Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Recessed lights won't fit in joist bays

WillieWonka's picture

Ok, any tips that might save me a lot of cutting?

Doing a kitchen, old house, full dimension ceiling joists (full means 2" to 2.5 thick). They're roughly 16" o.c. Result. Recessed can lights won't fit. The brackets at their minimum are 14" and I have only 13" in the bays. If I force slide the legs past where they supposed to contract to the non-fastening side of the leg will protrude past the opposite fastening side leg and the legs will contract enough for me to get them in the bays. Only prob is, got about 6 lights to put up and they're thick steel and I'd hate to sawzall them for fear of jarring them to death to cut off the extra length of leg.

Thoughts, suggestions?

If at first you don't succeed, try using a hammer next time...everything needs some extra persuasion from time to time.  -ME
If at first you don't succeed, try using a hammer next time...everything needs some extra persuasion from time to time.  -ME

(post #79958, reply #1 of 8)

Willie,

Block between the joist and turn the cans 90º or use a grinder with a thin kerf blade to cut the brackets.

KK

(post #79958, reply #3 of 8)

Hey you're right. What a brilliant idea. I'm guilty of getting mired in the circumstances and not seeing the obvious. DUH!!! Thanks.

If at first you don't succeed, try using a hammer next time...everything needs some extra persuasion from time to time.  -ME

If at first you don't succeed, try using a hammer next time...everything needs some extra persuasion from time to time.  -ME

(post #79958, reply #2 of 8)

KK is right on.


Or, use remodel cans.


A great place for Information, Comraderie, and a sucker punch.


Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.



http://www.quittintime.com/


 

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


(post #79958, reply #4 of 8)

What Calvin said............sometimes called "old work" cans.

 

 

"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." — Sherlock Holmes, 1896

(post #79958, reply #5 of 8)

There's a lot easier way.


Slide the hanger bars off of the fixture.


If it's a good quality fixture, the bars will be scored at intervals of about an inch and a half.  Snap off a couple of sections with sidecuts (lineman's pliers).  If it's a cheap fixture, no scoring, use tin snips to clip off a couple of inches of each hanger bar, use sidecuts to reshape the bar (shallow "v", usually).  Slide bars back into fixture.


One other thing--if space is tight, I usually use an impact driver to shoot #6 by 1 inch piffin screw to fasten the hanger bars to the joists.  My current fave is the little Bosch.  Easier than swinging the hammer, and a lot easier if the position of the can has to be fine-tuned.


One more thing (at the risk of sounding like Columbo)...don't forget to lock the position of the can, either with the little sheet metal screw that clamps the hanger bars (on good fixtures), or by pinching the metal around the bars with sidecuts.  It's a gripe to come back after the lid's up to find that a can has shifted several inches (either by accident of when the 'rocker misses with his hole and slides the can over to match).


 Cheers,


Cliff

(post #79958, reply #7 of 8)

These are the HALO brand cans. I never looked to see if there were any score marks. I'll have to check. Thanks.

If at first you don't succeed, try using a hammer next time...everything needs some extra persuasion from time to time.  -ME

If at first you don't succeed, try using a hammer next time...everything needs some extra persuasion from time to time.  -ME

(post #79958, reply #6 of 8)

I put my cans in a 12 inch space. Break the bars at the score points - I took a grinder to the score line to keep the brackets from bending. Or use remodel cans as stated.

(post #79958, reply #8 of 8)

I find the extended bits are easy to pinch hard with dikes, then bend and they'll snap on the line - I've done that a lot.  No prob. 


But, sometimes you trim enough that the adjusting slot is cut thru - in that case, I just wrap the leg with rebar wire or a zip-tie.


Forrest