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Drilling problem

DIY QuestionsCategory: DIY QuestionsDrilling problem
Alf Berrington asked 1 month ago

I’ve got an ongoing problem drilling into a wall and keeping a small bore hole and, more importantly, keeping anything attached to the wall..

First a bit of background – the property we live in was built in the 1920’s and the walls may still have the original plaster on,  which may be the cause of my problem.

Every time I drill holes, to attach anything, the plaster just seems to be quite thick as the drill has to go in a distance before I hit brick. It then comes out as a very fine, grey, powder. Then comes my second problem. The brickwork seems to be very solid, similar to engineering bricks, and very resistant to any kind of pressure. This is turn causes the drill bit to wobble causing the hole to widen and leading to a lot of frustration and “adult” cursing. Then, as I place the rawl plug into the hole. it doesn’t slide in snug and the screw turns the rawl plug as it has no grip. I am using the correct rawl plug for the size of screw and don’t know what to do to solve the problem. I’ve drilled holes in more modern properties and never had this problem. 
Can you offer any kind of solution to my problem?

1 Answers
Jonathan answered 1 month ago

Alf hi. I’m afraid you have a brick called a Staffordshire Blue. Very good engineering brick BUT very hard and almost impossible to drill into. The easiest way is to drill into the joints. Make sure you use longer screws than normal. 50/60/75mm in length. Obviously a thinner gauge will help. If you cannot accommodate your fixings in with the joints then perhaps you will need to fix a piece of wood either as a batten or larger piece as a ‘backing’ to fix your item to. By the sounds of it you have lime mortar plaster, hence the grey dust, which has no strength at all so you do need to go through that to get a good fixing.
Get back to me if you are still having problems.
Hope all this helps if not get back to me.

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