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Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

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Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

Old 07-05-2007, 11:06 AM
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Default Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

've redone my front porch and now just need to add a stair railing, about 8 concrete steps leading to a concrete side walk. The old railing, wrought iron type, was sunk into the sidewalk next to the bottom of the stairs. My question and dilemma is II'm having trouble figureing out how to anchor the PT wood post for the bottom of the railing. What I've tried is to screw a "metal" base(basically a "U" with the bottom screwed onto the concrete, then the wood sits in the "U" and gets held by screwing into the sides of the "U", it also has a little box that goes into the bottom of the "U" so the wood will sit up off the ground about 1/4") into the concrete and then attach the post to that. I bought concrete screws(1/4"X 2 1/4") and the appropriate drill bit for the size screws. I predrilled about 3" but when I went to put the screws in they only went in about 1/2" and wouldnít go in any more. I'm using a dewalt 18volt hammer drill, if that matters. Any thoughts on what to do or my next move. Iím thinking putting the little box on the ground, sitting the post on it and then screwing the "U" into the side of the concrete steps, which I believe is "softer" then the sidewalk concrete. Iím at a loss right now and just want to finish everything. The people I talked with at HD and Lowes told me my original plan should work but again I canít get the screws to go all the way into the concrete.

I know its long but just want to be detailed to describe what Iím doing as I have no pics. Hopefully you can "picture" what Iím talking about
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

Is there any concrete 'dust' left in the hole after drilling?
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

There probably is some still left but I did try to brush and blow must of it away.
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Old 07-05-2007, 12:14 PM
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Default RE: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

what size drill bit are u using?

Does the concrete screws have shanks to tighten to the concrete? are they "opened" or damaged making them bigger than the pre-drill hole?

are the holes drilled straight? or do they form an angle at about the 1/2" mark?

Only guesses without being there....
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Old 07-05-2007, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

I think your Tapcons may be too long. The smooth portion of the Tapcon is not supposed to go into the concrete. You may want to try 1-3/4" Tapcons which I believe are full thread.
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

I never had much luck screwing into concrete. So used ďpour stoneď (available at Lowes or Home Depot).

Just drill a larger hole, pour in ďpour stoneď then drop in a threaded bolt or length of ďall-threadĒ, in many years have never had a bolt pull out and have used it on foundation bolts and heavy machinery hold-down bolts.

Hope this helps.



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Old 07-05-2007, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

If you are not snapping off the tapcon then I'd be inclined to say you don't have enough drill. Stick a toothpick or a piece of wire in the drilled hole to make sure it is deep enough for the size of tapcon you are using. Are you positive you bought the right sized drill bit for the size of tapcons you are using? There is two different sizes.

Personally I wouldn't be going about this the way you are. Personally I'd be drilling out 1/2" holes deep enough for me to epoxy in newel double ended lag bolts, pre-drilling the bottoms of my posts and then screwing them onto the lag bolts flush to the surface.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

If you buy apcons ( blue, in color ) the appropriae 3/16" drill bit should have come in the package. Tapcons are what I use in my business when building block homes and the length you have should be fine. You may be catching the edge of a piece of rebar that the smaller bit just missed. Good luck !
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

I am using tapcons and the 3/16" bit that the package called for, to predrill. I'll give it another try tonight and see what happens. Might have to go with the "pour stone" options, sounds a little easier and I do have a bigger bit that would work.

Yeah this has been driving me nuts for a couple weeks now. Finally got this idea and of course, it turns into something way more diffucult and confusing than it needs to be and probably would be for anyone else. Just the way it works for me and this house. At least Im learning all sorts of things especially what I can/like to do and what I cant/hate to do. At least I'm almost done and then I can move.
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

Forget the tapcons and get some sleeve anchors, I think Home Depot has them

http://www.confast.com/products/conc...ve-anchor.aspx
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

Sounds like your drill doesn't have enough azz. With that length screw and depending how good your concrete is, you probably need a 1/2" drill vs. a 3/8". If you don't go with that option, you could go with the sleeve anchor or a drop in anchor.

