Okay, it's taken a bit of time to figure out what I'm going to do but I've got a plan now. Major pieces of the plan are in place, and the rest are more or less spread around the Great Room floor.
Folks might remember that a month ago we nearly had a disaster
with getting the chandelier mounted properly. Since then I've been able to re-examine the whole setup and what I really
needed to mount things properly, and so now we've got a plan.
The first was the need for a true steel mount. The old mount (the ball) worked fine enough but couldn't handle a truly heavy load, and wasn't really designed for that anyway. Looking around I found a lot of various types of steel and solid mounts that would attach flush to the ceiling, needing only a small flat cover to tidy it all up. Since I have a vaulted ceiling the Arlington FB-900 was more appropriate to the ceiling and so the canopy I'd purchased would be used instead. Once the chandelier is up there it'll actually have a lot of "empty room" inside that cover, but that's all good....it'll be a good 14 feet up anyway.
A friend of ours volunteered to build a heavy gauge steel mount and it came out perfectly. There was a slight need to make an adjustment to accommodate the sloping canopy shell but that was pretty minor. It looks fantastic and is now undergoing repainting to get it ready for deployment.
With the mount being built the other issues was the Arlington mount itself. The Arlington FB-900
is carefully built to allow for very long (three inch) screws into a cross-beam stud installed in the rafters; this beam is nailed into the rafters and then the Arlington itself is held up with two small screws and those two long screws. It's then sealed with caulk to make it all pretty.
My issue wasn't with the Arlington itself but with the nature of how it's mounted. Those two long screws are just wood screws, biting deeply into the cross-beam 2x4. I know from personal experience that I myself have taken down those screws and put them back up at least three times as I write this, and very possibly four. Quite simply, with all of the installation and removal of those screws I frankly I wasn't sure how well they would take the weight any more--screws do work loose over time, and having had them removed/installed several times made me uneasy. Would the screws actually hold reliably a fourth time?
Quite frankly, I didn't trust it any more. I needed to be sure that my 131-pound chandelier wouldn't come crashing down at 0300 in the morning when this screws pulled out.
So.....after some though I've come up with A Plan. I have decided that what I'll do is to actually remove the Arlington, giving me a good 8-inch square hole thru which I can work. After ensuring the cross-beam is solid, I'll go ahead and drill out the two holes which are already 3" in on the 2x4 (which means there's about a half inch left). Then I will install heavy duty lag bolts, with double nuts and lock washers thru the holes, thus allowing the weight-bearing bolts to be sitting on the cross-bream rather than simply screwed into it. This makes gravity work for me in this case rather than against me, and I think it will be vastly more secure as a result. Once those bolts are in I'll reinstall the Arlington and caulk it all up cleanly, then attach up the newly-built mount with more lock washers and double nuts.
THAT oughta hold that sucker. IF it ever comes down it'll be because the roof came down too, so I'll have more bigger issues anyway....
Below are two pics, one with the (somewhat mangled) ball mount that Was Not Good and the other that is the big heavy gauge steel mount that probably could hold a car if we could get it in there.
Next up I've got to get the holes drilled and the mount installed, then there will be another Weight Test. Fingers and miscellaneous appendages crossed....
Steven in Colorado
My Construction Website
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|This is a picture of the older ball mount. It held up well enough, but not good enough for the chandelier.||
|This is the new 1/4" steel mount. This sucker is heavy!|