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RWW 181 Make Your Own Hardwood Switch Plates

a couple of years ago

My remodel is done but I’m adding some creature comforts and some aesthetic touches just because. I find little projects like these switch plates to be a lot of fun but also great opportunities to try new hand tool techniques. For the uninitiated hand tool user, they are great first steps. Let’s face it, hand planing a tiny board is much easier than a bigger one and it make the whole hand milling process much more approachable.

With these switch plates you can use up some scrap or go crazy and add some carving or whatever to put your own stamp on them. In the video I demonstrate the harder version with the bigger “mortise”, the light switch version took half the time because of the 30 seconds it took to chop out the recess. All of my outlets in the shop are GFI so I don’t have any switch plates with two plug recesses but I imagine those would be even easier since the starter hole you drill could be matched very close to the final shape and a carving gouge could be used to nibble back to the line much like I did with the square-ish recesses around the GFI outlets.

Enjoy this little diversion and go spruce up you own boring outlets.

It’s been brought to my attention that wooden switch plates may be an electrical code violation and possibly a fire hazard unless backed up with a fire resistant plate. I’m looking into this but like all things found on the internet, move forward at your own risk and do your research. If I come up with a definitive answer and/or solution I will post an amendment here.

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