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#28375 - 08/18/03 03:57 AM old rewire???
sparkync Offline

Registered: 10/17/02
Posts: 811
Loc: NC
I've got a 2 story house with a full basement to rewire. The first holed I bored in the wall upstairs, revealed that there was a brace in the wall. I went and bought me a 55" Greenlee flexibit, with the auger type end and it worked fine. Only problem was there were 2 more braces in the wall. I only have a choice now of having a 5ft. extension made for the flexibit and hoping it don't slip at the coupling inside the wall,or cutting the sheet rock 2 times at every drop. I don't hardly see another way, but thought I'd ask for opinions. I've got the whole house to do, and hadn't even got 1 wire fished down yet Thanks for the input.... Steve

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#28376 - 08/18/03 04:24 AM Re: old rewire???
PCBelarge Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
The braces you are describing are usually located in the corners of the building. Try to relocate the devices further away from the corners if you can. Also in some of these older buildings you will find 'ballon' framing, which will save you a lot of effort. In the basement, go to the gable end of the house and look up at the framing. You may just see the 'balloon framing, or try pushing the snake up into the framing. If it is 'balloon' framing, you have got it made in the shade

Pierre Belarge

#28377 - 08/18/03 07:57 AM Re: old rewire???
ElectricAL Offline

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA

In my experience, there's no accounting for the presence of old blocking, until one figures out the history. Old window and door opennings that have been closed is one source. I've also had to deal with what appeared to be old fire blocking, but that is quite rare, in my experience, in my area.

The point is, the buried framing history is a big part of what makes rewires really hard to bid accurately. Collateral damage to wall surfaces is inevitable, and the art is to do it to the side of the wall that costs the least to re-decorate.

Early on, I picked up an Auger Extender Kit that was made by ITT Holub Industries, Product No. 18-653. (I can't find them on the Web) The parts in the kit were used on either end of a section of 1/2" water pipe. . .a drive end and a chuck end. I got a collection of 2 and 3 foot sections of water pipe with couplings and I then had a bit that I could extend to 30 (thirty) feet. I actually put it to use at that length once.

Most commonly, I'll use it to go from the basement to the attic of a two-story wood frame where I'm certain of the alignment of the walls.

The drive end of the adapter finally twisted off (it was only 3/8", as manufactured) so I cut off a piece of a 1/2" hex shaft extension for a hole saw and brazed it into the end of the short starter section of water pipe, and I was off and drilling again.

It occurs to me that a chuck could be brazed into a short starter section of pipe, as well.

Once the bit arrives in the attic, use pipe wrenches to turn off the starter section, push a fish tape down the pipe, and then go to the basement and take out / disassemble the sections of pipe.

This setup, though somewhat time consuming, has made the hard job easy and the impossible possible.
Al Hildenbrand

#28378 - 08/18/03 04:26 PM Re: old rewire???
sparkync Offline

Registered: 10/17/02
Posts: 811
Loc: NC
Thanks for the replies. I went today to a
machine shop, and he is making me a 5 ft. 1/4" extension with a set screw coupling for the 55" bit I already have. I'll try to let you know how it works. I think I'll put some duct tape around the coupling part to try to save the bit just in case it comes apart Steve

#28379 - 08/18/03 05:36 PM Re: old rewire???
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
Greenlee makes extensions for these bits. No need to have one manufactured. I would be nervous about letting 10 feet of drill bit fly inside a wall cavity. What kind of job is this? Is it a remodel where holes are an acceptable option?

#28380 - 08/18/03 05:50 PM Re: old rewire???
sparkync Offline

Registered: 10/17/02
Posts: 811
Loc: NC
Electricmanscott, this is a 50 year old house with old knob and tube wiring, with approx. 10 ft. ceilings with 3 braces in the walls. The lady has had new sheet rock put up on most of it without having it rewired first. A bad mistake, but it's already done
I'm trying to make as little of a mess as I can. The receptacles are going back in her baseboard, which has been taken off. That's one plus for me. One of the bad parts of that is that there are 4 X 4 post in the corners or I could fish my wires around the walls once I had the main feed down, but that's going to be hard to do in a 4 X 4 post in the corners I checked with the supply houses here, and also on the internet, and all I can find is a 2 ft. extension, which is no where near long enough. This is my last option before I start cutting sheetrock and plaster:0 I've told the lady I may have to do it, but I'm trying to save me time and her a mess. By the way, I've already give her a price, so I've got to be careful. I've already spent probably $ 150.00 not counting my labor, and I don't even have 1 wire down yet.. Looking for it to get better though It's going to be a long journey til the end looks like.... Steve

#28381 - 08/18/03 06:15 PM Re: old rewire???
dougwells Offline


Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1226
Loc: kamloops BC Canada
check out these guys

#28382 - 08/18/03 08:19 PM Re: old rewire???
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Thanks for that link. I see several tools we could use.

#28383 - 08/18/03 08:51 PM Re: old rewire???

I sure would like to have one of those bit extensions. I found lots of sites selling ITT Holub tools but no luck on the drill kit and no luck finding Holubs site. One link took me to Thomas and Betts, maybe they bought Holub?
I sure would appreciate it if anyone knows where I could find one.
Thanks, Brian

#28384 - 08/18/03 09:14 PM Re: old rewire???
Bill Addiss Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
I have several Diversabit extensions up to 6 feet long.

Take a look at this page >> Diversabit

from Dale Electric Supply:


[This message has been edited by Bill Addiss (edited 08-19-2003).]

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