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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:53 am 
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Last night I attempted to install a new exterior light. The wiring was fine but I came across the problem I always have with drilling into brick - the drill bit always slips slightly causing the hole to be slightly out. The result was a wonky light.

In plaster, wood etc I'd drill a small pilot hole first but alsoas been told with brick just to go straight in with a 6mm drill bit. The drill bits are blunt by design so it's really tricky unless I'm missing something obvious.

Any tips to stop the bit slipping and getting a the hole on the right place?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:35 am 
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I usually offer the item up to the wall then use a small bit just to mark the hole and stop the bit from wandering. Then change to a larger bit to complete the hole, the bits that I prefer are the Bosch multi material ones that can go through most materials as they tend to last a lot longer than ordinary masonry bits.
I also ‘ pulse ‘ the drill to start with and that also helps it to stop wander.

I use a combi drill to start small holes , then a sds drill ( if required) to finish the job as I find that to start a accurate hole with a sds drill is almost impossible for me.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:45 am 
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spr0ut wrote:
Last night I attempted to install a new exterior light. The wiring was fine but I came across the problem I always have with drilling into brick - the drill bit always slips slightly causing the hole to be slightly out. The result was a wonky light.

In plaster, wood etc I'd drill a small pilot hole first but alsoas been told with brick just to go straight in with a 6mm drill bit. The drill bits are blunt by design so it's really tricky unless I'm missing something obvious.

Any tips to stop the bit slipping and getting a the hole on the right place?


Drilling into brick is open to many problems, if the surface of the brick is rough, the drill bit will find its own way to the lowest point at the site of your intended hole - with experience, you watch for this and angle the drill accordingly to return it to its intended course. If you think it's going to be a problem, mark the hole with a *cross* instead of a *spot* and this will give a sight reference to any aberration in direction.

You can use a smaller bit to start the hole in the same way that you can for timber, it's still susceptible to problems but with the smaller hole initially they are easier to overcome.

Masonry bits are not sharp like an HSS twist bit but they still need to be sharp enough to grind away the brick quickly and efficiently, if yours are old, consider changing them.

Start drilling much slower rather than going full chat straight away - you'll be able to spot any inconsistencies and correct them sooner.

With glazed tiles which are very prone to drill point slippage I pop the glaze at the marked spot for hole with a gentle hammer tap on a masonry nail - I've never had to resort to this on brick but it might work.

It's difficult to condense experience into a few words, but what you've experienced is nothing new or strange, experience overcomes it quite easily.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:13 pm 
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2/3/4" nail two or three blows 3 to 4mm dent :thumbright:
when fixing a timber to a wall i always use nails and nail the timber to the wall in plaster this will be perhaps 12mm and easy to find in any wall
i always draw a circle round the dents iff any confusion can happen when choosing which dent to hammer drill

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:03 pm 
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Drill into the joints not the brick . Bad practice to fix to facing bricks and should be avoided if at all possible.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:24 pm 
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Really? You'll always get a better fixing in the brick than in the mortars

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:31 pm 
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Buggers the brick up though leaving ugly impossible to repair holes when things arre removed hence it being bad practice on facing brickwork . A mortar joint is much easier to repair.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Grendel wrote:
Drill into the joints not the brick . Bad practice to fix to facing bricks and should be avoided if at all possible.


I fully appreciate the sentiments in your idea, but for me, the fixing is the important thing. I've never willingly fixed anything in a mortar joint, in many older buildings, the mortar is no harder than the plaster.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:46 pm 
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And I can fully appreciate the idea of fixing to brick or stone to get a firmer fixing. I've worked in older buildings for most of my life and have had to cope with some pretty soft mortar at times but have stuck to the idea of not fixing to facing work if at all possible and nothing's ever fell down to the best of my knowledge.
As it is the original post does illustrate the point quite well. It's only an external light being put up so no great weight and in all probability not a huge lifespan before the paint peels off and someone decides to place it when there's always the possibility that the holes in the bricks will be in the wrong place and visible or not covered by the new light.
Still , academic really as sprOut has already attempted to drill into the bricks.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:17 am 
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as ajay says tend to avoid the pug on exterior walls :lol:
it not only tends to be very soft after years off use it also tends to be worn back perhaps 5-10mm behind the face so not a good choice generally
but as we generaly have our own field off concerns we tend to not think off others problems just our own :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:11 am 
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That last sentence is probably the most telling and in some ways it's a sad indictment of the industry we work in where most are only concerned with their own little job and give scant thought about other trades or the future of the building being worked upon ( dare I say electrians and plumbers are probably the worst offenders?) I can understand their arguments , time is money and so on and perhaps I've had the "luxury" of spending most of my life working with other trades rather than just alongside or before and after and where we didn't always just go for the easy option.
I'll still maintain that fixing to facing bricks is bad practice. I'm currently working on a refurb and the job is coming towards the end. Looks very nice except for the front wall which has numerous holes and broken off fixings in the bricks . The owner is seriously considering rendering the wall which as it is a semi detached property would give an " unbalanced" look with next door.


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