Attaching Reclaimed Timber to Red Brick?

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  #1  
Old 10-03-06, 02:13 PM
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Attaching Reclaimed Timber to Red Brick?

Does anyone know the proper method for attaching a piece of old reclaimed timber wood (3"x8"x75") to a clean, red brick support? I want to attach this timber wood to my existing mantle on my fireplace but I'm not sure how to attach the wood to the brick. Would I use a thinset mortar or some other kind of adhesive? Please advise.

Thanks!
Steve
 
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  #2  
Old 10-03-06, 04:22 PM
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I have seen heavy timber mantles attached by drilling holes in the brick and coresoponding holes in the timber. Steel pins or threaded rod then pin the two together. Epoxy or other adhesive is squirted into the holes before inserting the pins to help hold everything together.
 
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Old 10-03-06, 06:17 PM
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That's how it is done. Just make sure your holes match up perfectly, as you don't get a second shot once the epoxy starts setting up. It will be there for a while, and the rods give adequate support as well. And they are hidden.
 
  #4  
Old 10-04-06, 09:26 AM
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Thanks for the responses. So as I understand, the best method is to drill a hole all the way through the brick as well as the timber and ensure they line up, then find a rod that would have to be threaded on both ends. Squirt some expoxy adhesive into the hole, then insert the rod into the hole and secure on both ends with a washer? To hide the bolt head and washer, could I use a wood bit and drill the diameter of the washer down a bit so that the bolt head and washer are hidden? And I would prefer to use some kind of oil rubbed or tarnished bolt/rod and washer. If I used just your regular bolt and washer made of steel, it would detract from the look. Even if I have sunk the washer and bolt head, they could still be seen from overhead but I guess that is getting a little anal. Do you know of any hardware stores that sell oil rubbed bolts/washers? I would think contractors use these when building timber framed homes. Also, since the bricks on my red brick mantle are fashioned in a verticle arrangement, I would need a masonry drill bit that is longer than the brick is. Can I use my regular power drill or do I need some higher powered one?? I would probably need to drill 3 holes since the mantle is over 6 feet long.

Thanks again for the feedback.
Steve
 
  #5  
Old 10-04-06, 12:34 PM
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The idea of using the pins and epoxy is so that nothing shows when you are done. Holes are drilled in the backside of the mantle, but not all the way through. Then matching holes are drilled into the brick - most of the way through should be sufficient, as they will be holding up the mantle and whatever you put on it. The tricky part is making sure the holes are straight and line up (mantle to brick). The threaded rod is used so the epoxy will have a better surface to grip than if a smooth rod was used. No nuts or washers are involved.

I would suggest making a template when you drill the holes in the mantle (do it first), by clamping a thin sheet of plywood or fiberboard to the backside of the mantle before you drill the holes. Then use the holes in that template to mark the location of the holes in the brick. Take care to get the holes as straight as you can. Cut the pins from threaded rod, to be 1/4" shorter than the combined depth of the holes (brick + mantle). I'd suggest a 1/2" rod so it won't bend with use. Dry fit the pins and mantle, to insure everything lines up before you apply the epoxy. If they all line up, mix your epoxy, put some in the brick and some in the mantle, and put the whole works together. You may have to temporarily support the mantle, as any play in the fit will result in the mantle leaning down away from the wall. Once set, the epoxy should keep it all in place. The mantle fit against the brick hides the pins and the holes. Be careful not to use too much epoxy as it will extrude from the holes and make a mess of things. Good luck.
 
  #6  
Old 10-04-06, 03:28 PM
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Ubob, thanks for the detailed explanation. I think I misunderstood the original explanation and I see what you're getting at but here's a curve ball to throw at you. I don't plan on butting the timber mantle up against the vertically fashioned red brick. I want to set the timber wood mantle on top of the red brick and have the brick support the timber. In the case of my fireplace, the contractor who built it fashioned some bricks across the top vertically so that they serve as a psuedo mantle but it looks stupid to me (they actually stick out further than the brick face of the fireplace). I had planned on setting a perfectly cut piece of reclaimed timber wood on top of this brick mantle as the new mantle. This timber piece will actually jut out about 2-3 inches past where the current brick mantle ends. This is why I initially mentioned just using some sort of adhesive like thin set or maybe Gorilla glue to stick it to the brick.

