Broken Drill Bit Installing Doorbell

dmcIPCAM

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
85
Location
Oregon, USA
Disregarding the discussion about why we needed a video doorbell, after several weeks of planning and investigating I thought I had arrived at a reasonable solution to installing my VTO2311R-WP. As you can see from this photo, the front door has sidelights and the optimal location is on the door trim where the blue tape is attached:

DSCN2288.JPG
The optimal wire run would have been would have been to drill through the bottom plate, but beneath those trim pieces on either side are three 2x6's sistered together with Lord only knows how many nails.

So I came up with a solution that was working quite well. I routed a 1/4" slot on the side edge of the trim - the trim is one inch thick cedar, so there was plenty of width and depth. I build a little routing rig
and routing the slot was straightforward:

DSCN2285.JPG

DSCN2283.JPG

DSCN2282.JPG

DSCN2281.JPG

I then drilled down through the trim at an angle and through the decking into a ledger board (the front porch is just a deck) with an 18" long 1/4" bit. I had measured pretty well and found where
the drill bit enter the ledger board and used a forstner bit to give myself a little room to find the hole:

  • DSCN2286.JPG

    ... and then cheerful Mr. Murphy arrived. I placed the bit in the hole with the drill still attached and went under the deck to see how deep I had to drill into the ledger board to expose the full
    width of the 1/4" hole. I guess I should have locked the front door or something because my wife opened the door, stepped out and kicked the drill with bit attached. I heard a loud "PIIIIING" and
    well, the title of this post says it all. The bit broke where the fluted part of the drill starts, so the broken part in the wall is four inches long.
    I have put all my eggs in this edge routing installation and I have got to figure a way to clear that broken bill from the hole. The bit is somewhat loose, that is, I can rotate it and push it up and down a little with vice grips. My options as I see them:

    Option #1) Expose (by tapping from above) approximately 1-inch sections of the bit, attempt to cut them (I know, I know - it's a drill bit), and repeat until hole is clear. Does anyone believe that a carbide cutter in a reciprocating tool would cut that bit? I am not optimistic, but I have not tried... well, to say it another way: I have not tried ruining a $20 blade to find out. I might be able to get an angle grinder up there. I tried to break the bit with a cold chisel and hammer, but that did work.

    Option #2) Drill up from the bottom of edge of the ledger board (with a slightly larger diameter bit) and basically create a conduit to drive the bit out from the top. I am worried about getting the angle correct, but seems possible.

    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!

    In case anyone is wondering:
  • I have ripped a thin strip of cedar spine that will fit snugly back into routed slot so the Cat5e UTP will not be exposed as shown in the photos. I bench checked the slot and spine and also found that if I placed
    a thin layer of silicone caulk over the spine and press a scrap of cedar against it, the texture is transferred and after painting it is difficult to see unless you know exactly what to look for.
  • I just noticed an optical illusion: my thumb is no where near the router bit in that one photo.
  • The front door picture is poor in that it does not show that above those top sidelights there is several feet of wall. From the doorbell height to the top plate is 76 inches, another 12 inches of engineered joist, and then two more top plates providing some framing support that I do not understand. Plus, almost all the front exterior lighting wiring is stapled on top. Beyond an amateur like me.
  • I tried with the bucket and 2x4 rig to test the placement on the left wall, but at any reasonable angle the camera faced directly into the sun and it was unacceptable. There is a IPC-T5442T-ZEB covering the porch and front door about 15 feet to the left.
 

TonyR

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
11,955
Reaction score
25,425
Location
Alabama
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!
Consider taking a foot long piece of stranded #14 copper conductor with the insulation stripped off and feeding it into the slot at the pointed end of the bit.
Solder the end of the wire to make it smooth and round before feeding it in. Maybe it will glance off the hole's wall and stay in the bit's groove. When the end of what's remaining in your hand gets to the pointed end of the bit, anchor it to the tip somehow, maybe epoxy or JB Weld overnight, held in place with electrical tape until dry. When dry remove the tape and see if you can back it out slowly to where it came in, rotating the wire with the bit rotating itself (hopefully) counter-clockwise SLOWLY, all at the same time.

Yeah, it's a long shot. :idk:
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
11,201
Reaction score
17,363
Disregarding the discussion about why we needed a video doorbell, after several weeks of planning and investigating I thought I had arrived at a reasonable solution to installing my VTO2311R-WP. As you can see from this photo, the front door has sidelights and the optimal location is on the door trim where the blue tape is attached:

View attachment 146789
The optimal wire run would have been would have been to drill through the bottom plate, but beneath those trim pieces on either side are three 2x6's sistered together with Lord only knows how many nails.

So I came up with a solution that was working quite well. I routed a 1/4" slot on the side edge of the trim - the trim is one inch thick cedar, so there was plenty of width and depth. I build a little routing rig
and routing the slot was straightforward:

View attachment 146793

View attachment 146792

View attachment 146791

View attachment 146790

I then drilled down through the trim at an angle and through the decking into a ledger board (the front porch is just a deck) with an 18" long 1/4" bit. I had measured pretty well and found where
the drill bit enter the ledger board and used a forstner bit to give myself a little room to find the hole:

  • View attachment 146794

    ... and then cheerful Mr. Murphy arrived. I placed the bit in the hole with the drill still attached and went under the deck to see how deep I had to drill into the ledger board to expose the full
    width of the 1/4" hole. I guess I should have locked the front door or something because my wife opened the door, stepped out and kicked the drill with bit attached. I heard a loud "PIIIIING" and
    well, the title of this post says it all. The bit broke where the fluted part of the drill starts, so the broken part in the wall is four inches long.
    I have put all my eggs in this edge routing installation and I have got to figure a way to clear that broken bill from the hole. The bit is somewhat loose, that is, I can rotate it and push it up and down a little with vice grips. My options as I see them:

    Option #1) Expose (by tapping from above) approximately 1-inch sections of the bit, attempt to cut them (I know, I know - it's a drill bit), and repeat until hole is clear. Does anyone believe that a carbide cutter in a reciprocating tool would cut that bit? I am not optimistic, but I have not tried... well, to say it another way: I have not tried ruining a $20 blade to find out. I might be able to get an angle grinder up there. I tried to break the bit with a cold chisel and hammer, but that did work.

