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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a wall with fire blocks in it. I need to put some RG-6 and some speaker wire down the wall. I was told that there exists a drill bit which has 18" extensions....after drilling through the top plate you attach about 4 of these 18" extensions and the drill throught the fire block. Then you attach four more extensions and you can use this 8ft long "drill bit" as a fish to pull the wires back through.


Anybody heard of this? Or anything like it? Or does anybody have any suggestions (other than removing the drywall) for getting wires down this wall? Thanks!
 

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I'd stay away from the extensions. Home Depot and Lowes both carry the 5-ft, and possibly 6-ft, drill bits -- they're in the Electrical department. They're also available, along with a lot of other helpful tools, at the "wholesale" supply outlets, like Graybar and ADI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, but the 5ft-6ft drill bits are hard to use in an attic where you're drilling through a top plate near a roofline.... The extensions let you get it into tight places....



I'll check Home Depot for what you're talking about...thanks for the info!
 

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The long drill bits Tony is talking about usually have a 1/2" bit with only a 1/4" shaft. They are commonly nicknamed flex bits for obvious reasons. Depending on your roof pitch you should be able to get it in there ok. They can flex at a 90 degree angle with about an 18" radius. If it is too tight drill a hole with a small bit first then stick the flex bit down.
 

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The extensions are made for spade bits, commonly found under the Irwin brand name Speed Bore. They do come in 18-inch lengths and have (usually) two allen wrench set screws to grip the shaft of the spade bit. You can add multiple extensions together, but the caution Tony gave you is well deserved. If one of the extensions comes loose (and they do sometimes) them you'll lose your bit and some of your extensions inside the wall.


I second (or are we at thirds or fourths) the vote for the flexi bit. If you're close to the ridge line, I've had success in drilling the top plate hole with a standard spade bit then using the flexi to drill through the fire blocking. Usually, with the top plate hole pre-drilled that way, you can feed the flexi bit through the hole and work under the low roof. The flexi bits come in different lengths, but since they bend so easily I'd get the longest you can. They also sell a tool to help bend and direct the flexi bit, but I never use mine. I find that using a leather-gloved hand does a better job.
 

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you could also remove SMALL portion of dry wall, a notch, just above the fire stop, and just below the stop, notch out the stud enough for the cable and connector, and then have a small drywall repair. cheaper than buying bits for possible one time usage.
 

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If you make a mistake you may end up doing rgag's suggestion anyway. Make sure you're able to get the bit to go straight down. if you go down angled, you'll pop out of the wall. This is even worse if it's an exterior wall because you'll end up having to color match stucco or whatever exterior surface material you have, plus re-do any waterproofing. Popping out of an exterior wall can be a nightmare.
 

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I second John G and rgag's suggestions....


I recently had to accomplish the same task, and I have a 6' flexi bit that is discussed above. Due to the angle that I was drilling, I "popped" out of the wall before I cleared the fire block (luckily it was an interior wall, and was on the "right" side). I ended up cutting a channel in the drywall and notching the studs to run the wires.


Would have been nice to bore straight through, but flexy bits can be tricky, especially at high angles of attack.


Just my $.02


Cheers,


Rich
 

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A few months ago I ran CAT 5 cable throughout my house, upstairs and downstairs. I used interlocking drill bit extensions that were a foot long. There are some that were 6 or 9 inches, I think. The thing I liked about these is that you didn't have to worry about the extensions coming apart like the ones that are secured with the allen wrench set screws to grip the shaft. I tried a set of those and no matter how tight I screwed them, they kept coming undone will I was drilling.


I will look for the name of the extension is called, I think F connector. But they worked great and because they weren't flexible, I don't have to worry too much about not drilling straight.


Jeremiah
 
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