If I do what you suggested, the red brick will be exposed looking down at the mantle which I want to avoid + the mantle will sit lower than I want it to. See this URL for what I'm dealing with here:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m267/fsufan8/DSC01034.jpg

The current psuedo brick mantle is about 5 inches wide and I plan to buy a piece of timber that is cut to 7 or 8 inches wide.

After all of this, now how would I attach the timber to the brick? Someone at work told me I could find the studs in the wall above the fireplace, then do basically what you suggested with the threaded rods and epoxy. This with the fact that the wood is resting on a 5 inch base of brick would hold it in place. And I don't plan on putting anything heavy on the mantle. It's more for the rustic look than anything.

So with this said, what should I do now?
Thanks for your advice,
Steve
 
  #7  
Old 10-04-06, 03:31 PM
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Forgot to mention ....the red brick face will be covered with Cultured Stone brand stacked stone veneer (Alpine Pro Fit in Harvest color). I will set real AZ flagstone for the hearth. The fireplace should look completely different when it's all said and done.

Steve
 
  #8  
Old 10-04-06, 07:27 PM
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Thanks for posting the picture, it really helps. Now, about attaching your mantle... As your coworker mentioned, you could still use the rod method, and the brick (and subsequent stone) would help support it.

Another approach might be to drill pilot holes underneath the mantle, lined up with the studs in the wall, that angle upward as they approach the wall, then drive long screws in those holes (could also be countersunk), to attach the mantle. Being underneath, the holes would be less obtrusive, and placed properly maybe even hidden by the stone. The pilot holes should exit the back of the mantle where it meets the wall, near the top of the mantle.

From the picture, it appears that the wall at the back of the fireplace is finished (so you probably don't want to tear into it). It not, you could add 2x4 blocks at the mantle level between the studs, then use lag bolts to screw into the back side of the mantle through the blocks and sheetrock, from the inside out.

Hope this helps. When you get it done, post the picture, so we can see how it turned out.
 
  #9  
Old 10-05-06, 02:56 PM
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those are great ideas. And yes, the wall behind the mantle is finished so I will try not to damage or tear into it at all possible. I like the idea of using the pilot hole underneath the mantle and countersinking that through the mantle and into the studs in the wall. The only problem is that the underside of the mantle will be resting on the current brick mantle so I won't be able to screw the bolts through the underside of the mantle diaganolly upward toward the finished wall and into the studs b/c the underside won't be accessible. Based on all of the ideas posed, my best bet is to use the pins into the studs and epoxy them. I wonder if I should attach 1/4" hardy backer to the underside of the timber mantle and along with using the pins to hold it to the wall, I could apply thin-set mortar to the top side of the brick mantle and set the timber mantle w/ backer board on that giving it some added strength. Then, attach the stone veneer to the fireplace face so that it covers the exposed edge of the hardy backer on the front and side of the fireplace?? Would I need to go that far as to attach hardy backer and mortar the timber down to the existing mantle or would the pins/rods into the studs be good enough?

And yes, for sure I will post before and after photos of this when it's done. I want to start on it now but unfortunately my wife and I are traveling to Chicago for the next 2 weekends for 2 weddings so my first shot at this project is the following weekend (bummer!).

Thanks,
Steve
 
  #10  
Old 10-06-06, 05:22 AM
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Here is a link to a diagram that shows what I was describing. I think you would still have access to drive the screws.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m181/Ubob_2006/mantle.jpg
 
  #11  
Old 10-06-06, 12:03 PM
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wow, that's great! Thanks, Ubob, for drawing that up for me. I completely understand now. Looks like a good method to use. I will post up the results and how I did it all once it's complete. Looking forward to this project!
Thanks again,
Steve
 
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