I want to attach a mantel to our fireplace. Originally, I had planned to attach the mantel using wedge anchors. However, I'm thinking about the possibility of drilling into the brick, gluing-in some wooden dowels, then using an antique lag screw to screw through the mantel and into the dowel. Is there a down side to that method?
The only down-side is that the lag will be seen on the front of the mantle. If by "antique lag screw" you mean a decorative lag, then this should not be a problem.
I like to make floating mantles with hidden support. Do this by installing several 1/2" lags into the framing or other secure area behind the mantle. Then cut off the heads from the lags, measure and drill holes into the back of the mantle and slip it on. A little epoxy on the lag shaft will hold it in place.
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