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Mounting Hardware Opinions; Tapcons, Red Heads, etc.

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  • Mounting Hardware Opinions; Tapcons, Red Heads, etc.

    So as my fabrication experience slowly grows I have had to learn the ins and outs of mounting metal to block and concrete. Haven't done brick yet. I recently mounted an entry gate with good results using Tapcon bolts and I've had good results with Red Head wedge anchors for pedestals/machinery in concrete. Mixed results with sleeve anchors in stucco block. I have had no problems with my DeWalt hammer drill.

    Anyhow, I'm asking for wide open general opinions on products or techniques you all may have had for mounting things like gates or load bearing fabrications. There are more projects in my future and I'm going into the masonry aspect with limited knowledge. So, what's simple? What's not? What's a strong solution I can leave and walk away from and come back in a few years and see it still standing? Thanks.

  • #2
    Tapcons and wedge anchors are both good when used with in their constraints. Structural epoxy embedded all thread is another stronger option, but you must wait for the epoxy to cure before you can put any torque on the hardware.

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    • #3
      Lesson #1; Throw away your DeWalt Hammer drill, and buy a rotary hammer. A hammer drill has a not round cone behind the chuck, as tapered rollers try to roll in it, they clatter. It's better than a basic drill, but just a little.
      A rotary hammer has a different mechanism I know nothing about, but I do know they work MUCH faster. Mine is a SDS style Milwaukee. I drill a three inch deep x 1/4" hole in a few seconds.
      Dynasty 280DX
      Bobcat 250
      MM252
      Spool gun
      Twentieth Century 295
      Twentieth Century 295 AC
      Marquette spot welder
      Smith torches

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      • #4
        Mounting Hardware Opinions; Tapcons, Red Heads, etc.

        I recently used some fasteners that we're basically a big tapcon. I think Hilti made them they were structural grade and came in sizes up to 3/4" you just drilled a standard hole the size of the fastener and then used an impact driver to thread them in. They were great cuz if you needed to they came out and worked out about the same price as the better epoxys. I forget what they called them but we got them from a Hilti store. And the engineers approved them no problem if that's an issue.

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        • #5
          I'll second the sds plus type roto hammers. They kick ass. Bosch has some rebar eater bits out there if you have a lot of rebar to deal with. Milwaukee has a m12 battery powered rebar sensor. Will locate rebar down to 6 inches deep.
          MillerMatic 251
          Maxstar 150 STH
          Cutmaster 42
          Victor Journeyman OA

          A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

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          • #6
            sds hammer drills, cleaning, gaging

            Ditto the recco's. on getting a name brand, SDS rotary hammer drill.
            ***added rotary to hammer drill description
            My milwaukee is now 21 years old.
            The SDS drill geometry is wholly different than a carbide tipped twist drill
            for long, long life, much faster, much better hole accuracy and sizing, etc.
            I'll never consider using a jive drill again. Went thru 2 before getting the SDS.
            It's what the grownups use.

            Tapcons, sleeve anchors, etc. all depend on the application and substrate.

            Blow out the hole, then try to insert a steel rod of the basic anchor OD.
            Often one will have to ream the hole some to get this gage rod to fit in.
            If the gage rod can't enter the hole to full depth, then the anchor may
            not as well.....so then one tries to hammer it in....maybe....maybe not
            and it bends and it's higher than needs to be and the threads are mashed
            and it's now a beetch to remove.....and that's 'why?' I gage the dam hole.
            Last edited by dave powelson; 05-12-2015, 06:59 PM. Reason: correction

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            • #7
              Rotary hammers will make a straighter, faster, more accurate hole than any hammer drill.
              I have several Bosch, mostly because they come for the price I like, and they work well. The older ones are now good for 1/4" or 3/8" holes at this point, after hundreds or thousands of holes, these are the ones I let out for people who want to borrow my tools.
              My friends in construction tell me Hilti is the best.
              I use wedge anchors for most jobs, normal loading. If there is any problem with water or acidic fluids (dairies or wineries) I use epoxy, seals the hole off, with just a mechanical fitting the hole tends to degrade over the years, and the anchor loosens.
              I have no experience with Tapcon, never used one yet, doubt I ever will.
              Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

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              • #8
                Mounting Hardware Opinions; Tapcons, Red Heads, etc.

