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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Default Drilling through exterior brick wall

    This is my first post, while my house isn't that old, I enjoy looking for information & ideas for home improvement.

    My problem is this, I'm attempting to drill through an exterior brick wall to run a wire outside. I have a ranch home built about 1972 and it has a daylight basement. The area I choose to drill is above the block and maybe the second course of brick and I want to come out just above my drop ceiling in the basement, just below the floor on the first floor. I drilled through the brick from the outside with no problem. I then hit what I thought was steel so I bought a 12" long 1/2" bit and whatever I was trying to drill just dulled my new bit! I then went to Fastenal and bought a 1/2" bit that I was told it would go through rebar or anything! Guess what, whatever is in there ruined this bit as well!

    Any ideas on what I need to complete this task?

    Thank you
    Last edited by jbs1; 02-20-2014 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,643

    Default Re: Drilling through exterior brick wall

    Quote Originally Posted by jbs1 View Post
    Any ideas on what I need to complete this task?
    Not without getting you at least an honorable mention in the Darwin awards.

    You might have to go with a diamond coring bit. You can probably rent a coring drill and bit from your local rental yard. In addition to the per-hour or per-day rental, there may also a wear charge on the bit -- so much per thousandth of an inch of wear.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Drilling through exterior brick wall

    See if you can find a 3/16 inch hammer drill bit 16 inches long drill a pilot hole from the inside out say 1 inch either side of your existing hole if you penatrate than increase the hole Dia. to correct size.
    Drilling from the inside side prevents spalling of a large hole on the exit side.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Drilling through exterior brick wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence View Post
    See if you can find a 3/16 inch hammer drill bit 16 inches long drill a pilot hole from the inside out say 1 inch either side of your existing hole if you penatrate than increase the hole Dia. to correct size.
    Drilling from the inside side prevents spalling of a large hole on the exit side.
    You are correct! I was trying to drill a 1/2" hole and hit something harder than the brick. I ruined several metal cutting drills with no luck. I than bought a long 1/4" drill bit and used my neighbors hammer drill & I got through! Then went up to the 1/2" with not much effort. I don't understand whey that mortar or cement was sooooo hard! I'm done, thanks for your advice!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    104 monmouth way ,Clifton Park, NY 12065
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Drilling through exterior brick wall

    Machine drilling is not applicable on any surface. if you want to penetrate concrete then punch tool is better option.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Drilling through exterior brick wall

    Quote Originally Posted by jbs1 View Post
    You are correct! I was trying to drill a 1/2" hole and hit something harder than the brick. I ruined several metal cutting drills with no luck. I than bought a long 1/4" drill bit and used my neighbors hammer drill & I got through! Then went up to the 1/2" with not much effort. I don't understand whey that mortar or cement was sooooo hard! I'm done, thanks for your advice!!!
    Drilling concrete will ruin a metal drill
    Drilling steel will ruin a concrete drill
    Drilling through a steel reinforced concrete wall will ruin your day
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,188

    Default Re: Drilling through exterior brick wall

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    Drilling through a steel reinforced concrete wall will ruin your day
    Boy will it ever! I spent two weeks drilling 3/4" anchor holes for shear wall brackets in a parking garage back when I did Form Carpentry. We quickly discovered that the rodbusters had 'conveniently forgotten' to leave pockets for this, there was a detail on the plans but it referred to a shop drawing which the pre-stress contractor never supplied, and nobody bothered to check anything. Half the holes hit re-bar and the attachment area was specific and non-moveable for the pre-stress, so we were stuck. The job super had threaded studs of the proper size tack-welded to the plates so it would pass visual inspection As per the original plan, there more stories were added later. I won't go in that place- I even hate driving next to it. Still standing, but for how long? I'd never stay quiet about something like that today but I was young and stupid back then. I did talk with a city inspector about it years later on another job, he was of the mind that since the city now owned the building nothing would be done about it so there was no point in pursuing it further. Lots of sweat expended into half-drilled holes, lots of blue air when the drill hit re-bar. Not knowing if that particular bar was vertical or horizontal meant there was a 50-50 chance the next hole beside it would hit it too- a nice motivator for the job

    Residential carpentry is SO much nicer sometimes

    Phil

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