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Drilling into Stone Advice

(13 Posts)
FrancesNiadova Sun 31-Jan-16 19:49:42

I want to know how to put this old telephone, (with the name & number subtly obscured by my hanky), on the stone wall under the bookshelves. It's quite heavy & the stone is hard. The phone's been on the floor under the pew for 18 months now, & I wondered if anyone knows how to do it.
(The photo is cut in half in the post, but if you click on it you'll see the full extent of my problem!)
Thanks in advance.

Pipistrella Sun 31-Jan-16 19:52:31

Are you sure it's actual stone?

PigletJohn Sun 31-Jan-16 20:13:51

the wall looks plastered to me.

How old is the house, and which country and city is it in?

Have you got an electric drill?

PigletJohn Sun 31-Jan-16 20:19:10

Or, if you prefer, what sort of stone is it, and is it dressed blocks, mortared rubble, or what?

ABetaDad1 Sun 31-Jan-16 20:22:02

What kind of stone?

If its soft sandstone then a high quality masonry bit and a powerful professional quality hand drill possibly with hammer action. You might need to stop and cool the bit every 60 seconds.

FrancesNiadova Sun 31-Jan-16 20:55:54

Hi, thanks for your responses. The house is at least 260 years old & the stone is quartzite, which is really hard. The wall is plastered, but the plaster is quite thick & old.

ABetaDad1 Sun 31-Jan-16 21:02:51

Quartzite is incredibly hard. Pigletjohn is your man on this but I think you are going to need a special drill and bit.

I don't think a rawl plug and screw fixing is going to work even into very thick plaster. I say this as I live in a Georgian house with old lime plaster over soft brick and it just crumbles. I have often have to use soft wooden dowels as plugs and then screw into those.

PigletJohn Sun 31-Jan-16 23:32:34

if the stone is not dressed blocks with a tight fit, and there is a lime mortar between the pieces, you could drill into that. There is a trick I can explain. You would most likely have to chip away some of the plaster to find joints. Possibly there is already some damaged plaster you could look at. Sometimes pattern staining from condensation helps you to see the shape of the stone pieces (also works with bricks). Round here we have flints and chalk, so lime mortar, but the inside of walls may be battened with wood or have a brick inner face.

If you do need to drill into stone, try to identify the pieces and do not drill near the edge, as it will crack and spall. An SDS+ drill will go through anything, but it bashes its way through.

Please don't try to fix to the plaster, as it will fall off.

If the bookcase shown is old, it might be fixed with cut nails banged in randomly. Some of them will have hit stone and stopped, but some will have found a gap and been driven home.

Qwebec Mon 01-Feb-16 00:19:39

I would make it hold by the plaster only
I have a mirror that I can't lift holds no problem like this. But you need special bits like this

The ones that came with my mirror were made of metal

Note: I always used them on gypsum sheets you would need to make sure it works on yourtype of plaster wall.

Pipistrella Mon 01-Feb-16 07:22:09

Sorry, I don't think they will work on the sort of plaster the OP will likely just crumble away.

When hanging something heavy you really need to drill into the hard material, ie the stone.

I have never drilled into stone so can't advise - sorry not to be much use.

FrancesNiadova Mon 01-Feb-16 19:46:34

It is irregular stone in an old farmhouse. I'd wanted to have a go at putting it up myself because it's been on the floor for over 18 months & I don't like to nag. Never mind! sad

PigletJohn Mon 01-Feb-16 21:03:04

If you can lay your hands on an SDS+ drill, start by making holes for Plasplugs. On an irregular wall with thick lime plaster, you need to go at least an inch into the wall (excluding the thickness of plaster) so try three or four inches. You can get extra-long plasplugs (with screws) sold as frame Fixings. The size of masonry drill you need will be on the plugs. SDS+ drills have a grooved end, not round like ordinary bits, and are very robust. One labelled for concrete will be OK. It will not fit an ordinary electric drill. It is bashed very hard.

You will feel it sinking in like pushing a pencil into cheese. If the drill hits something hard and stops penetrating for more than half a second, take it out and try a new hole two inches or more away. If the hole position is uncertain, fix a wooden batten to the wall to suit the holes, and fix your telephone to that.

For a telephone, try two holes and look for a Keyhole Mirror Plate that you can put on the backing board, and hang over the screwheads.

It is likely to be quite a ragged hole, as the substrate is difficult. Verify that the screw and the plug will both go all the way into the hole, and recess slightly below the surface. Clean out all dust and loose material with a hoover hose or a garden sprayer. There will be a lot.

Buy a tube and metal applicator gun of solvent-free builders grab adhesive (like No-More-Nails, but a cheap own-brand will do). It comes with a pointed plastic nozzle. Poke the nozzle deep into the hole and squeeze the trigger to inject the adhesive paste deep into the hole. Withdraw the nozzle as it fills. Poke the plug all the way into the hole and wipe away excess adhesive with your finger. The next day, it will have set, and will hold the plug firmly and it will not twist, expand, come loose, or crumble the hole.

FrancesNiadova Tue 02-Feb-16 22:46:58

Many thanks John, I was wondering about putting filler in to help hold the plug, but if liquid nails will do the job, even better. I'll have a go at the weekend!

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