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Old 05-28-2008, 03:14 PM   #1
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Tight drilling angle


Hi;
I have cut a hole in the kitchen wall for 2 duplex receptacles. This is an outside wall.
Below this wall there is a crawl space (no basement under this area).
There is an existing duplex on the wall next to the one I am installing. I am in the same wall space as the existing outlet.

Here's my dilemma:
I am trying to bring two new 12/2 Romex cables to these new receptacles.
Problem: I cannot drill through the floor header either from the kitchen or from the crawl space below- due to a lack of the proper tool, or maybe the know-how.

At my disposal I have an old Craftsman corded 3/8" drill.
I have several wood boring bits (boring, not auger)
I have a flexible 52" 1/4" extender

The problem is the angle I need to drill from.
When in the kitchen, trying to get the boring bit on the extension shaft into the hole and down to the header at an angle that it would go through seems impossible.

If I go into the crawl space, I cannot get the angle for the bit because there is a floor joist running directly under the wall, and there is space behind the joist but it is too close to the outside wall of the house.
When I tried to go at an angle through the floor joist and into the wall space, I ended up hitting the outside wall before I went through the header, and ruined the bit. The outside wall is brick, so the bit was destroyed quickly.

If I had tried to go straight up through the floor in front of the joist, I would have come out in the floor just in front of the wall.
I suppose I could go through the joist at a steeper angle and get into the wall space before hitting the outside wall, but it is very difficult to work in the crawl space with the equipment i have.
Perhaps if I used an auger bit instead of a boring bit, I would have a better chance.

Now there's also plan "B". I can pull up a new 12/3 Romex cable through the hole where the present 12/2 BX is. I believe the hole is big enough for the 12/3 Romex, which shouldn't be much thicker than the BX.
I really wanted two new circuits though, and that is why I am trying to drill a new hole.

I am also trying to avoid the extra expense of buying 50ft of 12/3 Romex and a double-pole breaker (which is required when using the 12/3 configuration).

I believe that if I had a Right Angle drill, I could do the job from upstairs, but I don't, and am not going to buy one just for this job.
I could have used a Diversi-Bit, but I think that the extension I am using is the same thing (It's also a Greenlee diversi-bit product).

If there were basement under this area, things would be much easier, since I wouldn't have to squeeze myself into the crawl space.

I suppose there are a number of other plans:
Use surface raceway going along the wall from a location where I can get a cable to the basement, and go into the wall just below the new receptacles.
Open the wall in several other spots, and run the cable horizontally along the wall until I get to a place I can drop cable into the basement.
I would rather avoid making more holes in the wall.

Any suggestions, ideas?

Thanks

FW
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
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Tight drilling angle


I'm not sure I'm tracking the issue well as it is hard to figure out with words what being there would be simple to understand but...I had to run new cable for a wall mounted microwave and I cut a 6" x 18" square hole in wall from floor up. That allowed me to get drill and bit into the stud plate at the right angle into the basement (I also had a floor joist in the way). I was able to snake wire where needed and the hole in the sheetrock allowed me to put in a protective nail plate on the floor plate. REplace sheetrock and you're done.
I hope this helps.
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:48 PM   #3
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Tight drilling angle


Bob, just wanted to throw in that your option seems so easy, it must be wrong, kinda like not seeing the forest cause the trees are in the way. been in that spot before and can't remember how it worked out but your idea of cutting the sheetrock to get in there sounds great.
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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Tight drilling angle


Sometimes you just got to cut a hole where you need to work. No point in trying to get around it. Cut a hole at the floor, you can even stay above the trim, cut it big enough to get the drill in there, and drill a hole. Then patch it up, and repaint that wall. Better than alot of sweating and man-grunting in a dirty crawl space.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:50 AM   #5
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Tight drilling angle


This is a very old wall, which is plaster, and has a wire mesh over the lath.
I am afraid that cutting such a large hole would present problems upon repair.
I realize that sometimes cutting is necessary, but in this case, I am willing to compromise with the 2 circuits instead of 3, using 12/3 cable in the existing hole.
I am going to do some more probing, and perhaps I can get the correct angle from down in the crawl space.

FW
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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Tight drilling angle


Would a right angle type drill work from the crawl space? They can be rented for a pretty reasonable price. I had to drill a similar location and I had to cut the shaft of a spade bit to shorten it. I drilled as deep as that would go. I then stuck another spade bit into the hole, chucked it into the drill and finished the hole. I had to unchuck the bit to get it back out of the hole. Pain in the butt but it worked. Other times I have drilled at an angle to end up inside the wall space rather then straight up.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:50 AM   #7
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Tight drilling angle


I never even thought of renting a RA drill. We have a place nearby that would probably have them too!
I ended up going back into the crawl space, and first with a long 1/4" drill bit went through the joist at a steeper angle than before, and got into the wall space.
I then followed the small bore with the 3/4". It went very easily, indicating that my previous hole (I used the hole I had drilled last week to start) was very close to getting through, but was just a little too low.

Now the two 12/2 cables are run, and all I have to do is secure the outlet box, and connect everything to the main panel.

FW
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:13 AM   #8
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Tight drilling angle


Congrats on doing it without any demo work! Working in crawl spaces is not fun, I have something coming up running speaker wire for a home theater involving a crawl and an attic, I can't wait.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:33 AM   #9
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Great. I'm glad you were able to do it without messing with the lathe and plaster.
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