Laying a Floorplate or Wallplate Using Rawlbolts

August 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm
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Securing a plate to a wall, or concrete floor using rawlbolts is a deceptively simple undertaking, but there are several pitfalls which can turn this job into a something much more difficult. Read on to discover how you can securely fasten plate using rawlbolts to walls or floor. This guide can easily be adapted to suit other items that would be secured using rawlbolts.

Estimated time to allow

Up to half an hour per plate, assuming that each plate requires 4 rawlbolts for fastening.

Tools

Drill (SDS is likely to be the most suitable depending on the surface that you’re fastening to)
Masonry bits (or equivalent for SDS)
Hammer
Pencil/Chalk
Brush and/or vacuum cleaner
Dust Mask
Appropriate PPE (gloves, eye protection)

Instructions

  1. Place the floorplate (or other item to be fixed) in the precise position that you require it to be fixed. If there is scope to adjust the position of the plate to avoid mortar, or other similar weaknesses in the surface to be drilled, check that the holes are in an appropriate position to avoid weaknesses.
  2. Using a pencil or chalk, mark the position of the holes on the surface to be drilled.
    TIPS:
    • Before you move the plate away, mark its position so that you know how to replace it. Unless your holes are absolutely symmetrical (which is unlikely in many situations, particularly an agricultural setting), they will not be aligned if you replace the plate in a different position.
  3. Check the rawlbolt itself, or its packaging to determine the correct size of drill bit to be used. It is usually stamped on the side of the bolt (e.g. 22mm). This is important as there is no ‘give’ in either the surface or rawlbolt to allow for a hole which is the wrong size.
  4. Drill the holes as marked.
    TIPS:
    • Use tape, or permanent marker to mark the depth of the rawlbolt on the drill bit so that you know when you’ve reached the correct depth.
    • When you have drilled the holes, do not immediately remove the drill from the hole. With the drill bit still in the hole, wipe away the dust. This prevents dust going back into the hole, which depending on the amount that inadvertently goes back into the hole, can cause problems when it comes to putting the rawlbolts in.
  5. Use a brush or vacuum cleaner to clear away any dust or debris from the site of the plate, to avoid it sitting on piles of dust. The dust will not compress, so it can cause problems if it is important that the plate sits level against the surface that you’re fixing to.
  6. Put all the rawlbolts through the plate (or item to be fixed). This will require you to completely remove the ‘sleeve’ from the bolt. Once you’ve located each bolt in the hole, reattach the sleeve, taking care not to tighten it beyond the point at which the sleeve begins to expand as this will prevent it from going into the hole.
  7. Locate the plate with the rawlbolts lining up in the holes.
    TIPS:
    • If for any reason the bolt doesn’t line up in the hole, or just needs some persuasion to fit into the hole, you can use a hammer to hit the bolt head as hard as you like. However, DO NOT hit the plate itself! Hitting the plate will expand the bolt(s) and you’ll never get it out again.
  8. Once all the bolts are securely located in the holes, tighten them up a little bit past hand tight, then hit every bolt head with a hammer to make sure that everything is as tight to the surface as possible.
  9. Now tighten every rawlbolt as tight as you can.
    TIPS:
    • Don’t be tempted to put the sleeve in the hole and attempt to line up the bolt. It rarely works, more often than not you succeed only in losing the sleeve in the hole and not being able to retrieve it.
    • If the rawlbolt is spinning in the hole as you try to tighten it, but you are confident the bolt and hole are the right size, pull up on the bolt as you turn it – this will expand the sleeve, catching the sides of the hole and allow you to tighten the rawlbolt fully.

Product Recommendation

They say that if you look after your tools, they’ll look after you. If that’s strictly the case then our Hitachi DH24PC3/J1 2kg SDS Plus Drill should have left us high and dry some time ago! We have given the 110V version of this drill some serious abuse over the last 5 years, but it never fails to chew through everything that we put in its path. It’s a very sturdy construction, feels solid in the hand and gives you some confidence that it will take on any job with ease. The drill has all-metal gearing which is probably the basis of its toughness and reliability. It comes with the usual extras, such as a side handle, depth gauge and carry case. To date, the only repair required has been a new power lead.