Many of the questions we get are related to “the right tool for the job.” There are so many ways to cut a piece of wood, but every job asks for a slightly different tool.

This questioner had an interesting situation where builders had done an incomplete job on his cold air return.

“I need to saw out the floor plate in a cold air return.

Normally, the entire space is cut out for the cold air to flow. However, my contractor only drilled a series of holes and now I need to saw out the wood between the holes. The drywall is installed on both sides so I must reach through the cold air register.

What type of saw would you suggest?

I was thinking a keyhole saw. Is there a power or air saw that is small enough to get within the 3.5 inch wall and cut out the wood?”

We asked the guys at LumberJocks AND in FamilyWoodworking.

Some folks in the forums pushed back thinking that the cold air return didn’t need to be cut all the way to the sides. However, the questioner said:

When I had several HVAC contractors look at the house, they say these holes are reducing the air flow to 40%. The whole house has this problem. It is a new house and the builder did a very poor job with the construction.

Check out the LumberJocks and FamilyWoodworking threads for the full debate :)