                I think the kind of anchor you had referred to earlier is called a Titan HD. I don't have my books at hand right now. I do recall using them with great success as compared to a conventional "red head" anchor.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Texas113:330079
                  I think the kind of anchor you had referred to earlier is called a Titan HD. I don't have my books at hand right now. I do recall using them with great success as compared to a conventional "red head" anchor.
                  Titen anchors are a bigger version of the tap con. I sell fasteners for a living and weld for fun. I sell the most of the wedge anchors and then all thread studs. The rest are all about the same. We do sell a bit of drop in anchors too. Mining and municipal services seem to go with adhesive and studs vs the rest of the construction fields using wedge, tapcon, Titen and drop ins.

                  For rotohammers Bosch is the big seller. Hitachi seems to be making some decent stuff too. 18v cordless is owned by milwaukee.
                  MillerMatic 251
                  Maxstar 150 STH
                  Cutmaster 42
                  Victor Journeyman OA

                  A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mounting Hardware Opinions; Tapcons, Red Heads, etc.

                    Thanks all for the tips and perspective. It is a great help!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Another comment.

                      All the major manufacturers of anchors publish big catalogs,,, these include shear strength, pull strength, instructions for installing, etc. etc. It is time for you to do a little legwork yourself, the information is out there. Consult with your favourite industrial supplier.
                      Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mounting Hardware Opinions; Tapcons, Red Heads, etc.

                        Find a good sales rep, not one that was working at Walmart last week, and he can probably get you all the tech specs in short order. For me, I find fastenal to prefer to not do business with the one-man-shows like me, but rather deal with their large industrial contracts around here. Fortunately for me, I have two really good local fastner outfits that I can consult when needed.

                        And Dave's explaination of why he gages the holes should be printed on the side of the fastner boxes. Spot on my man. Been there, did that, cussed a bunch, ended up cutting them off flush and starting over. I wasn't happy.

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                        • #13
                          Who ever said throw the cheap dewalt hammer drill away is wrong.

                          I've been fastening steel to concrete for the last 28 years or more and most of the time I'm the one who specs out the anchors.

                          If your drilling into brick or block you do not want a big hammer drill, you want a drill with a light hammer action to minimized how much you spawl the block on the back side, you also need to use a little less pressure when your about to go through which also helps minimize breaking the back side out of the block.

                          When drilling into concrete floors or walls the cheap dewalt is not meant for this, however to be fair Dewalt does make big hammer drill also.

                          I have a few Black & Decker Macho 5 that will go toe to toe with the Hilti of equal size, mine use the spline drive which are getting harder to find.

                          As far as anchors go Hilti makes some good epoxies, In high strength applications going into hollow core block walls we use Hilti HY 70 with screen tubes which is the best that I have found and what most engineers spec, Its pricey but its the best.

                          A much cheaper option is the good old cheap lag shield with a galvanize lag bolt for fastening a railing to a brick or block wall.

                          If you have a solid core block wall that is fully grouted then a sleeve anchor works well.

                          If your bolting a base plate into a concrete floor then a wedge anchor is my first choice, If the application is bolting a machine down to a concrete floor where vibration is a factor then the Hilti HY 150 max or most other epoxy anchors are a better choice because wedge anchors will vibrate out.

                          We have also used the titan style anchor and tapcons.

                          They all have there place.

                          I cant tell you how many caged ladders I have climbed over the years that I can twist the sleeve anchors that the erector used when going up.

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                          • #14
                            I have a Miller's Falls hammer drill, probably cost $150 in 1975. We used it for years. Someone borrowed it, I needed to drill four holes, a plumber loaned me his little rotary hammer. I've never used that hammer drill since. I've had two Milwaukee rotary hammers, and a bigger Black & Decker industrial unit I bought lightly used. I see people all the time struggle with the hammer drills Home Depot peddles.
                            Dynasty 280DX
                            Bobcat 250
                            MM252
                            Spool gun
                            Twentieth Century 295
                            Twentieth Century 295 AC
                            Marquette spot welder
                            Smith torches

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We love our Black & Decker Macho 5, Its not uncommon for us to get a job where we have to drill 200 holes 3/4" dia. x 7" deep in a day when we install the structure along side a van line conveyor at a FedEx facility that the trucks back up to.

                              I remember the first time I had to drill concrete, I had a monster hand drill that weighed a good 30 - 35 lbs., ( The kind that takes 2 guys to run it with the handle on one side and a boss to screw a pipe in on the other side ) thinking that it would do it no problem, It took a good 1/2 hr per hole to drill a 1/2" hole, that was the last time I ever used that drill again.

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