I’m actually not sure why I’m talking about framing around electrical panels. Maybe because I’m usually so busy I can’t think of anything else, but today I’m thinking about it because it was a very easy decision to make. The simple act of putting a frame around the electrical panel and placing a plate on the wall is the smartest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s something I don’t think I’ve done a whole lot of.
The process of framing around an electrical panel is the easy part. The tricky part is what to fill it with, and for how long. Here are two things to consider: You can use a simple plywood panel, and you can use a nice piece of wood. Both of these pieces are going to cost you more in the long run. The cheapest way to make a frame is to buy 2×4’s and cut them out of a sheet of plywood.
The thing is, a plywood panel doesn’t provide much protection from splinters, though it does come with a very nice appearance. A nice piece of wood provides a nice appearance but it doesn’t offer much protection against splinters.
The other option is to get a piece of scrap wood and use it to frame around your electrical panel. This can be a little more expensive than the plywood, but its a little more sturdy and provides even better protection from splinters.
You see, electrical panels are the most common places we see people take a wood screw driver to when they need to install something on a DIY project, such as installing electrical fixtures or wiring. The way we have it, the screwdriver is inserted into the panel and then we use a hammer to knock out the screw. The screw goes in, the screwdriver goes out and finally the screw is securely attached to the panel.
I’ve seen this done on many projects, but this is one I can’t remember seeing before. I’ve never seen a panel this well done. The most critical component of a good panel is that it be solidly attached to the metal frame. I thought of this before I read about it, but it’s still good advice.
The best way I can think of to attach a panel to the frame of a house is to use a carpenter’s square. A square with a long sharp point (like a pencil) is hammered into the wall stud on the panel. The point of the square is pointed towards the stud, and then the hammer is raised up and hammered into the stud.
I have actually had a couple of accidents where I’ve screwed up and pulled the panel right out of the stud, because I was aiming the square at the wrong stud. The best way to prevent this is to take a small piece of the stud and make a small square with it on top of the stud.
When you’re framing around electrical panels, you’re really just hammering into the stud to make sure the square is facing the right direction. The trick is not to hammer too hard and then have to take a square out of the stud. It’s best to hammer the stud a little bit to the side to ensure that the square is facing in the right direction.