Remove the baseboard and drill a smal hole hrouh floor that will be hidden
when baseboard is replaced. Drill hole through wall from side that will be
hidden by baseboard. Fish wire up into wall. You will need to cut
depression into base of wall so wire can be recessed and baseboard can sit
The normal procedure is to drill up at an angle so that the drill enters
the stud cavity. You of course have to be careful to get your angle and
starting point correct so that the trajectory is correct, and you have
to be careful to stop once the bit is in the stud cavity or you risk
over penetrating and going through the sheetrock on the far side.
Crude ASCII art:
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re: "you have to be careful to stop once the bit is in the stud cavity
or you risk over penetrating and going through the sheetrock on the
Many years ago I had to drill a hole in corner of a closet up into the
attic. This closet happened to be right near the exterior wall where
there is not a lot of room between the roof and the attic floor.
The crawl space attic has plywood on the joists for storage, so I knew
that I would feel my long bit go through the plaster ceiling, into the
free space of the joist cavity, and then through the plywood. That's
exactly what I felt as I drilled.
I unchucked the bit, left it in the hole and went up into the attic to
Imagine my dismay when I realized that I missed the edge of the
plywood by less than an inch and had actually drilled through the
My simple cable fishing project turned into a trip to the store for
roofing tar and a trip onto the roof - in the rain - to fix the hole.
Rueful chuckle- BTDT, but the other direction. Shortly after buying this
place, rewiring bathroom. Drilling down from attic, through old
rock-hard doug fir top plates for wall (with worn out drill and dull
foot-long spade bit), to fish wire down shallow stud bay where bathroom
switches were. Unknown to me, the plates were not evenly laid. Ended up
blowing a long tapered hole in drywall out into the bathroom.
At least I managed to smoke that drill, and it is now reserved for
paint-stirring duty, since it wobbles like mad.
IOW, it happens to all of us once in a while.
On Thu, 15 Apr 2010 11:18:01 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Many years ago, I wanted to run some wires, (for phone, speakers, tv
antenna co-ax, and ceiling light switch) from the attic down the
outside wall of the house. My eaves are very short so I couldn't get
a drill to stand up because it hit the roof in the process. I even
bought a 90^ angle thing but with it and the chuck, still too long.
I tried loads of times but didn't get through the top plate or
something, until finally I did.
But to be sure, I climbed out of the attic, ran outside to the back of
the house, and there it was, 3 feet of drill bit sticking out of my
Imagine my dismay when I saw the bit.
My cable fishing project -- I wouldn't call it simple now -- turned
into a trip to the store for brown latex caulk. My wall was t1-11,
painted russet brown, lucky for me, the same color as brown caulk.
It's been 26 years and it has not changed color or shrunk in all that
time, even though it faces south. And I never even notice it because
it's the same color.
I guess I'm luckier than you are, or maybe the moral is, drill down
and not up.
I never could get the hole drilled right -- I probably gave up when I
drilled the hole in the wall -- so I drilled up from just inside the
wall and into the wall below the plate and ran the wires where it
could be seen down from the attic and immediately into the wall. I had
to come out again to bypass the fire-stop. I really must patch those
places some day.
One thing you can do, as a marker, is to take one of those thin wires that
are used to hold up insulation batts. You can get them in 18" lengths. With
a pliers, cut one end at a very sharp angle, put the wire in your drill and
drill straight down against the baseboard, through the floor and sub floor.
When you see the wire in the basement, you'll be able to judge exactly how
far from your wire to the center of the bay is, and you can drill up safely
into the bay.
Bob F. and Pete C. are offering you good advice... You
just need to combine the advice and use all of it together...
I will add to their suggestions by saying that you should
locate where you want to put your outlet boxes first...
See if the bottom of those stud cavities are accessible
and you don't have things like pipes or ductwork blocking
them from below, then cut the hole for your old work outlet
box in the wall at the proper height... Use that hole for access
to drill from the top, through the bottom plate, floor and sub
floor and hope you aren't right above a floor joist underneath...
You will be able to make a better attempt at getting the hole
for the wire centered in the wall stud bay as best as you can
by drilling from the top down...
That is why those long drill bits were made, for electricians
to be able to drill and fish the wires without having to cut into
the walls beyond what was required for installing the box...
Is this wire being fished for a lighting circuit or switch loop,
or are you installing wall outlets ? If it is for a switch loop,
then you have to cut into the wall down low to drill and
repair it afterward unless you are good with installing an
outlet in the same bay down below the switch box...
The comments made about fire blocking are very true...
Hope that you don't encounter it as it is very aggravating
to have to break into the wall to properly route wires
around such blocking...
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