Impenetrable lintel!

A simple question - I hope!
I'm trying to put up a curtain pole over a window in the 40-year-old extension to my house. I would prefer to plug straight into the wall rather than use a batten. The pole fixings have just one screw each so I only need to drill two holes. The trouble is, I can't get any deeper than about 1/2 inch without hitting something really hard - I assume a metal lintel, but I suppose it could be concrete. The width of the window is 120 cm or so - don't suppose that has any relevance. What sort of drill and drill bit do I need if it's metal, and if it's concrete?
TIA
Keith
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I had exactly the same thing happen to me with a normal hammer drill with masonry bit. After advice from here, I succumbed to a SDS drill, and it really is worth it - goes through concrete so much easier than an hammer drill. Screwfix are doing a Dewalt corded SDS, and 12v cordless drill set for 87 now - a true bargain at that price. A set of SDS drill bits is around 20 from Screwfix also - they come in a big pack with maybe 20 different bit - inc. 3 or 4 extra long bits that can go through a normal double brick cavity wall if you ever need to drill all the way through. Alan.
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wrote:

The Screwfix recomendation is seconded. Bought it at 75 IIRC, and an absolute bargain.
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Describe the drill you're using.
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I'm using my (very) old mains power drill, a trusty Stanley Bridges I think, as it has more power than my 18v cordless. I can't vouch for the quality of the bits I'm using, but I stopped using my masonry bit - I assumed it was a metal lintel I had struck and changed over to high speed twist drills - all pretty blunt I'm afraid. But if the lintel is more likely to be concrete they obviously wouldn't work anyway.
Keith
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Keith Dunbar wrote:

As others have said - borrow or buy an SDS drill, matey.
Si
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I'm a bit confused. No-one has mentioned whether the lintel is concrete or steel. Does it make no difference? Does one use the same sort of drill and the same sort of bit? Excuse my ignorance, but SDS drills hadn't been invented in my youth and I have no familiarity with them at all!
Keith
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It's probably concrete - as above, i tried to drill into a lintel, and my hammer drill would go no further than half an inch or so. The SDS drill went through it really easy. Alan.
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Keith Dunbar says...

SDS drills are great when you need to drill into concrete, stone or other hard masonry. I'd never heard of them until a couple of years ago. I was struggling to make holes in our (stone) kitchen wall to insert some rawl plugs. Someone told me to buy an SDS drill. It is brilliant. Like a miniature pneumatic drill!!! Think of it more as a masonry chisel driver rather than a drill. You need to wear ear protectors though - noisy as hell. Sometimes they can be a bit too vicious though - I was drilling a hole in one stone and it split it! You need special drill bits - you can't use ordinary masonry bits.
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Keith Dunbar wrote:

It makes a difference - however if in doubt you could try one of the Bosch multimaterial bits - these will drill steel and masonry.

http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/powertools/sds.htm
Sds will help greatly if its concrete. However you may still have difficulty if you are unlucky enough to hit some rebar in the concrete.
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Cheers,

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Keith Dunbar wrote:

Ah, right. Try drilling into it with a normal HSS drill bit with your drill. Not too far - just far enough to see if there's any swarf on the bit when you take it out again, then you'll know which kind of bit to buy.
I'm not sure but I don't know if using an SDS drill on steel is any better than using a good steel bit in a normal drill. Someone will know.
Si
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On Thu, 28 Feb 2008 19:52:45 -0000, "Mungo \"Two Sheds\" Toadfoot"

Would it be worth trying on eof those detector gadgets to see if there's steel in there? Better than ruining some sds bits. Or, magnetise a narrow bladed screwdriver - poke it in 't hole and feel if it seems to be attracted!
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wrote:

The detector gadget sounds an obvious solution - why do I never think of simple but clever things like that??? Not sure mine's still working though!
Keith
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Managed to get an SDS drill on eBay last night. Most are advertised as being capable of drilling steel a certain distance. Are there SDS bits specifically for steel I wonder?
Keith
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Keith Dunbar wrote:

An SDS masonry bit will drill steel albeit slowly. I used one to drill a hole in a metal back box just t'other day.
You won't regret getting the SDS anyway. Prepare to be amazed!
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If you haven't used one before, do note that they don't stall like a regular drill when overloaded. Quite what does happen depends on the drill and the bit in use. A small bit will will just break, like a long sausage of plasticene which you twist in the middle (I did this with an 8mm bit). A larger bit will jam more effectively and if the drill has a safety clutch, this will slip. If the drill is a cheap one which doesn't have a safety clutch, the drill will spin round, most likely doing you some damage. I have a friend who ended up in A&E after it spun and whacked him on the chin, and on another occasion managed to put a twist and bend in a core bore arbor when the drill spun and hit the wall. ISTR someone here ended up with a twisted wrist.
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Keith Dunbar wrote:

The steel "capacity" they talk of referees to the maximum diameter of bit they are supposed to be able to turn in steel. The length is far less relevant.

Not commonly - but you can either change the SDS chuck (some drills) or fit a supplementary three jaw chuck on the SDS to hold normal bits. The slower rotation speed of the SDS can be good for some steel drilling operations.
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Cheers,

John.

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