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Old 05-03-2013, 04:34 PM   #1
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


The frame is starting to come loose on one side. The other side is still secure.

Before removing the jamb on the loose side I'd like to have some idea as to how to attach wood framing to hollow bricks. The bricks are about the size of cinder blocks, but I don't think they're manufactured any longer (if they were available I could get corner blocks with solid ends).

One possibility - upon closer examination - is screws were used to connect the wood to the mortar BETWEEN bricks one on top of the other. Thanks!

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Old 05-03-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


A picture is worth a thousand words. I'm guessing that you just have regular ole' concrete block, and the ends were laid with regulars/stretchers, rather than flush end block. If the "hand hold" isn't too deep, longer Tapcons into the web of the block should suffice.......

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Old 05-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #3
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45
A picture is worth a thousand words. I'm guessing that you just have regular ole' concrete block, and the ends were laid with regulars/stretchers, rather than flush end block. If the "hand hold" isn't too deep, longer Tapcons into the web of the block should suffice.......
Thanks for responding!

Here are pictures.



Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick-image-1656523799.jpg



Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick-image-2100539783.jpg



Many houses here in eastern Ohio built around the 1930s used this type brick for foundation walls.

Corner bricks - with a solid end - were not used around the basement entry doorway.

Possibly the contractors filled the end with cement and drilled into that to connect the wood to the wall.

But if so THAT concrete is long gone.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:23 PM   #4
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


Hollow clay blocks are nice, our colleague in Germany rebuilding his house in another thread bought a truckload of hollow blocks, seems they are readily available in Germany still, but seemed to have fallen out of favor in the USA, I have never seen any for sale and it appears they have been mostly replaced by concrete blocks (there's no such thing as a "cinder block" they are concrete blocks)

Since they are hollow, one can use heavy anchors called Toggle Bolts for hollow walls, they can be obtained in sizes large enough to be good and secure. One drawback is they need a fair sized hole drilled for them to be inserted into.





There are also Tapcon anchors, easy to use, strong, but your hollow material is only about 5/8 to 3/4" thick if I'm guessing right, not a lot to "grab" and this low fire red clay used for these kinds of blocks is not especially strong. I would say those hollow wall anchors would probably be the better choice for anything to be anchored to these hollow clay blocks, be it a 2x4 or 2x6 or a 1x4 or 1x6 that you then screw the door frame to, or anchoring the door frame directly.
Tapcons work well on concrete blocks which are harder, but also thicker walled than clay blocks.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:05 AM   #5
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


If there are no ends to the blocks, perhaps the only way is to drill carefully through the mortar joints. Fix a 2x4 using 4" screws and maybe nylon plugs which willl exert less stress on the thin walls of the block.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:36 AM   #6
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


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Originally Posted by tony.g View Post
If there are no ends to the blocks, perhaps the only way is to drill carefully through the mortar joints. Fix a 2x4 using 4" screws and maybe nylon plugs which willl exert less stress on the thin walls of the block.
I'd also would be using a a poly based construction adhesive, especially for a door.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:43 AM   #7
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


we filled hollow clay block w/grout ( not an uncommon bsmt wall mtl in pa & w nj ) then used lead shield'd drop-in's,,, iirc, we tried the ' in mortar ' method a couple times but weren't really satisfied
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony.g
If there are no ends to the blocks, perhaps the only way is to drill carefully through the mortar joints. Fix a 2x4 using 4" screws and maybe nylon plugs which willl exert less stress on the thin walls of the block.
Thanks so much for the sketch! I tried doing one myself last night but gave up.

All the responses were helpful. I have found those spring-loaded toggle screws to be very effective for attaching things TO these blocks.

I will keep in the mind the comment about the poly-adhesive.

I had thought about sticking some concrete mix in a couple block ends for something to drill into. Only disadvantage there is the entryway would be insecure overnight while the concrete dries. Maybe fast-drying concrete would solve that (?)

What do any of you think about inserting a block of wood into the end of a couple of the clay blocks, securing them from the basement side after drilling a couple holes in the clay blocks. Then I could screw the wood frame into the wood inserts. For the wooden inserts I was thinking of cutting off short pieces of square posts - ones I've seen at Lowes - 6x6 or 8x8. Hadn't thought of that idea till I read all your posts.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:30 PM   #9
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


I would start by using tony.gs' suggestion, and well as kwikfisherron's. If that doesn't work, you're wood post idea might, just don't go too big with the wood,, as you could fracture the terra-cotta block relatively easily, and then you'll have a bigger mess.

You could also "case" the opening on both sides with 2x dimensional lumber, as then you'll have the actual web of the block to anchor to more soundly. Just think of the casing that borders interior doors to hold the jamb in place.......
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:52 PM   #10
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


I like the "casing" idea. Could drill the holes in the block before tearing off the old frame, and wouldn't need to depend on screws holding in mortar or waiting for mortar, concrete, or grout to dry. Thanks! This is a great forum!
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:58 PM   #11
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


If I were to use the wooden blocks inside of the clay blocks I would buy 6x 6 wood and rip it down and use poly based adhesive and no screws from the outside. If you really wanted it to be strong I would frame the door jamb with j bolts on the back side, or just lag bolts through the front. Stuff some newspaper in the clay block to hold back the concrete then I would hand pump concrete into a bunch of the blocks. Either that or frame everything up and do a "chalk and walk". I replace steel frame doors, 25, 30 years old just held in with chalk.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:48 PM   #12
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Rotting Door Jamb - Basement Walls Made of Hollow Clay Brick


mj12, I have to ask. What is "Chalk and walk"?

(All I could find on Google was a festival in Kansas City
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:09 PM   #13
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Chalk and walk refers to the method where a door or window is installed using only chalk. No fasteners of any kind are used. This is not a proper method, although it is commonly used.

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