Tech Tip

Layout and design requirements often mean light fixtures and air diffusers have to be set “off-module” when installing acoustical ceilings. By following the correct procedures, handling these types of installation can be accomplished easily and safely.

1. Carefully measure the light fixture and mark the dimensions on the grid over the area to be lit.

2. If you’re using slotted box grid, cut off any prefabricated miter points on the ends of the new cross tees.

3. Because the lighting layout requires creating new cross-tee holes, map their placement on the existing mains or cross tees to reflect the fixture’s dimensions, accounting for the width of the box and any flanges around the box that will rest on the grid.

4. Mark lines 1/2 inch on either side of the new hole locations.

5. Take the universal tee punch, slip it over the cross tee to be added and align the body of the tool with these newly marked lines.

6. Depending on the kind of grid system being used, make sure the bottom edge of the punch fits either neatly into the bottom of the channel or, in some cases, rests tightly on top of the haunch.

7. Apply pressure to the punch’s grips slightly, drawing the cutting tool against the tee brace. Examine it carefully to ensure the tool is square in the die.

8. Squeeze the cutting tool’s grips together firmly until the hole is punched and the tool settles into the bottom of the die.

9. Release pressure and remove the tool, leaving a clean hole.

10. Make sure all edges are smooth.

11. Close off any leftover open miter holes with miter-closure clips.