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Old 01-12-2013, 12:53 PM   #1
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


I'm not sure which forum is best for this topic but here it is in electrical...

I have a detached 2-1/2 car garage. The facing of the garage is ~3/4" thick deco-stone applique mortared onto mesh lath, and then grouted. The contour of the stonework is quite irregular; below you will see my iPhone perched on a ledge to give you an idea.

I would like to add some supplementary lighting around the garage door openings. Some location options include at the keystones, in between the window and left hand side door, or central (underneath where you see our Christmas wreath currently hung).

My wife favors the central location although I am not 100% sold on this yet. She imagines a wrought iron-looking decorative lantern fixture to match the faux carriage hardware on the overhead doors.

My question here is regarding the best way to mount such a fixture to the irregular stone surface. What's the best/right way to do this? I was thinking about building up an area with some mortar so that it was in fact flat, then mounting an outdoor box to it. i was also thinking that i could simply use NM conduit w/threaded fittings into the box and not securing the box at all to the wall–– the conduit would hold it in place. This would only entail a ~1" hole in the stonework. I'm not convinced of this idea.

Any ideas and/or thoughts on mounting location and attachment method appreciated.

Note:
In just about any mounting location, the interior area directly behind where the box would go is open for access.

Regards,
Wrooster











ps:
I have used google images and found a couple of photos of this type of application and honestly I think that having such a gap around the mount is a little bit hack-ish...


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Old 01-12-2013, 01:13 PM   #2
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


Pressure treated post in the ground, to support the outlet, vs trying to hang it on the wall surface. That will mean teenching for the conduit runs.

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #3
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


I would go for something like this.
http://culturedstone.com/literature/...xSellSheet.pdf
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:42 PM   #4
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


Problem is Oso954, it is easier to do it when the stone is being applied to the house, than after the fact.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:44 PM   #5
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


Everything is easier/cheaper if done in the right order during construction.

The important question is how much work/expense is the OP willing to put into mounting the light(s), for the appearance that he/his wife is after.

My read (right or wrong) is the final result is the prime factor.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:57 PM   #6
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


A skilled mason should be able to work a mounting block into the stone. Preplanning would have helped.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:05 PM   #7
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Pressure treated post in the ground, to support the outlet, vs trying to hang it on the wall surface. That will mean teenching for the conduit runs.
Where in my post above does it say anything about an outlet? What does trenching have to do with putting an electrical box on a wall to mount an outdoor light fixture/lantern to?

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:12 PM   #8
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
Everything is easier/cheaper if done in the right order during construction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Preplanning would have helped.
You guys and your "you shoulda done X first!"

No kidding.

The structure was built in 1922 and initially served as a carriage house. It was converted to an actual car garage somewhere circa 1950. The decorative stone facing was evidently added around 2004. My wife and I bought the house in 2009. Now it is 2012 and I would like more light above/around the garage doors. When, exactly, should I set my time machine to in order to "pre-plan" for this work?

A "skilled mason", good grief. Maybe he could lay a proper foundation as well, and I could just build an entire new garage atop it and pre-plan for the lights.

Wrooster

Last edited by wrooster; 01-12-2013 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:37 PM   #9
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


Quote:
Originally Posted by wrooster View Post

You guys and your "you shoulda done X first!"

No kidding.

The structure was built in 1922 and initially served as a carriage house. It was converted to an actual car garage somewhere circa 1950. The decorative stone facing was evidently added around 2004. My wife and I bought the house in 2009. Now it is 2012 and I would like more light above/around the garage doors. When, exactly, should I set my time machine to in order to "pre-plan" for this work?

A "skilled mason", good grief. Maybe he could lay a proper foundation as well, and I could just build an entire new garage atop it and pre-plan for the lights.

Wrooster
Lmao!
Welcome to diy with a pro.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:26 PM   #10
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


May consider the possibility of using a Carbide Hole Saw to cut through surface enough to mount a shallow round box. Check these out:
http://www.emisupply.com/catalog/car...FQqk4AodMUIA7Q

Might work for you
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #11
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


Quote:
Originally Posted by wrooster View Post
I have used google images and found a couple of photos of this type of application and honestly I think that having such a gap around the mount is a little bit hack-ish...

It really isn't has hackish as you might think. In reality, you will probably be the only one that notices. I do get that it might bother you, but it is probably your best option.

IMHO, 98% of outdoor fixtures are cheap pieces of crap. The mounting of them becomes secondary to their crapiness.

Last edited by herdfan; 01-13-2013 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:36 AM   #12
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


If you really wanted to make it look right then use an angle grinder to cut out an appopriately sized hole, mount a fresh piece of stone in that hole and drill through that for the wiring. The trick will be in matching the stone and grout colors. Otherwise there are various kinds of mounting boards you could use (or make), and scribe the back of them to fit more cleanly with the existing stone. The correct way to do it, however, would likely be to cut a hole for an electrical mounting box. Either by itself or into a piece of stone also cut to hold it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:59 AM   #13
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


Quote:
Originally Posted by fltdek View Post
May consider the possibility of using a Carbide Hole Saw to cut through surface enough to mount a shallow round box. Check these out:
http://www.emisupply.com/catalog/car...FQqk4AodMUIA7Q

Might work for you
There are services that will cut round holes for you---those tools are expensive---look under 'concrete core drilling' or 'concrete cutting'

A coped wood block could be added to give you a tight fit---
You tube--coping with an angle grinder----
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:09 AM   #14
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Help mounting electrical box to irregular surface


A small block of AZAK mounted on spacers would do the trick. You simply use however many spacers you need on each corner to make the block level/plumb.

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