SDS drilling, tips on how to use.

I've just bought myself an SDS drill (the 30 Ferm one from Screwfix), which won't see much heavy use but will supplement my normal hammer drill when drilling brick/stone.
As I've never played with one before, I grabbed a couple of loose bricks that were lying around and set to playing with my new toy. Using a chisel bit made cleaning off old mortar etc childs play, I can see that doing a pile of bricks will be much quicker with this.
I then tried drilling a couple of holes. Using a 16mm bit, I drilled through the brick like it was butter (my hammer drill would have taken at least 3 times as long with a 6mm bit, and would have required me applying quite a bit of force), however when the bit broke through the brick large parts of brick broke off. When I tried drilling a second hole, the brick actually broke in two when I was nearly through. Now, before I am actually let loose on my house, is there a way to use this thing that won't result in large parts of wall falling off? :)
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Slugsie wrote

Argos one. In order to run power to the newly-built garage, I drilled a hole through 2 courses of brick from near the consumer unit into the garage.
It went through like a knife through butter, but took a chunk of brick with it on the other side. Its just too violent!
In addition, if I start drilling a hole with the hammer action on, it takes a chunk out of the surface. I've got loads of sockets and shelves to put in the garage, and I fear that for each hole I'll have to start off with a traditional hammer drill, then finish off with the SDS. Not sure its worth the hassle.
So I'd be grateful for any advice too!
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Shaun Robertson
Sheffield, UK
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I always start drilling with the hammer off, and if you end up going into mortar (particularly lime mortar), then the hammer is not necessary. I do find the odd brick which just completely disintegrates when an SDS drill in hammer mode touches it. I switch to hammer mode only when I hit something which is fairly solid and needs it, although SDS bits don't work anything like as well in non-hammer mode as regular (non-SDS) masonary bits.
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Andrew Gabriel

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Slugsie wrote:
> I then tried drilling a couple of holes. Using a 16mm bit, I drilled through

If you're drilling all the way through a wall, then it's best to drill half way from one side, and the other half from the other side. You get a nice neat hole then. But that's easier said than done, and I often just drill and fix up later ;-)
If you're only drilling to put in a screw/whatever, make sure you don't drill any further than 2" away from the other side - so if drilling a 100mm block, don't drill further than 50mm.
To prevent chunks being blown off when you start the hole, hold the drill firmly against the surface and at right angles.
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Grunff


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I had the similar problems when drilling holes in my concrete prefab garage. I was able to help matters by securing a piece of scrap wood behind where I was drilling.
I appreciate this may not always be possible.
Eric.

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If you can turn off the "hammer" action unless you need it or take it slowly. I took some bricks out for my dad the other week for a new sink waste and because the mortar is sandy he had to spend half the time it took putting back the bricks it had shook loose. ;-)
Mark S.
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I think your dad has a problem.
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On Thu, 9 Oct 2003 04:20:06 +0000 (UTC), "Michael Mcneil"

No the council got shafted by the builders robbing cement that they didn't use to make the mortar. ;-)
It's lasted 40 odd years so far and I doubt he'll be repointing until he's retired.
Mark S.
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"Mark S." wrote:

An SDS drill *is* a hammer drill, it just uses a slightly different mechanism to apply the blows. You should still drill pilot holes rather than force the thing through, and to prevent excessive break-out spalling support the far side surface with a board and prop or similar, or drill from each side.

Good way to shag the bit.

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