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  • Mounting steel railing to stone

    You guys may as well build these railings for me since I'm asking so many questions. Here's more of a general construction question some of you may have encountered.

    I will be mounting the railings into 2" solid bluestone. Since they are railings, they are obviously near the edge of the stone. I'm planning on using either two or four hole mounting plates with escutcheons for the newel posts. I'm afraid of using any kind of expanding anchor as it will likely split the stone, If not immediately, probably later from water getting in and freezing. As an alternative I'm thinking of epoxy and threaded rod. Any ideas?

    Matt.
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  • #2
    hilti makes a good epoxy that i have mounted steam headers in a power plant with. the contractor/client supplied them so i don't know the $$ on them. they were super neat, in the fact that you don't have to mix epoxy, just place in hole and the stud punctures it and the air cures it. its called the hilti HVA system.. its prob. over kill. but just a thought.

    http://www.us.hilti.com/holus/page/m...&nodeId=-60125
    Last edited by envano; 03-25-2010, 02:29 PM.
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    • #3
      What is the bluestone laid on? is it over a slab in a mortar bed? if thats the case then epoxy is the way to go. Be careful drilling, its easy to pop one loose from the bed. You could try the new 'titen' bolts, they are sort of like a lag bolt for concrete and stone. They make a 3/8" that would work well, you run them in with an impact wrench. All you see on top is just a bolt head, not a nut and threads like a wedge anchor or threadrod.
      for a cleaner look I have drilled a 1" hole in stone/concrete and just used a piece of 6 bar (3/4") on the bottom of the post and epoxied it in. it leaves a clean, no fastener look, you only get one shot at the install though. One more thought, If you drill all the way through then you dont need to worry about it breaking from freezing.
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      • #4
        The bluestone is on a slab, I checked out those Titen bolts but they only mention concrete, not stone. Sort of a beefed up Tapcon. Cool product though. I'll look into the Hilti system that Damage mentioned.
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        • #5
          I would core drill the stone/slab and quick-crete them in. I had to do this on an railing on antique brick install I did. Just a thought
          Rick

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          • #6
            When installing car plant conveyers, I put in hundreds of those Hilti chemical anchors - They're an excellent product and were usually spec'd by name on the prints. We used the breakable capsules for 10mm and under and the two part gun dispenser system for the big anchors (either 16mm or 5/8" depending on who ordered the allthread that day).

            If you do use an epoxy/chem system like the Hilti capsules *make sure* you clean the drilled holes out before epoxying the anchors in. Use a wire brush or bottle brush to scrub out the hole and vacuum or blast all the dust out after drilling. Takes an extra minute or two, but it makes a world of difference on how strong they'll bond. When installed right, the Hilti chemical anchors are as strong or stronger than any mechanical system out there and as an added benefit you don't have to worry about the corrosion and freeze issues associated with mechanical anchors.
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            • #7
              We use the titan anchors all the time at work to anchor safes. They hold great. DO not use an impact to install them. Their holding power is derived from the ledges the threads cut. An impact beats the ledges.

              Ditto on the clean hole for the epoxy. Dust in the hole can act like mold release and not allow the epoxy to bond with the parent material. I've had to pry up safes that the nuts were rusted on and the anchors didn't give much fight.

              When drilling stone or concrete, don't waste your time with a hammer drill, use a rotary hammer with an SDS shank. The bits last a lot longer and the holes drill faster

              I'd do a test hole and anchor set-up in an out of the way spot before moving to the final mounts to see how the stone reacts
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              • #8
                Fasteners aside, drilling the hole is another concern. I have a Hilti hammer drill but was actually thinking I should turn off the hammer when I drill them due to being about 1.5" from the edge of the stone. It'll take longer to drill but I figure less chance of fracturing.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by STRENGTH AND POWER View Post
                  We use the titan anchors all the time at work to anchor safes. They hold great. DO not use an impact to install them. Their holding power is derived from the ledges the threads cut. An impact beats the ledges.

                  Ditto on the clean hole for the epoxy. Dust in the hole can act like mold release and not allow the epoxy to bond with the parent material. I've had to pry up safes that the nuts were rusted on and the anchors didn't give much fight.

                  When drilling stone or concrete, don't waste your time with a hammer drill, use a rotary hammer with an SDS shank. The bits last a lot longer and the holes drill faster

                  I'd do a test hole and anchor set-up in an out of the way spot before moving to the final mounts to see how the stone reacts
                  I did not know you shouldn't use an impact, we use the 1/2 and 5/8 all the time in 6-8" length, it would be impossible to install them by hand and quite frankly if the hole is not perfectly clean the electric impact wont' drive them anyway. How do you install them?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ricksidebottom View Post
                    I would core drill the stone/slab and quick-crete them in. I had to do this on an railing on antique brick install I did. Just a thought
                    if it was my job we would do this as well... though we use NS grout instead of concrete. I HAAAATE the LDT or Titen anchor, I've never yet been able to use one successfully. We also use epoxy fairly frequently too, but usually only if spec'd.
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                    • #11
                      Epoxy is the only way to go here. Be careful with the hammer drill/rotary hammer also.

                      edit: Myself, I'm not scared, about buying enough bits, just drill one or two holes with each. Better than breaking and having to glue together rock.
                      Last edited by JSFAB; 02-20-2010, 06:47 PM.
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                      • #12
                        Drill a hole with a SDS hammer drill 1" if 3/4"post or 1-1/2"hole if 1"sq posts down a minimum a of 4".Then use quick setting achoring cement/Rocktite.I have drill many of bluestone slabs your describing and never cracked or lossened one.Also turn the hammer mechanism way down or off bluestone is soft,not needed.
                        Last edited by admweld; 02-21-2010, 07:49 AM.
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                        • #13
                          Caution!!!

                          Matt
                          we live in the middle of bluestone heaven.. lots of quarries up here in this part of Pa...... Bluestone is a very soft brittle sandstone... I would be extra careful when mounting to it... especially near the ends... do not make the mistake of mounting to it as if it were concrete... if it were me.... I would call the Pa Bluestone Assoc... and get the info straight from the horses mouth...
                          here is the link:

                          http://www.pennsylvaniabluestone.info/

                          hope this helps
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                          • #14
                            I would have a question about mounting a railing to a piece of stone, I would tend to want to drill all the way thru it to concrete if possible. Could put a big gob of silicone between the rock and plate to seal out water?

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                            • #15
                              Thanks, fellas. As usual, no shortage of advice. I have a few weeks before I'm ready to mount them. I'll keep you guys in the loop, whether you want to be or not.

                              More questions to come...
                              "A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing"

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