    Option #2) Drill up from the bottom of edge of the ledger board (with a slightly larger diameter bit) and basically create a conduit to drive the bit out from the top. I am worried about getting the angle correct, but seems possible.

    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!

    In case anyone is wondering:
  • I have ripped a thin strip of cedar spine that will fit snugly back into routed slot so the Cat5e UTP will not be exposed as shown in the photos. I bench checked the slot and spine and also found that if I placed
    a thin layer of silicone caulk over the spine and press a scrap of cedar against it, the texture is transferred and after painting it is difficult to see unless you know exactly what to look for.
  • I just noticed an optical illusion: my thumb is no where near the router bit in that one photo.
  • The front door picture is poor in that it does not show that above those top sidelights there is several feet of wall. From the doorbell height to the top plate is 76 inches, another 12 inches of engineered joist, and then two more top plates providing some framing support that I do not understand. Plus, almost all the front exterior lighting wiring is stapled on top. Beyond an amateur like me.
  • I tried with the bucket and 2x4 rig to test the placement on the left wall, but at any reasonable angle the camera faced directly into the sun and it was unacceptable. There is a IPC-T5442T-ZEB covering the porch and front door about 15 feet to the left.
wow ... such a great job until Uncle Murphy ..

I'd try a metal coat hanger .. see if you can push it back out ..
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
11,522
Reaction score
27,605
Location
New Jersey
Drill more clearance holes in the ledger board, if that's possible, and work it out through that from the bottom using needle nose or regular vice grips. I sure wouldn't count on being able to snap it again, deliberately, trying to get it out without wrecking the trim in the process.
 

dmcIPCAM

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
85
Location
Oregon, USA
or just enough to get the drill's chuck on the end to spin it back out?
Thanks for the suggestion. I've added an illustration that shows the situation a little better. White part is the
smooth, non-fluted part, and pink is the fluted part still stuck in the hole.

brokenbit.PNG
 

dmcIPCAM

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
85
Location
Oregon, USA
Drill more clearance holes in the ledger board, if that's possible, and work it out through that from the bottom using needle nose or regular vice grips. I sure wouldn't count on being able to snap it again, deliberately, trying to get it out without wrecking the trim in the process.
After working through some of the suggestions, and thinking a lot more about it, I think your solution might be the only feasible one that I can manage anyway:

Something like this?
pull.png
And your point about Jeopardizing the trim is well taken. Honestly it's already compromised to some degree with that big slot cut in it and that long hole drilled in it. If I damaged that I would have just given myself orders of magnitude more work to complete.

Thank you for responding.
 

Alaska Country

Getting comfortable
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
274
Reaction score
347
Location
Alaska
As a thought, to extract the bit from the hole as in image 2286 would it be possible to use a smaller rod and tap the bit into the larger horizontally drilled hole? One could possibility use the part that broke off as long as it has a smaller diameter so it would not get stuck.

The issue then becomes on how to remove the bit piece by piece from the horizontal hole. Considering that the bit is tempered removal in pieces may only be available by grinding.

If the wood is not too hard it might be possible to drive it past the hole like a nail by pounding on the stuck part. Also, one could just abandon that hole, leave the bit in place and drill another hole space permitting.

Not sure if any of these would work. Ideas just in case.....
 

dmcIPCAM

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
85
Location
Oregon, USA
nice job, btw what software did you use for the illustrations, I really liked them.
Apologies for the long winded answer:

The software is called SketchUp, but the catch is only the older 2017 version is free. Search web for "sketchup 2017 free version". It
takes a little getting used to, but the thing I really like about it is you can use the ruler to add guide points and type in numbers.
For example, if you want to create a 2x4 that is 8 feet long, you grab the rule, drag it a little, type in 1.5 (assuming the model is inches), drag the
rule along a perpendicular axis (the software colors the axes so you can easily tell you are perpendicular), type 3.5. Grab rectangle
tool and draw a rectangle between the two guide points:
1669774183126.png

then grab the Push/Pull tool and pull a little and type in 8' and you have a two by four:
1669774294466.png

you can easily cut and paste, move, rotate, and scale objects. So, for example you could frame a wall with top, bottom plates and studs
in just a few steps.
As an example, I created a model of my crawlspace (which I've never gotten around working on, btw :)

1669774602006.png

Another example of the decks on the back of our house:
1669774643042.png

Regards
 

bp2008

Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
12,044
Reaction score
12,529
Location
USA
I am still astonished that the bit broke so deep inside the hole that you couldn't bump it out 1/4 inch and grip it again with the drill.

Anyway, good work getting it out of there.

Sounds like something that would happen to me while assuring my brother that he only needed to help me for another 5 minutes and then we'd be done (and 2 hours later...).
 

dmcIPCAM

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
85
Location
Oregon, USA
I am still astonished that the bit broke so deep inside the hole that you couldn't bump it out 1/4 inch and grip it again with the drill.

Anyway, good work getting it out of there.

Sounds like something that would happen to me while assuring my brother that he only needed to help me for another 5 minutes and then we'd be done (and 2 hours later...).
I suppose it could have been a defective bit... yeah... that's it... darned defective bit! Joking ,but who knows:
1669786331368.png
 
Top