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Old 07-05-2007, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

Forget the screws drill the hole and then pound a power fastener impact drive anchor in the railing will never come loose

http://www.powers.com/product_03601.html
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

You need a HILTI ROTO HAMMER and wedge anchors not sleeve anchors[ they are for block ] if ya lived closer i would bring my TE72 over.

Lester
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

welder - 7/5/2007 12:18 PM

You need a HILTI ROTO HAMMER and wedge anchors not sleeve anchors[ they are for block ] if ya lived closer i would bring my TE72 over.

Lester
Well now wasn't that white of you Les.........I'll do you one better; ChickenNecker, to bad, if ya lived closer i would just do it for ya. Hey Les, have you worked up a sweat yet.......nahhhh me neither.......hey do you want to go for a beer instead of waiting around here for ChichenNecker to show up?
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete


what about using a ramset gun with a .22 cal charge. I put up shelving in my garage using this method and it absloutely was faster and stronger than tapcons...I've had my fill of tapcons
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

r.waddill - 7/6/2007 9:25 AM


what about using a ramset gun with a .22 cal charge. I put up shelving in my garage using this method and it absloutely was faster and stronger than tapcons...I've had my fill of tapcons
What r.waddill said. Why waltz when you can rock and roll?
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:21 AM
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Crips guys, if we make it any easier for the guy he'll be the one drinking the beers.

[RED]CAUTION: MAKE SURE YOUR NAIL GOES INTO THE HOLE OF YOUR PLATE HOLDER!!![/RED]
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:01 PM
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Default RE: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

ChickenNecker - 7/5/2007 11:06 AM

've redone my front porch and now just need to add a stair railing, about 8 concrete steps leading to a concrete side walk. The old railing, wrought iron type, was sunk into the sidewalk next to the bottom of the stairs. My question and dilemma is II'm having trouble figureing out how to anchor the PT wood post for the bottom of the railing. What I've tried is to screw a "metal" base(basically a "U" with the bottom screwed onto the concrete, then the wood sits in the "U" and gets held by screwing into the sides of the "U", it also has a little box that goes into the bottom of the "U" so the wood will sit up off the ground about 1/4") into the concrete and then attach the post to that. I bought concrete screws(1/4"X 2 1/4") and the appropriate drill bit for the size screws. I predrilled about 3" but when I went to put the screws in they only went in about 1/2" and wouldnít go in any more. I'm using a dewalt 18volt hammer drill, if that matters. Any thoughts on what to do or my next move. Iím thinking putting the little box on the ground, sitting the post on it and then screwing the "U" into the side of the concrete steps, which I believe is "softer" then the sidewalk concrete. Iím at a loss right now and just want to finish everything. The people I talked with at HD and Lowes told me my original plan should work but again I canít get the screws to go all the way into the concrete.

I know its long but just want to be detailed to describe what Iím doing as I have no pics. Hopefully you can "picture" what Iím talking about
this is gonna sound stupid....but blow the dust out of the hole before driving the screw in......

are you using tapcons ?......hopefully your not using a regular screw

ive drilled way more holes then i can count in concrete and drilled the screws into them with my 18v dewalot hammer drill....you have plenty of power from the drill for what your trying to do.......blow the dust out and i bet they sink right in.....also, you may want to try and drive the screw with the drill in hammer mode.....ive done it countless times and works great for a tuff job
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

ok, i just read your replys to other posts........sounds like your using the right size bit for the screws (they are different sizes, you dont use a 1/4" bit for a 1/4" screw) make sure you drilled your hole deep enough, blow out all the dust, try "reaming" the hole just a tad with the bit after your done drilling it, it helps with the dust.....and she should go just fine.............if you squirt a small amount of epoxy down the side of the hole....that tapcon will never come out

thunderbolts work good too if you have enough room to work a wrench, and cold rivets (both at home depot) work great too, though im not sure how they would hold up over the long run with constant side to side pressure and stress (leaning against the railing)
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Need Help- Drilling screws into concrete

Ya sure you drilled the correct diameter hole? I use dozens of tapcons every month. The 1/4" ones gotta have the correct hole, and blow out the dust. don't use no no wussy drivers either...Is it binding in the metal plate?
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