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35 votes
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Masonry bits dulling after 3-4 holes

The hammering action of the drill isn't activating So the bit is overheating due to friction. It is supposed to hammer the material you're drilling into dust then evacuate it, not rub it off through ...
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  • 5,780
31 votes
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What bit should I use to drill a two inch hole in a solid concrete wall?

Hire a core driller. Trust me and do it. You will regret doing this yourself and the cost will seem like nothing in comparison to your struggles with drilling a hole that size in solid concrete. ...
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  • 364
18 votes

Can I build a concrete block wall over floor tile?

The tile floor shouldn't be a structural weakness, but if it's glazed you won't get a good mortar bond. I'd install anchor bolts every 32" or so, aligned with block cores, and fill those cores with ...
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  • 104k
15 votes

What bit should I use to drill a two inch hole in a solid concrete wall?

Use a diamond core drill to get a nice clean hole. If you use a hammer drill and carbide drill bit the concrete on the opposite side is going to splay and look like like a beaver was chewing on the ...
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14 votes
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How do I tell if my house is brick or brick veneer?

One way is by looking at the bond of the bricks. Your bricks are arranged in a running bond or stretcher bond, which is always one brick thick: To be a structural brick wall it would have to be more ...
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  • 12.2k
14 votes

Is it reasonable to do masonry veneer work when the temperature is 30-40°F?

You know what's more expensive than doing it right? Doing it wrong once and then doing it right. Yes, mortar, concrete, stucco, etc all have specific cure times and temperatures for maximum strength. ...
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13 votes
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Mounting TV on a weird wall that has some material between the drywall and stud

Trying to mount an articulating arm that is designed to mount to a single stud will not stand up mounted to that type of wall construction. Even with long lag bolts there is just too much chance that ...
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  • 61.1k
12 votes

Should I try to open filled brick weep holes?

Weep holes: No structure is 100% waterproof, and weep holes allow both water and moist air to escape the structure, so that it doesn't start going mouldy or rotting (which would cause problems over ...
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  • 594
8 votes

How do I tell if my house is brick or brick veneer?

The frame is of wood. The brick is a cladding on the outside. It is not a veneer. A veneer is fake layer of thin brick-like parquets that are secured with a cement or glue to a backing of some kind. ...
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  • 6,643
8 votes

Can I build a concrete block wall over floor tile?

NO, NO, NO, never install concrete block on tile. You don’t say what kind of tile is installed on your concrete slab, but it doesn’t matter if it’s “ceramic tile” or “terra-cotta tile” or “porcelain ...
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  • 22.5k
8 votes
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Identify strange wall fixing

I believe that is called a spring pin anchor or express nail To remove it, I'd try these: or any nail puller. Spraying some Liquid Wrench or other light lubricant might make it easier to pull ...
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8 votes

Is there some sort of formula to determine how many bricks I would need to build a completely new structure?

A standard brick is 8" x 2.25" x 3.5". Ignore the 3.5" as that's how thick the wall will be. 8" * 2.25" is 18 sq. in. A square foot is 144 sq. in. (12 * 12). 144 sq. in. divided by 18 sq. in. is 8....
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  • 211
8 votes

What bit should I use to drill a two inch hole in a solid concrete wall?

For a bore hole that large, your best bet is a water-cooled diamond bore. There are many rental centers that can rent you the tool and the bore.
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  • 19.7k
8 votes

Masonry bits dulling after 3-4 holes

An SDS-plus hammer drill will make holes very fast using a bit that starts hardly sharp and rapidly becomes completely dull. It really doesn't care, because it's a pneumatic hammer action and the ...
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  • 668
8 votes

Masonry bits dulling after 3-4 holes

The hammering action of the drill linked in the picture doesn't really need anything more than turning the dial to the hammer setting - it doesn't selectively "activate." It should be pretty ...
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7 votes
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Is mortar waterproof?

Mortar is not waterproof. However, there are products that can be applied to mortar (and other concrete materials), that can make the mortar waterproof.
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  • 128k
7 votes
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SDS drills with advertised chuck sizes

Looking at the Milwaukee web site the chuck capacity refers to the largest solid bit (hole diameter) the drill is capable of drilling. They are referring to using a solid bit not a hole saw. If you ...
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  • 10.9k
7 votes

What bit should I use to drill a two inch hole in a solid concrete wall?

I did this once. All of the previous answers are valid, but if you're trying to do this through an 8" or thinner concrete wall "on the cheap", don't mind investing a significant chunk of time, and ...
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6 votes

How much water for mixing with concrete?

Concrete is strongest when the mix is as dry as possible, and weaker when the mix is wetter. A highly liquid mix is therefore almost always a bad idea. This is well understood/documented/tested in ...
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  • 132k
6 votes

Masonry bits dulling after 3-4 holes

Make sure you have not accidentally set the drill in reverse mode. When the bit rotates the wrong way it causes the bit to heat up and wear out. Something similar to this happened to a friend and to ...
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  • 606
6 votes

Is my electric impact drill useless?

If you're not drilling, stop drilling Anytime your drill isn't actually moving forward progress, immediately stop and troubleshoot why not. *Doing anything else is just destroying equipment for no ...
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5 votes

What kinds of gloves should be used for working with mortar?

Considering how little exposure you will get to the mortar for your small project, you're probably fine with just your work gloves. Wearing latex gloves under your work gloves will provide additional ...
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  • 18.7k
5 votes

How do I tell if my house is brick or brick veneer?

Open a window and measure from the face of the brick to the inside wall. If it's 14 plus inches, that's at least two courses of brick. It will be obvious if it is; questionable if it's any less thick ...
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  • 12.7k
5 votes

How many holes can a masonry drill bit make?

I can't give an exhaustive scientific answer, but I have plenty of hammerdrilling experience, both with SDS bits and smooth shank bits. I have a Bosch Bulldog and seeing that you'll be drilling for ...
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  • 276
4 votes
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How to clean portland cement off bricks?

There is a product called Sure Klean® that is used nowadays. I am sure there are other brands out there too. Muriatic acid used to be used, at least it was when I was a masons helper, but I think Its ...
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  • 31.1k
4 votes

How well does masonry blocks used in European home construction insulate compared to a well insulated American (wood) wall?

Insulation value of masonry walls vs wood-frame walls You should be able to find guidance. For example Scottish Guidance, UK Guidance In the UK, I believe regulations specify maximum U-values U-...
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4 votes

How to minimise the amount of concrete needed for a shed foundation?

If you'd like to minimize use of concrete, don't use any. I have 4 sheds that have been sitting for 14 years on sections of pressure treated wood, set on top of the ground - and a 5th that's on 4 ...
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  • 132k
4 votes

Is mortar waterproof?

Yes, mortar is waterproof. It is "relatively unaffected" by water "under specified conditions". Water-proof or water-resistant describes objects relatively unaffected by water or resisting the ...
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  • 12.7k
4 votes

Insulation foam in hollow bricks and blocks

Those are terra cotta blocks. They are, indeed, hollow. You could drill (carefully! Terra Cotta is fragile when drilling) and fill each and every block with low expansion foam (has normal expansion ...
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  • 23.8k
4 votes

Good, affordable pathway materials for sidewalk with tree root problems

Depending on where you live, reclaimed brick can be very inexpensive. The same theory still applies: if there's a problem in the future, just pull up the bricks and re-level the bed. However, bricks ...
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  • 18.7k

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