Fixing a TV bracket

Postby nikkimorgan38 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:29 am

I am trying to fix a tv bracket to my bedroom wall. I drilled the first hole fine but the 2nd & 3rd will only drill so far. I can't get the drill to go in any further & the holes aren't deep enough. Any suggestions?
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Simply Build It

Postby acsimpson » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:07 pm

what sort of drill and drill bit are you using? Have you checked the wall for hidden cables or pipes?
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Postby nikkimorgan38 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:29 am

Yes checked for cables & pipes (although not sure if I did it properly)! If there is a pipe there would it stop me from drilling any further? Am using a drill bit for brickwork & drill is one with hammer action.
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Postby acsimpson » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:51 pm

Assuming that the walls are plaster onto blockwork did you feel that you had drilled any block work or did it just sink straight through the plaster? you may have hit a joint on the first hole which would make it drill far easier.

How deep are the holes before they stop drilling?

I don't know if a pipe would stop the drill without it leaking, I've not had the miss-fortune to hit one yet.
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Postby theelegantman » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:55 pm

Drilling into walls, especially for mounting TV's, is a specialty of mine. I have a wealth of experience with different building techniques and substrates but that being said, i learn something new from time to time.

I hope this long-winded response offers you some help.

If you are drilling through plaster into masonry, is there a gap between the plaster and masonry? Usually this would indicate a 'dabbed' wall, where splodges of plaster are used to fix the plasterboard to either a lightweight, compressed fuel-ash type or to a heavier blockwork wall or brick. If there is no gap, this usually indicates a rendered brickwork. As a general rule of thumb, if there's a gap and you're fixing something with a big 'moment' or leverage against the wall, a stud type fixing is best. If it's a soft substrate, a resin anchor is best suited as an expanding or sleeve anchor will not be able to acquire any 'grip' inside the masonry. If there's no gap between the masonry and the plaster, a decent sized screw with a 6mm diameter and a length of at least 60mm will be suitable with a brown rawplug. Make sure you bed the rawplug back into the masonry, otherwise all the compression (grip) will be too far forward and cause the plaster or masonry to 'pop'.

So now, we should be in a position to understand what you're fixing into?

In most cases, a masonry bit with hammer action, will happily buzz its way through any hard material until it gets to steel or if you're lucky, plastic. A tell-tale change in the noise the 'bit' makes will let you know that you're no longer drilling into what you thought you were.

If it's the case that you're drilling a short way into masonry or plaster and the drill bit stops, have a look above and below where you are drilling. Is there an electrical socket? Could be you've just been saved a great expense by the metal capping between the wiring and the plaster. If this isn't the case, you may be drilling into a steel support. Are you above a doorway or window? Get a bright torch and try and squint down the hole, if you see a reflection of any sort, i'd suggest drilling elsewhere.

I have known plastic piping to temporarily stop a masonry bit too, could there be a drainage pipe behind? Again, i'd suggest drilling elsewhere.

I really hope i've been some help to you, but i'll keep an eye on this if you have more info or questions.
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Postby rosebery » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:33 pm

First hole is probably through plaster into a mortar joint between two bricks / blocks as acs has already surmised.

2nd and 3rd holes have probably hit solid brick.

There is only one answer - use a better quality drill.

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