When we moved into the new house, we said to Karl that we could probably run ethernet wiring up to his room from my office where the router lives.  He’s been anxious for us to try that project, to say the least.

Today was the day to try that.  I started by cutting a very large hole in his wall to see into the big triangular roof space.  I wanted a hole that was big enough that we could potentially reach into the back, since I was pretty sure that I could get a line up in that location.  Here’s that hole with the fishing wire poking out:

The house is old, and the walls have been finished with drywall over plaster and lathe.

In my office I had to cut two holes, one near the ceiling

I cut a nice little rectangle with the intention of using my 4.5′ flexible 3/4″ drill bit between the lathe and the brick, but changed my strategy once I saw the hole.  We’ve got the following layers in this space:

  • drywall (1/2″)
  • plaster (~1/2″)
  • lathe (~1/2″)
  • 5/8-3/4″ gap (no insulation)
  • brick.

I was worried that trying to jam my drill bit into the space between the lathe and the brick would wreck it, since the space is so small.  Instead I opted to try to drill upwards through the plaster layer, into the lathe, and then up through the ceiling.  This wasn’t the easiest path to drill and the bit wandered significantly, but I did get the hole made, and fished my pulling line up.  With Karl’s help, we got the pulling line out of our big hole.  I was then ready to cut my second hole, and try to get the line down from the ceiling area to closer to the floor, where I’ll put the outlet and the ethernet jacks.  Here’s that hole with the pulling line fished through:

I chose to run 4 lines.  Two for Karl’s room, and two for the back room.  The two lines for the back room, have just been left in the crawl space.  I tossed them in a bit, so that if we open up the wall in that room, it should be possible to crawl in from the other side and grab them.  We are thinking that it would be good to open up that triangular dead space and build in some sort of integrated storage solution — at which point we could also run ethernet to that room.  Even if we don’t use it, it’s easy to leave it there for the future at this point when the walls are opened up.

Here’s Karl’s room temporarily closed up with one jack connected:

The end result from Karl’s point of view is the following speed test:

He was very happy with this result, about 5x faster than his wifi speed (which in turn, is also way better than his wifi speed at the old house.)

There is still more to do for this little project:

  • reinsert the insulation in the big hole, and anchor the drywall in place, and the mud and sanding to patch things up.
  • patch up things in my office and repaint that little wall (hopefully, I can get away with just that single wall.)
  • connect jacks for the second wire, and put on covers (on order.)
  • (maybe) connect jacks for the “future expansion” wires for the back room.  I may just leave those in the wall for now (but have ordered a 4-port jack plate.)