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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #1
Since I mostly do "old work", I've come up with quick and easy solutions to most cable fishing problems. There's one that continues to plague me. Drilling the top plate of an exterior wall where the roof framing rests on that wall. There's just darned little room between the top plate and the roof sheathing. I've tried the "pathfinder" type of bit to try drilling a curved hole. I've used shortie bits in right angled drills. There doesn't seem to be an easy solution to this problem. While it's certainly possible to do, there doesn't seem to be an "easy" mehtod... yet. I just thought I'd post the puzzle just to see if someone has already solved this.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Mark, I think you know I do a lot of old work myself. I have the same issues with top plates. One of the best solutions I use is what you mentioned. I use a cordless drill with a 5/8"-3/4" spade bit and drill a curved hole. It all depends on construction as to whether it will work or not.

2x6 ceiling, 2x8
2x4 or 2x6 walls
4/12, 5/12, etc.
I think anything over 6/12 is not a big deal. It's the 4's and 5's that kick your a$$.
How about the roofing nails in you scalp???
 

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Maybe there are some alarm techs here, if not, see if you can find one locally. Those guys can run a wire through a bobcat.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Speedy Petey said:
How about the roofing nails in you scalp???
That's one of my top 10 favorite things about working in attics. ;)
Teetorbilt said:
...can run a wire through a bobcat.
That would be a new experience for me. I can't seem to find the code section that covers the wiring requirements of wildlife. A few sections reference vegitation, but none seem to cover animals. :)
 

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Speedy Petey said:
Mark, I think you know I do a lot of old work myself. I have the same issues with top plates. One of the best solutions I use is what you mentioned. I use a cordless drill with a 5/8"-3/4" spade bit and drill a curved hole. It all depends on construction as to whether it will work or not.

2x6 ceiling, 2x8
2x4 or 2x6 walls
4/12, 5/12, etc.
I think anything over 6/12 is not a big deal. It's the 4's and 5's that kick your a$$.
How about the roofing nails in you scalp???
A lot of my work is old work as well, and I face this challenge also.
I've used the paddle bit method and that seems to work pretty well; but I've also had a lot of success using a 1" forstner bit chucked up deep in my right angle drill.
In some really tough instances I've used a diversa-bit (the one with the five foot long, flexible shaft) to drill up from the opening in the wall.

And yeah, I've left my share of flesh and folicle hanging from the tips of roofing nails. :(

I'm new to this forum BTW, but I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Rhett Watson
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #6
Atricaudatus said:
In some really tough instances I've used a diversa-bit (the one with the five foot long, flexible shaft) to drill up from the opening in the wall.
I have those bits too, but in an exterior, insulated wall they're big trouble. You can end up with enough insulation wrapped up in the bit that it might not ever come back out of the wall cavity again. (maybe that happened to me once? ;) ) It's my choice of last resort for insulated walls.
 

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md, depending on how much you have managed to wrap, most of the time 'reverse' will get you out of it.
I always enter at low speed to prevent the high speed windup.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #8
Teetorbilt said:
md, depending on how much you have managed to wrap, most of the time 'reverse' will get you out of it.
Key phrase here being "most of the time". The d'versibit's have about 4" of spiral on the end of the long shaft. Depending on how many revolutions it takes the screw point to grab and pull the rest of the bit through, and how sharp and fast the bit cuts, the spiral will have to turn many hundreds of times within the fiberglass insulation. It's almost a no-win to drill within batt insulation.
 

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mdshunk said:
I have those bits too, but in an exterior, insulated wall they're big trouble. You can end up with enough insulation wrapped up in the bit that it might not ever come back out of the wall cavity again. (maybe that happened to me once? ;) ) It's my choice of last resort for insulated walls.
Oh, I agree. Like I said: I use it "in some really tough instances..."
It's a last resort with me too, since it can end up looking like a pink cotton candy from the fair, and can also "run" off course and be difficult to control.

But here's a tip that might be useful if you are ever in situation where the diversabit is the only option:

I also do plumbing contracting, so I have pex pipe on hand all the time. (It is the absolute best thing for fishing walls and between rafters across vaulted ceilings, etc.) If you get a length of 3/4" pex cut a little shorter than your diversabit, you can "sleeve" the shaft with it, The bit will turn while the pex can be held stationary thereby preventing (usually) the bit from getting fouled up in the fiberglass.

Of course, I prefer to drill from the top wherever possible.

I was one of those "alarm guys" before I became an electrician, and I've managed to fish some wires through some pretty tricky places; but I am not sure about running one through a bobcat. Maybe if the cat was cooperative... nah, maybe not. ;)


Rhett
 

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What I use is the entention shaft for my angle drill, its about 4 feet long and uses a 45o angle rather than the 90o.
It being that long gets you out of the area and allows you the fredom to push on the drill bit.

Milwaukee extentions I think are still made.

BJD

Iteam #4AC31 Grainger, Milwaukee #48-06-2860
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #11
Bjd said:
What I use is the entention shaft for my angle drill, its about 4 feet long and uses a 45o angle rather than the 90o.
It being that long gets you out of the area and allows you the fredom to push on the drill bit.
Perhaps you don't have a clear idea of what the question was. Thanks for your guess, anyhow.
 

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Hi all, I am an alarm guy that you speak about. The bobcat is possible with the right tools and some cloroform.

As for the header and a wall in old work is a far different issue. Cut in a single gang box and switch height so it can be covered with a blank plate or install a switch. Depending upon what your need to run thru the hole will require a different trick. The DiversaBit is a good choice but much easier with the shaft bending tool to hold it straight. To avoid the insulation from wrapping is it best to hand push the drill up the wall pushing the insulation from side to side to create a cavitity. Then use the bending tool to get the bit as straight as possible. Besure that the augar tip is in good condition. Start the drill slow so as not to over feed which will strip out the augar feed. Once thru reverse drill to pull out the bit. Now here is the trick. Turn the drill around and lightly tape a string loop to then of the bit. Push the end of the bit up the wall and miss and miss and miss and then hit the new hole. Always close your eyes an visualize. Push the end if the bit up thru the wall so the string loop is above the cap in the attic. Then going to the attic with a fiberglass extenision pole reach out and hook the string loop and pull it loose from the drill bit and tape. Collapse the pole and retreive the string. Then it is a simple matter of attaching the thing, wire, what ever to the string and pull it thru to you from where ever.

A slight diversion to the above is to use a 25 foot X 1/4" flexiable rod to first find the hole and then push up. When you hit the roof line keep pushing and the rod will flex it's way out into the attic space.

I do like the pex tubing idea :Thumbs: Need to give that a spin some day.

Hope this helps. Don't tell anyone how you performed this trick other than to say is was MAGIC :D . BTW I am new here and enjoy the good reading and tips.

Les
 
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