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Advice needed on drilling precisely lined up holes

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by noobiediyer, 27 Jul 2021.

  1. noobiediyer

    noobiediyer

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    Context: I have relatively basic knowledge of DIYing.

    I tried to install a wireless Ring doorbell onto a brick wall. I placed the device on the brick and ensured it was level with my trusty spirit level, marked up the 4 screw holes using a pencil. I double checked the hole markings twice to make sure it lined up and it was level.

    I then used the drill on non-hammer to get the hole started in the exact location I wanted so it didn't slip. I did this was all 4 holes. I then checked that the holes all still lined up with the doorbell. I then proceeded to drill each of the holes with the hammer setting. The holes seemed to line up. I put in the wall plugs, I checked the alignment with the doorbell again and noticed that the small centre of the plug (where the screws go) didn't exactly line up.

    I couldn't screw in all 4 screws as they were misaligned. But I managed to get 3 of them in which it okay but not great. As far as I'm aware, the drill didn't slip when I was drilling and I checked the alignment multiple times. So I'm not quite sure where I went wrong.

    In hindsight, I think I should have done the first hole only. Screw in the device with that one hole and then used the device with the screw holes as a guide to drill a smaller guide hole (using a thinner drill bit). My only worry is that the mount for the holes on the Ring doorbell is plastic so I could damage it by using it as a guide for the drill. Although, I could drill slowly to help avoid that.

    It's too late for my Ring device but any help or technique I can use when faced with a similar task in future?
     
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  3. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    Its common for the bit to move as it finds its way through the brick. Loosen all the screws line them all up and gently tighten them a bit on each screw. You should be able to pull out a little misalignment with a bit of angle on the screw. Next time perhaps use a pilot drill (smaller bit) or use a drill which takes SDS bits directly.
     
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  4. noobiediyer

    noobiediyer

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    I did try the technique already to loosen all screws and tighten each a little at a time but this didn't work as the angle on the misaligned one is too much. Will definitely try a smaller bit for guide hole too.

    I don't have an SDS drill but I'm curious as to how that would have helped?

    Is my idea of using the actual device and it's screw holes as a guide to drill holes a good one?
     
  5. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    no - because you will likely damage the case. a piece of paper lined up to make a template works.

    SDS drills give more movement to the hammer action so they go through the brick more easily and are less likely to slip. without a picture its hard to see how to correct.
     
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  6. Notch7

    Notch7

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    I recommend dewalt extreme masonry bits -they have a double ground point -so locate better.

    A great tip is as per Motorbiking mentioned -drill with a 4mm bit first, then increase to final 6mm/7mm/8mm size for the plug

    the other thing is you can drill 2 holes diagonally opposite, then hold your whatever will be fixed and check if the final pencil marks are still ok.
     
  7. johnny2007

    johnny2007

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    File a bit of the misaligned hole on the fixing plate.
    It's only plastic and you can enlarge the hole with an hss drill bit of correct size.
     
  8. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Easier to fix to timber .Door bell doesn’t need 4 fixings.
     
    Last edited: 28 Jul 2021
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  9. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    There as another way - make up a timber patress and fix that to the masonry. Drill a hole through that to take tbe wire. Screw the button plate onto the timber - far easier to align holes in timber.
     
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  11. big-all

    big-all

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    often but not always you can get away with screws to the side off the plug so half gripping the plug and the brick
    now this is not ideal but can get you out off a hole where the load is small with cosmetic results rather than structural implications
     
  12. [​IMG]
     
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  13. That will change
     
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  14. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Another option is to make the holes bigger, then add rawlplugs or timber plugs.
    It won't matter so much if you are off centre (brick) hole wise, but you can be centred, bracket wise
     
  15. noobiediyer

    noobiediyer

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    Thanks for all the advice. I'm not sure it's worth correcting for this doorbell. It seems pretty secure with just 3 out of 4 screws so this is fine for now.

    But plenty of tips to help avoid the same mistake in future. Thank you.
     
  16. opps

    opps

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    Sometimes, I use a 5*70mm screw, line it up with the pencil mark and hit it with a hammer to create an indentation in the correct place.

    That said, yes the three screws will be absolutely fine.
     
  17. IT Minion

    IT Minion

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    I always do this, drill one out, lightly fix and mark then drill the second and only then mark up all the rest.

    It's a bit time consuming but it's very reliable.
     
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