We always call some handy man to come and fix these things for us.
At some point in our lives, we eventually need to have a hole drilled, install some fixtures in the bathroom or fix some pipes or something. And most of the time, we would simply call a handy man to get this done. The cost of this would range somewhere between SGD25 to SGD200 or more depending on the complexity of the thing you want done.
When I was doing my reno for my home, I started doing these things myself. I've always watched my father do some simple DIY at home when I was younger and never really tried my hands at it. It seemed simple enough for me to do.
Here, I'll explain what needs to be done.
First let's look at drills and drill bits.
You will need an impact drill.
Impact drill has 2 modes.
Mode 1 -
Drilling. The drill just turns the drill bit around and "cuts" the target. You use this for wood, cos wood can be cut. Below is the drill you need for cutting targts. Note the tip of the drill bit. You need this type of drill bit to make clean cuts on wood.
Hammer drilling. The drill turns around to "cut" the target AND the drill will hammer the drill bit against the target. You need this for drilling into concrete as concrete cannot be cut and needs to hammer action to create the hole. This hammer action is not very noticable so you need to take note of the setting. Below is the drill bit you need for hammer drilling. Notice the tip of the drill bit. There is a "block" tip. This is to reinforce the drill bit so that you can "hammer" the concrete to create the hole. If you use the below drill bit on wood, hole created will not be a clean cut.
Alternatively, you can borrow a 800W drill from IKEA for free. You need to put a SGD200 deposit to rent the drill. You can rent it for 5 days at a time. When you return it, IKEA will return you the SGD200 deposit in full. The advantage of this is that 800W is a high powered drill which can go through almost all walls in a typical Singaporean setting.
You do not need to drill a hole into a wooden wall before you screw something into it. You just screw straight into the wooden wall.
The reason why you need to drill a hole into a hard wall is because you cannot screw directly into a hard concrete wall. You need to drill a hole first and put in a wall plug. A wall plug is basically a firm but soft material to fill up the hole you drilled but soft enough such that a screw can be screwed into that position.
Youtube link post below shows drilling into soft wall using just the drilling motion. Note that at the end he pusts in an "anchor" into the wall, well thats what is known as a wall plug or anchor. This allows you to screw into the wall plug and hang your stuff.
The below link is done by a more senior lady so if she can do it you can do it too.
Note that she uses a masonry bit to drill through concrete.
She uses some specialised wall plugs. This is typically not necessary for HDB purposes. You can use the usual plastic wall plugs which fit tightly and use a screw to screw into them.
Tiles are trickier to drill through cos they have the potential to crack. Also, they are smooth so if you try to drill straight through it, your drill will run all over the place.
To drill through tile you need to follow the below.
You tape the area where you want to drill, then use your drill bit and lightly hammer the drill bit to lightly shatter the tile under the tape. Note the guy in the video turns the drill bit as he lightly taps the hammer.
This provides grip for the drill to stay in position whilst you drill your hole. You will need to use the usual impact drill to drill through tile. Do it slowly to prevent the tile from cracking.
If you're planning to drill along the tile join lines, you don't need to tape and hammer. You just need to put the drill and drill as per normal. This is cos the tile join lines provide enough friction to allow your drill to stay in place and create the hole.
This is to first drill a smaller hole then drill a bigger hole.
The reason is when you have a low powered drill, like the Giant drill which I have, the hammer action isn't very strong, thus, it can't really hammer into concrete very well.
So instead of buying a more powerful drill which would cost hundreds of dollars, I drill by creating a pilot hole. This means using a smaller drill bit to create a small hole first, before using the bigger drill bit to create the larger hole which I need. Why this works is because when you use a smaller drill bit, the hammer pressure is concentrated in a smaller area, this results in me being able to punch through the concrete. As compared with me using a bigger drill bit, the hammer pressure is spread across the larger surface area of the larger drill bit resulting in me being unable to punch a hole through.
The below youtube link is an example for metals. But you can use the same principle for concrete as well. You don't need to dip into water for concrete.
Alternatively, you can just borrow the IKEA drill.
Plastic wall plugs typically come in 3 colours when you buy them at hardware shops.
All of them are 1 inch deep.
White wall plugs are 5mm in diameter
Red wall plugs are 6mm in diameter
Green wall plugs are 7mm in diameter
The red wall plugs are perfect for holes which you have made using the IKEA drill. Cos IKEA will provide the drill bit for that size.
If you buy the SGD30 drill from Giant hypermart, you will probably need the green wall plug as it will fit better. The default drill bit provided will drill a hole which firmly fits this wall plug. You will need to lightly hammer the wall plug in.
As for screws, I usually use a 1 inch or 1 and quarter inch long screw. With a head diameter of 5-6mm.
If you use a 1 and quarter inch screw make sure you drill a hole which is slightly deeper.
However for wall plugs and screws, a lot also is determined by what you are installing.
If the item is larger or longer, you may need a longer wall plug and screw.
However, for most typical things which I hang, like picture frames, paintings, bathroom fittings, the wall plugs and screws which I mentioned above are sufficient.
That's all you need to know. Next is to try it for yourself. It really isn't as hard as it looks. And it's not that easy to mess it up. Just hold the drill firmly against the wall and lightly squeeze the trigger and slowly increase the speed of the drill.
Congratuations, you have learnt a new skill.
Notes and disclaimer
Read the user manual.
Early Retirement SG does not take any responsibility for any injuries which you may incur.
Using power tools have a risk of injury especially if users do not have much common sense.
"Common sense is not very common" - Warren Buffet
You may wish to wear goggles to protect your eyes.
Ear plugs to protect your ears.
Don't drill in wet places.
If you smell something is burning. STOP! The drill has a potential to overheat
A lot of other stuff to be careful of when you use high powered tools.
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