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Hanging a Fireplace Mantel

Mwlew's picture

Hello All,


I need to hang a fireplace mantel over my fireplace. It is a slab of wood weighing approximately 60 pounds and is a little over 6 feet long. I need to attach it to a wood frame wall. There are 4 studs. The only solutions I can come up with are 1) to use hanger bolts and epoxy. The largest hanger bolts I have found on the web are 1/2'' and I will need them to be 8-10" long. However I can't find a place that sells them individually. or 2) use 3 foot 5/8" rods and epoxy and go all the way through to the outside.


Does any one have a better solution? Can anyone direct me to a place to get hanger bolts and are 1/2 inch hangerbolts large enough? Which solution is best?


Any assistance will be most appreciated. Thanks


mwlew


 


 


 

(post #78148, reply #1 of 18)

If you wish to avoid a corbel ( bracket) just use a stub of 1/2 " rebar, into the studs, leave 4" outside the sheet rock, and cantalever it, even uptilt a a bit on the rod level.


Easy way is make a plywood template tha you use to locate the studs with, and use that to transfer the holes to the mantle..make a witness mark to assure alingnment and levelness.


Pl premium glue if you are certain, it'll be for life.


 

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #78148, reply #2 of 18)

I'm assuming the slab is 3-4" thick.  If this is correct, what about using newel post bolts and no epoxy?  Coffman sells them individually, about $10-12 each.  They also sell an inexpensive wrench to tighten the nut.  The wrench is handy but not necessary  http://www.coffmanstairs.com/installer/hardware2.htm


You'd have to bore, and eventually plug the nut hole, but if done from the underside I think this would work fine.  Coffman also sells the plugs for a few different species of wood.  If this is a paint grade mantle, the job is even easier.


I would think four bolts should be more than plenty strong enough if you can catch the center of all four studs.

(post #78148, reply #3 of 18)

MwLew,
I have done it using wood dowels.

Locate the centers of your studs, drill a 5/8" diam. hole 2 1/2 - 3" deep.

Witness mark the back of the mantle, drill it as deep as you can .
Glue up the dowels . drive them into the studs, apply glue to the holes and dowel stubs and drive the mantle onto the stubs.

One can also use epoxies and over drill the for diameter just a bit and that makes it easier to slip the mantle onto the dowels.

"Poor is not the person who has too little, but the person who craves more."...Seneca

Life is Good

(post #78148, reply #4 of 18)

any room in the back for a french cleat?


 


or ... hog out space to slip in a 2x4 ... mount 2x to wall ...


then set the mantle over it ... screw down thru the top ... at the back.


make the 2x dado tight ... and PL or yellow glue. It ain't going anywhere.


Jeff


    Buck Construction


 Artistry In Carpentry


     Pittsburgh Pa

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #78148, reply #6 of 18)

That is my thinking. dado a dovetail slot in the back of it and make a matching piece to screw to the wall, then it snaps in. I would stuill use some set screws or glue because a hunk of wood like this is likely to want to warp or move.

 

 


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(post #78148, reply #8 of 18)

I did that dovetail rout once..never again. the wall has to be dead on the nuts straight, or the cleat will not be, and sliding the huge hunk 'o wood along that puckerd cleat is nearly impossible.


We need more info here..is it block behind the Drywall and studs? I mean it should be a chimney back there.


I guess that is why the old mantles had corbels, they work.


 

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #78148, reply #10 of 18)

Dovetail at top only - no sliding, just hang and snap. I did it once with wood cleat and twice with metal hanger - snaps right down snug

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #78148, reply #11 of 18)

That sounds like what I call a french cleat.


Some people refer to a french cleat as just a strip of wood  (rectangle in shape) screwed to the wall but thats not so, a true french cleat is tapered(ripped with a bevel) so that the piece on the cabinet/mantle.......... which also has a taper to it will drop down onto the cleat and sorta lock in place.


If your in a hotel room most likely the headboard is installed that way.


Doug

(post #78148, reply #12 of 18)

Yeah, I just never heard it called that.

And I have an aversion to giving the french too much credit for good stuff...LOL

And like with the term, "French drain" a french anything seems to mean too mamny different things to different people.

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #78148, reply #13 of 18)

While living in Texas I worked for a guy that was from France, he tried to take credit for the "french cleat"


I think he got his start in woodworking as a boat builder in Maine somewhere, you know him?  :)  I guess he couldnt stand the weather so he moved south, Your gain, Texas' loss!


And I have know idea what a French drain is, everytime I see it pop up here I just disregard the topic, sorta like political threads.


Doug

(post #78148, reply #14 of 18)

Ok, I gotcha. I rip a 1x6 at 45 down the middle and have them mate..like that.  I hang all my milk crates in the shop that way.


The mantel I tried, I did a true sliding dt in a 4x12 x8' hunk of walnut..that was the least fun I have had in a long spell, getting it anchored..LOL


 

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #78148, reply #16 of 18)

fifteen degrees will do it, maybe 22

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #78148, reply #18 of 18)

Sure. I also attach a scrap of the same or thicker stock to the bottom of the milk crate, makes it hang plumb and the saw blades dont't roll out...very compatible hanging system, one long rail on the wall, and a few crates that can attach to a rail in the truck.

 

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #78148, reply #5 of 18)

Depending on the depth of the mantel, 60 lbs sounds like an awful lot to be hanging off the wall with only 4 epoxied connection points.  If it's 3-4 inches deep, it seems like it might be ok, but if it's 8" or more, I think it an epoxy connection will flex over time.  After all, the mantel won't be snugged to the wall.


I would be thinking about corbels as someone else mentioned.  If you really need it to be "floating", then I would think about a hidden cleat.  Bolt the cleat (a 2X3 for example) to the studs, dado a groove in the back of the mantel, slip the mantel over the cleat and screw the mantel from the top into the cleat.

(post #78148, reply #7 of 18)

Drive in two 10" x 5/8" lag bolts. Drill matching holes in the back of the mantle. Drive the mantle over the bolts. I've never even bothered with epoxy and never had one come loose. As a matter of fact we took one down last week that was installed about 25 years ago. Three of us with pry bars couldn't get it off the wall, we finally had to resort to cutting the lags with a Sawzall.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 40 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

(post #78148, reply #9 of 18)

You forgot to mention, cut the heads off the bolts...much mo' betta.


BTDT too.


 

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #78148, reply #15 of 18)

Thanks florida and Sphere. The method of getting lag bolts and cutting off the heads sounds like the way to go.


I am afraid to do the cleat. I don't like the idea of gouging our the entire back of the mantle.

(post #78148, reply #17 of 18)

Gouge or drill, whatever...

same idea, the steel dowels will work too

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...