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Forum topic by controlfreak posted 05-15-2021 12:26 PM 486 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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controlfreak

2274 posts in 724 days


05-15-2021 12:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have two projects coming up that require me to secure wood to the brick & mortar on my home. One project is a new frame for the access door under the house, the second is front porch hand rails. The problem is in a house that is over 100 years, the bricks and mortar tend to be a little crumbly. I am thinking about drilling holes that I can epoxy some oak dowels in and then screw into them. Are there any other ideas that fellow LJ’ers can think of?


21 replies so far

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ibewjon

2485 posts in 3916 days


#1 posted 05-15-2021 01:01 PM

Big no on the dowels. Is there wood behind the brick? If the brick is soft and it is old lime mortar, not Portland cement, there is no strength. It would be best to drill through the brick or mortar and use torx drive construction screws into the wood behind. I dealt with old soft brick and mortar on the job for years, and if as soft and crumbly as you say, it won’t hold hand rails. Have you tried drilling into the joints to see if it is only the surface that is soft?

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corelz125

3070 posts in 2099 days


#2 posted 05-15-2021 01:28 PM

If you can’t drill a thru hole. There’s epoxy you can use to hold a threaded rod in the wall. Fill the hole with epoxy put the rod in let it set up and it’s good. Drilling into brick sucks.

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ibewjon

2485 posts in 3916 days


#3 posted 05-15-2021 02:04 PM

Epoxy works great I n solid, sound brick and mortar. If it is as soft and crumbly as op stated, drilling through won’t be a problem. No point gluing to loose brick.

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controlfreak

2274 posts in 724 days


#4 posted 05-15-2021 04:03 PM

It is brick columns for rail pickets not hand rails so if I extend the side piece (probably a treated 2×4) to the deck the only force I will have is a lateral force. Only a few feet up so there is no fall hazard is someone really tests the strength of it. I am thinking of boring into the brick and using a dowel to secure with epoxy and drilling a hole for the screw so as not to exert a spreading pressure against the brick. If I cut the rails to the exact size or slightly proud they should hold all in place side to side. The basement door is 100% brick too. Sounds like I need a test dowel and whatever glue can get enough bond to prevent the dowel from spinning when I drive a lag screw in it.

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SMP

4198 posts in 1029 days


#5 posted 05-15-2021 05:04 PM

I usually use the expanding masonry fasteners. Its usually easiest to drill into the mortar in the corner intersection of bricks, put the expanding insert into the hole and the bricks on each side of the hole hold them tight.

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corelz125

3070 posts in 2099 days


#6 posted 05-15-2021 06:35 PM

You might be able to use pin drive anchors if there’s no load on it

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bandit571

28802 posts in 3806 days


#7 posted 05-15-2021 09:15 PM

Hilti sells a 2part epoxy…you drill the holes, blow the dust completely out, squirt the epoxy in place, and stuff a dowel in.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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ArmyOfNobunaga

18 posts in 41 days


#8 posted 05-15-2021 09:18 PM



Big no on the dowels. Is there wood behind the brick? If the brick is soft and it is old lime mortar, not Portland cement, there is no strength. It would be best to drill through the brick or mortar and use torx drive construction screws into the wood behind. I dealt with old soft brick and mortar on the job for years, and if as soft and crumbly as you say, it won t hold hand rails. Have you tried drilling into the joints to see if it is only the surface that is soft?

- ibewjon


I agree. Op needs to be prepared for a lot of cosmetic work after the project. I’ve been there.

View bold1's profile

bold1

356 posts in 2970 days


#9 posted 05-15-2021 09:51 PM

Wood of any kind into a fight hole in crumbling brick is asking for trouble. When the wood expands it will crumble even more. Even steel as it rusts will expand and crack masonry. Best to epoxy stainless threaded rod for a trouble free fix.

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drsurfrat

669 posts in 310 days


#10 posted 05-16-2021 12:17 AM

Epoxy and stainless bolts: You might look into mountain climbers methods and gear. A friend who sets climbing routes uses epoxy and stainless steel bolts to (literally) hang hs life on. We climbed a route that he had set 5+ years earlier in So. Yosemite.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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corelz125

3070 posts in 2099 days


#11 posted 05-16-2021 12:29 AM

Hilti is expensive. Dewalt makes a epoxy for the same application. Skip the dowel and just glue a threaded rod.

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controlfreak

2274 posts in 724 days


#12 posted 05-16-2021 01:03 AM

Lots of good ideas here, I love using LJ as a sounding board.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2485 posts in 3916 days


#13 posted 05-16-2021 01:19 PM

How about a couple pictures so we can give real advice? We are all just guessing here about solutions with no pictures. The opening statement about the brick being soft and crumbly tells me epoxy won’t help. If the brick is semi solid structurally, epoxy would put the least stress on the brick. Expansion anchors could make it worse. There are a lot of reasonably priced stainless anchors available, including stainless tap cons which self tap and screw into the brick.

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controlfreak

2274 posts in 724 days


#14 posted 05-16-2021 04:12 PM

Good Idea! film at eleven.

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Sylvain

1283 posts in 3622 days


#15 posted 05-16-2021 04:28 PM

I always try to bore in a brick as “sand and lime” mortar will not hold.
That is ok if the brick is not also crumbling of course.
I use Fisher plugs.

How Paul Sellers was doing in old houses:
https://paulsellers.com/2015/05/the-joiners-axe-part-ii/
https://paulsellers.com/2015/05/the-joiners-axe-part-iii/

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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