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Old 08-08-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
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Attach 1x3 to CMU wall w/out hammer drill?


Is it possible to attach some wood 1x3 cleats to a CMU wall without a hammer drill? We just have a regular drill... thoughts?
I don't know if this makes any difference but this will be on the exterior...


Last edited by smoochas; 08-08-2010 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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Attach 1x3 to CMU wall w/out hammer drill?


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Originally Posted by smoochas View Post
Is it possible to attach some wood 1x3 cleats to a CMU wall without a hammer drill? We just have a regular drill... thoughts?
I don't know if this makes any difference but this will be on the exterior...
You don't HAVE to have a hammer drill to drill concrete. You'll just wish for one after using a regular drill with a mansonry bit.

A very sharp masonry bit may do the job without hammering.


Masonry is very hard, but brittle. As a result, abrading it away is very inefficient--it's too hard. But if you hammer it, it will break off and the flutes of the bit just auger the pieces/dust away.

Every notice that the bigger the masonry drilling job, the more it relies on hammering rather than drilling? This is no accident.

If you haven't a hammer drill, I'd recommend one of two options:

1) Rent an SDS drill. The Slotted Drive System bits (pioneered by Bosch) drill MUCH faster than a regular hammer drill and save a ton of time. The SDS design gives much more hammering action, and hammering is what masonry drilling is all about:
[youtube]SKDIggpbXqU[/youtube]

2) Use a powder nailer. These work pretty will for attaching to concrete. They attach thing securely and quickly (hence, so many "production" builders use them). Only downsides imo are lack of do-overs. A powder-driven fastener damages concrete when removed. Better to cut off and leave the stub in the concrete. They also take a little dialing in to match the charge energy with the fastener (called a "pin") and material density.


I'd personally choose option #1, as a quality concrete screw (GRK's Caliburn is the best available IMO, but a Tapcon works well also). They are more secure and less damaging/stressing to the CMU.

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Old 08-08-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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Attach 1x3 to CMU wall w/out hammer drill?


I would just buy the Ryobi hammer drill. It's around $69. A concrete bit is made to chisel out the material not cut it like a wood bit. I spent about 2 hours trying to drill a hole with a normal drill. I got fed up and sprang for the Ryobi. The same hole took about 5 seconds with that drill.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:53 AM   #4
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Attach 1x3 to CMU wall w/out hammer drill?


Harbor Freight has a cheap hammer drill for about 20 bucks and cheap bits.

If you are only using it for the 1 job why not.
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