boring holes in studs without right angle drill

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by westminster, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. westminster

    westminster New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Hi. We are doing a DIY kitchen/half bath renovation. We have been planning the DWV routes to try and avoid drilling through studs as much as possible, but it looks like we will need to bore holes in at least about 3 studs - one will be to accommodate 2" PVC and the others will be to accommodate 1.5" PVC. We are dealing with 100 year old 2x4's so the true dimensions are very close to nominal (maybe only about 1/8" smaller).

    We are hesitant to spend the money on a right angle drill for this limited purpose and our local home depot does not rent them. Is there another technique that you would recommend? We have a jig saw and a reciprocating saw but not sure if either of these would be appropriate. Since we are already pushing the limits for maximum hole size on non-loadbearing studs, we would like to try and keep the holes as small and clean as possible.

    Many thanks in advance for any advice you could offer!
  2. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    If they're non-loadbearing, like you said... there's nothing to worry about. Make it as big & sloppy as you need... just scab/sister a new stud onto the side of it after. You can pre-drill the neat hole in the sister/scab stud, before it goes into place.

    Or you could cut a section of the studs out completely, and box out the framing, like for a window...


    edit: if that was a typo, in your post - if they're actually load-bearing studs - you can get a 90-degree chuck adapter for about 25-30$.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,004
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I would rent the drill and the bit then.

    There is no way to make a neat hole in a stud without a proper self feed bit powered by a 1/2 hp drill.
  4. westminster

    westminster New Member

    Messages:
    9
    thanks for the quick replies

    Frenchie, that's an interesting idea about boxing out the cut studs (although it would create a lot of extra framing, some of which would also then need to be drilled to run electrical and water supply). Also, I was surprised by your comment, since code does specify maximum 60% hole even in non-loadbearing stud. And we will be attaching a heavy wall-hung cabinet so want to make sure we don't compromise the integrity of the wall too much.

    Terry, we are not able to rent a right angle drill locally, otherwise we would do that.

    Although Frenchie, we are in Brooklyn as well -- perhaps you have a right angle drill to rent us ;)
  5. westminster

    westminster New Member

    Messages:
    9
    I also like your suggestion about the chuck adapter. I have not seen those before. If I hook it up to my 3/8 Panasonic cordless, will that give me enough power to drill a 2 3/4" hole through a stud?
  6. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    It'll be slow, but it'll work.

    As far as 60% of the stud... you're right. My bad, I should have checked before posting.

    In my defense, I did suggest to sister/scab a fresh stud, after...? I'm used to working with steel studs, where you can cut right up to the flange on non-loadbearing walls. Not sure why the rule's different for wood.


    In the meantime, while doing the work, it's not like you have to be careful, or temporarily support anything. Cut away...


    Sorry, no angle drill.

    I'd really go for the "cut-em-out, then sister/scab fresh studs" option: did you consider how you're going to insert the pipe through those holes, with the studs already in place? Can be a right hassle, that.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  7. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    Drilling Old Studs

    I don't think there is any chance that a 3/8 battery drill will be able to go thru your studs, old studs are usually as hard as a rock and a right angle drill and self-feed bit can have trouble. Seems strange that there is no place in Brooklyn to rent a drill. :confused:

    FYI I did a search for Brooklyn Tool Rentals and got a ton!!
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  8. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    I tried one of the attachments, it didn't last a day
    Could have been a cheap one - HD - took it back
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,635
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    right angle

    The angle drive is usually a 2:1 speed reducer which increases the torque, but a cordless drill does not have the power to drive a 2 1/2" bit even then. You need a good 1/2" electric drill. With the increased torque, however, if the bit gets stuck the drill itself will try to rotate and that can be VERY hard on your wrist. I was using one decades ago and a carpenter thought it was a nifty idea and wanted to try it. The bit stuck, the drill rotated, and flipped him over the work bench.
  10. thebigsee

    thebigsee DIY Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Southern California
    I'll second what HJ said -- I once was drilling a hole through a beam for my dad with his 1/2" drill. The bit caught on some metal and if my face had been 2" closer to the drill, I'll have had a shattered jaw and lost some teeth -- no fooling. I'm wary of all power tools, but the two that I have the most respect for are 1/2" drills and angle grinders. They'll send you to the emergency room if you're not careful!
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,004
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    My drill has a clutch that will let me drill without being thrown if it hits a knot.

    I used to use the drills without the clutch, but I also used to break a lot of gears.
  12. westminster

    westminster New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Sorry if I was unclear -- we will actually be building the wall (using old lumber from another wall we tore down), so I guess we could predrill the holes and wouldn't actually need the right angle -- but it sounds like in any case we would need the power of a 1/2" drill to bore that big of a hole?

    We did check a couple of local stores (including HD) and none of them rented right angle drills. But maybe we could find a regular 1/2" drill for rent, buy the appropriate bit, and do it that way...

    Sounds like I will have to be very careful!
  13. KULTULZ

    KULTULZ Jack of all trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    ROCKVILLE, MD
    Pay heed to what he says. One will also grab and strike your rib cage. Ask me how I know...
  14. Marty53

    Marty53 New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    New York
    For what its worth, I think a 1/2" angle drill is overkill in most applications. I've replumbed a kitchen and 2 baths, and never needed a right angle drill to drill drain vent lines.

    I find my 3/8" dewalt corded drill is fine with my 2" hole saw bit for 16" stud openings. A little cramped, you might have to go in at a tiny angle but its nothing noticeable.. that was thru 60 year old pine studs. I've done a lot of nice clean holes cuts this way-- through joists as well. Never needed an angle drill
  15. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    A smallish one of these, held at an angle perpendicular to the framing might possibly do the job it properly motivated.

    Attached Files:

  16. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Ontario
    Check.

    Personally I rate chain saws more dangerous than drills.

    Check.
  17. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Oh come on ... I've used my 1/2 inch "battery drill" to drill a 6" hole just fine through a double 2x10.

    I think you'll be fine if you go slow and it might take a couple charges to get all of your holes done. Drill them and put your pipe in before assembling. Remember to slope them appropriately.
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