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Old 03-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
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How to secure bracket and wood to clay block


The walls in the basement in our 1930-era house are made of clay block (sample drawing below). I have two items I need to secure to the wall. One is a very small (7 inch long by 3 inch wide) shelf, which will be secured with brackets underneath the shelf. The other is a piece of wood 2-ft long, 4-in wide, 3/4-inch deep which will be secured flat directly to the wall. Are Tapcon screws and a masonry bit the correct thing to use in this case, or ... ? And will a regular drill work well, or should I get and use something like a hammer drill? Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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How to secure bracket and wood to clay block


I would use urethane sealant and forget about drilling that block. It is hard burnt, and is hell to drill, and usually just breaks apart when penetrated. Attach a galvanized flat truss plate to the back of the wood on both ends with flat washers under the plate to space it off a bit. Clean the plate with alcohol. Same with the block. Put a glob of sealant on both plates, and stick to the block where you want it. Prop it in place with a 2 x 4 on an angle. Let it set up. You will play hell getting it off.

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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How to secure bracket and wood to clay block


Glue it like James said or if you want to drill it, do not use the hammer function and use one of the plastic or epoxy anchors.

You don't want a bunch of expansion back there or it will fracture it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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How to secure bracket and wood to clay block


Have you ever tried to drill that stuff Eric? If its the stuff Ive run into its like iron, except harder and a lot more brittle. Maybe its not like the stuff in ancient roof decks.

They might actually be better off hanging the shelves from the joists above if they have any.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:45 AM   #5
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How to secure bracket and wood to clay block


James,

I think I have drilled some similar stuff before. If I recall correctly, I wound up using a glass cutting bit instead of a masonry bit.

It is rock hard but brittle.
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