measure to the Edge of the Pipe

Get your tape measure and mark the distance from the last piece of panel that you installed to the edge of the pipe. Subtract 1/8 inch from that figure. Then mark a vertical line as wide as the pipe the same distance from the edge of the board to be installed. This vertical line will slightly overlap the horizontal line.

Step 4 – Draw the Lines on the Bead Board

Draw a horizontal line above the horizontal line already on the bead board, this line should be half the width of the pipe plus 1/8 inch. Use this same measurement to draw a vertical line that crosses the second horizontal line. Place the point of the compass on this intersection.

Step 5 – Draw a Circle With the Compass

Move the pencil side of the compass (while holding the point on the intersection) to the first bottom line. Draw a circle that will be cut out for the pipe. This circle should touch the first bottom and side lines. Check your measurements if it doesn’t touch both lines.

Step 6 – Drill the Hole

With a drill bit that is a little bigger than the pipe, drill the hole. Use a jigsaw if the hole is too large for your bit by drilling a small hole at the inside edge of the circle, place the jigsaw blade in the hole and cut around the drawn circle until the hole is cut out.

Step 7 – Reconnect the Pipe

Install the baseboard over the area with the hole in the base board over the pipe out/inlet. Reconnect the pipe

A similar technique can be used to cut holes for electrical outlets. It takes a bit of practice to get the measuring right so have a bit of extra board to make your first hole so you don’t waste boards. Remember the golden rule – always measure twice before you cut