Anyone have experience with me mantel situation

My home is 100+ years old. The stone is old castle stone imported from. Scotland so who knows the age lol πŸ˜† I NEED a mantel. I have a piece of reclaimed oak that would be perfect but am afraid to start or even attempt drilling into the stone. My luck it would come tumbling down. I've seen suspension mantels but would like some advice on what would be ideal in this situation.
q anyone have experience with me mantel situation
q anyone have experience with me mantel situation
Excuse the mess. Getting an early start to christmas πŸŽ„
  7 answers
  • Emily Emily on Nov 19, 2017
    Your picture is too dark to see what you are referencing.
    • Erin Peters-Fortunato Erin Peters-Fortunato on Nov 19, 2017
      I apologize. I added an additional. You can see remnants of a leak that was repaired last month. I thought I'd tackle the cleaning and mantel situation at the same time
  • Sandra Sandra on Nov 19, 2017
    Advice from a mason, or DIY channel, "stone revival" program.
  • Emily Emily on Nov 19, 2017
    Hi Erin, my husband and I get the same emails and he read this one. He knows about stone etc. He said that any stone strong enough to hold your chimney is strong enough to be drilled into. He said there is something called a "Lag bolt" that the mason would first put a hole in the stone and then insert this something to hold the Lag bolt, which then would be fastened through your mantel to hold it in place. You would need an experienced person to do this (he said) not a DIY. Good luck!
  • Sharon Sharon on Nov 19, 2017
    I would first clean that efflorescence off where the leak was, and the rest could use a cleaning probably too. I would use a waterless cleaner.... You can try to use a wire brush to remove the efflorescence first, then use the waterless cleaner. If that doesn't work use muriatic acid with safety precautions of rubber gloves, mask and goggles, and use only plastic utensils.
    What is that stone? I am going to assume its Scottish basalt called Edinborough Castle Rock- very dense and hard. I would hire a mason to come in a drill the 3 bolt holes for you if your mounting a solid beam. If you've got local wood guys who make beam/log mantels, they could do it too.
    You will need a rotary drill and masonry bit (rent if you don't have), long threaded bolts and 2 part epoxy or construction glue ....

    • See 1 previous
    • Sharon Sharon on Nov 20, 2017
      Glad you know a mason, the rotary drill versus the hammer drill should be better, and he may even need a diamond drill bit and some water.make faster work of it.
      There are a bunch of videos on how to finish that beam and there are ones on live edge finishing....
      if it has crack, voids, knots you can pre-fill those with epoxy tinted black....
      An alternate to epoxy is oil finish with tung oil or danish oil.
      My Dad preferred the tung oil or Danish oil finish on his pieces, and they still look good today after 20 years.
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Nov 20, 2017
    What a beautiful piece of history. Thank you for not thinking about painting the fireplace. I would hang a large painting from the ceiling rather than putting on a mantle.
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Nov 20, 2017
    BTW: the efflorescence is coming from the mortar used between the bricks. it will continue to stain the stone as it is deep inside. I have a very old brick fireplace and researched this as mine does this also.
  • Susanroy36 Susanroy36 on Nov 20, 2017
    Why don't you put up a significant size wood free-standing mantle up against your fireplace? It can be easily built.
    • Erin Peters-Fortunato Erin Peters-Fortunato on Nov 20, 2017
      I thought that would be ideal but that mantal that was salvaged was what I long for lol πŸ˜† it matches the beams on the ceiling so well. The fireplace itself is huge. I could possibly sit in it lol. I'm not sure that would scale to size. Your thoughts?