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Thread: Electrical rough in

  1. #1
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    Default Electrical rough in

    Im may to start the preliminary work on my cabin electrical this fall. Whats the preferred bit for drilling the studs for the romex? I was thinking a stubby spade bit but vaguely recall the electrical guys using auger bits. And is 3/4 about right? Most of the walls are 2x6 if it matters. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    I use a 1" augur bit in a Milwaukee right angle drill. Irwin makes one that's a nice length (about 7.5" IIRC) so you can go through even tripled studs - but still fit in small bays - most of 'em anyway. It's also got a hardened edge so nails don't destroy it. In wiring my barn I've done at least 100 holes & hit nails in 3 or 4 & it still cuts fine.

    A spade bit will have you cursing in 10 minutes. 1" will handle 3 12/3 fairly easily. 3/4" can only handle 2 without getting real tight.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    In general, auger style is the weapon of choice.-for contracting but you're not going to do this more that 30 0r so times.. more reasonable to buy a "spade" type. ( unless if you desire to own the auger) 3/4" should be good enough. for one or two cables running in the same hole . if remodeling I revert to a "hole saw" ...........you know, last time I bought a spade bit, lowes had started stocking IRWIN spade bits that has a screw tip much like the trade augers. Took a look- they call 'em "self feeding" I'm too cheap to buy, but looks like it'd make a suitable rival to expensive augers.
    Last edited by the_gr8t_waldo; 08-10-2020 at 08:45 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    And try hard to get the holes drilled as close to the center of each stud as you possibly can. This keeps ROMEX away from being pierced by screws or nails, as well as leaving equal room on each side for insulation.

    Besides it just looks more professional....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    Consider also nail plates, which protect from nails being driven thru studs and into your wiring.




    Rick

  6. #6
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    Southampton Ont. Canada
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    It doesn't hurt to snap chalk lines where you want to drill when doing rough in.
    Avoid pulling wires seperately if you can. The pulled wire will burn through the stationary wire's insulation at the tight spots.Same for coax and cat 6.
    Bash plates are a code requirement for wire that is closer than 1 1/4" to the edge of a stud.
    Always a good idea to drill at a different height from where the cabinet guys will be installing their stuff, in case someone decides that 4" screws are neccessary.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    The electrician I have been working with on my house favors a spade bit mounted in a cordless impact drill. I was skeptical but it worked well.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  8. #8
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    Armada, MI, USA
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    Those self-feeding augers make the drilling go waaay easier.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    The electrician I have been working with on my house favors a spade bit mounted in a cordless impact drill. I was skeptical but it worked well.
    ....it's not the tool but the craftsman

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    I've always used a self feeding forstner type with the sawtooth rim. I have an extension available for deep drilling. This type doesn't extract chips though so you have to keep clearing them. But most holes are through one stud, so no clearing required. Use a 1" diameter for everything. Pulling wire is a drag. The code addresses the diameter required for romex. I don't have any idea what current code says. Your local jurisdiction may have their own requirements.

    Something else to keep in mind. After all the cable is in place and before you install insulation, take a whole bunch of photos of the inside of the walls. With a digital camera, you can be free with your shots. Store these images in a safe place on your computer. Someday you will need to work on one of those walls and you'll be glad of the visual image of what lies beneath the surface.

    Jeff

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Electrical rough in

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    I've always used a self feeding forstner type with the sawtooth rim. I have an extension available for deep drilling. This type doesn't extract chips though so you have to keep clearing them. But most holes are through one stud, so no clearing required. Use a 1" diameter for everything. Pulling wire is a drag. The code addresses the diameter required for romex. I don't have any idea what current code says. Your local jurisdiction may have their own requirements.

    Something else to keep in mind. After all the cable is in place and before you install insulation, take a whole bunch of photos of the inside of the walls. With a digital camera, you can be free with your shots. Store these images in a safe place on your computer. Someday you will need to work on one of those walls and you'll be glad of the visual image of what lies beneath the surface.

    Jeff
    Thank you! That's a great idea!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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