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Old 06-16-2009, 04:51 PM   #16
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Thanks all great advice.Blowing hole with compressed air as well as yanking drill bit up while drilling helps clear the hole. Bought a Ryobi impact 18volt gun great tool it drives those screws without a problem.


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Old 06-17-2009, 09:05 AM   #17
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Tapcons are wonderful, you shouldnt need an electric device to screw them in, just a socket.

dust left in the hole is the #1 reason i've found that stops the screw from going in and thus breaking the head off.. compressed air with the "straw" on the end is best for clearing them out.

another tip for extending the life of your drill bit is to blow out the dust in the hole about halfway down through your drilling. Mashing the dust on the tip for 30 seconds wears it down faster. Do this extra step while it seems like adding time to the project actually will save time in the long run by conserving your bit.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:29 PM   #18
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For you folks that are considering installing plywood over a concrete slab, here is how they do it here in the Philippines:

1. First, a thin poly foam moisture barrier is installed directly over the exsisting concrete floor. I don't have a photo of the poly foam sheeting actually on the floor, but here is a photo of a roll of the stuff:

2. Next, a layer of 10 mm Marine grade plywood will be installed over the poly foam sheeting and secured with screws into the concrete floor.

Here is a worker using a large hand drill with a masonary bit to drill through the plywood and into the concrete floor below:

3. A plastic anchor is then inserted into each hole, and the end of the plastic anchor that extends slightly above the plywood is cut off with a sharp chisel:

4. Then, scews that resemble drywall screws (I think they are actually drywall screws) are pounded into the plastic anchor with a hammer (quick and easy) ... This holds the plywood very tight to the concrete below:

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 01-13-2010 at 04:40 PM. Reason: link for pics no longer working
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:35 AM   #19
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#1, omg
#2, wow, slitely different practices here in north america, specially northern states / canada
#3 he might not be wearing shoes, but i hope he wearing eye protection if hes "pounding" in those screws.

thanks for sharing
Life is an experience... Learn from it!
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:41 AM   #20
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If Im not mistaken the Tapcon people recommend dilling the hole 1" deeper than the screw penetration.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by wingman77 View Post
Thanks all great advice.Blowing hole with compressed air as well as yanking drill bit up while drilling helps clear the hole. Bought a Ryobi impact 18volt gun great tool it drives those screws without a problem.

after sucking the hole out and yanking out dust w/ the bit, the same drill that couldn't do the job earlier worked just fine. oh and also use the 'hammer' setting.

thx to the above posters for the solution!!!
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:36 PM   #22
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Tapcons can be replaced by drilling a hole slightly larger in diameter than a framing spike.
Insert a doubled over piece of rebar tie wire into the hole as far as the depth of the hole.
Insert framing spike and hammer it home.
Would only suggest this for down nailing, not vertical material.

Properly sizing the hole/nail/wire combination will create a very solid connection. Ideally suited to the subfloor application.
Short of cutting off a body part, the worst that can happen in woodworking is manufacturing really nice looking kindling. --- Quoted from lenaitch
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:54 PM   #23
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I've never had any problems with Philip head tapcons, never blew out/sucked out the holes or needed an impact driver. I think the OP's problem is not using the right bit, or not "laying into it" when driving the screw. Using hex heads isn't the answer because for this application you'd want the heads to be flush.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:51 PM   #24
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The above link is from the manufacturer. They recommend drilling the hole 1/2 inch deeper than required, as well as fully cleaning the hole. It also recommends using a hammer drill in hammer drill mode.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:08 AM   #25
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How we did it

My husband and I are installing 3/4 inch plywood sub floor over terrazzo, which is apparently stronger than plain concrete. We too had difficulty getting the screws to go in. Here's how we did it.

First, we were using the smaller Tapcons (which have red on the box). We were using 2 1/4" skinny Tapcons. The concrete bit just wasn't strong enough. It would break. And we weren't using the Tapcon bit. We were using a higher-grade Bosch bit. The bit was just too skinny. It didn't have enough strength, so it would break. The solution was to move to the larger diameter Tapcons (with green on the box). We wound up using 1/4 x 1 3/4 Tapcons with the phillips head. I also recommend the 1 3/4 depth because it heats up your drill less than the longer screws, and Tapcon themselves said that one inch over the depth of the material is sufficient. With these screws we used a 3/16 inch Bosch SDS plus rotary hammer drill bit. This bit is doing the job, cutting through the terrazzo with no trouble. We do break a bit occasionally, so buy one half dozen before you start. But the system is working.

Next you need a #3 phillips bit to drive in your screws. We tried doing this with a regular drill, but it wasn't powerful enough. You need an impact driver. We bought a Hitachi impact driver at Lowes for $189, and it's turned out to be a great little tool -- very well made. The batteries charge super fast, and that little tool drives in the screws with no problems. You need the #3 phillips bit that is made for an impact driver, not a standard drill.

You also need a separate drill with a 3/16 inch wood bit for predrilling the holes in the plywood. So it goes like this:

1. Drill holes with your 3/16 inch wood bit using a standard drill in the corners of the first sheet. After the corners are done you will drill the rest of the sheet.
2. Use a rotary hammer drill with a 3/16 inch bit to drill into the concrete. Don't drill too far lest you overheat your drill or bust a pipe or something. I tried using tape as a guide, but it didn't work. Just use your eyesight. Don't drill too many holes or it heats up the drill bit too much. Don't drill more than ten holes at a time, for example.
3. Drive in a 1/4 x 1 3/4 Tapcon with an impact driver using a #3 phillips bit made for impact drivers.

This system works. The screws sink below the surface of the board (but not too low), and we are really moving along at a fast clip. You need good tools, though. We have a Bosch rotary hammer drill. If you are having trouble drilling through the concrete, your drill isn't powerful enough.

Buy a half dozen of each -- #3 bits, 3/16 wood bits, and 3/16 concrete bits. We are doing 1,000 square feet, and we have already gone through that many and aren't yet done.

Best of luck.


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