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how do I attach a light object, a cup hook, flat washer or hex nut, to an exterior window's steel lintel? I don't want to drill the lintel but I do want the attachment to be permanent.

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Steel lintels are structural elements that support the weight of the bricks above the window. Over time they can and do sag. It's not cheap or easy to replace them if they do. I personally wouldn't want to put any extra load on it. – OrganicLawnDIY Mar 10 '14 at 19:14
@OrganicLawnDIY - If, indeed, the object (whatever it is) being attached is "light" (a few pounds) I hardly see it making any difference to a properly specified & installed lintel that's holding up a ton of bricks. Contrariwise, if the lintel is sub-standard and will sag due to the wall load, a few pounds still won't make any difference. Sure, if you're dangling an anvil off the thing, it might have an effect. I don't see that here. – Ecnerwal Mar 10 '14 at 19:59
Thank you. The object weighs less than 6 ounces. – SteveP Mar 10 '14 at 21:16

Depending how light your object is, a rare earth magnet will do the job nicely for some values of "light" and the particular magnet. Small ones are pretty affordable, hefty ones get expensive.

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Thanks. I'll look into it. I need way to hang the object from the lintel (a set of wind chimes). The object has to hook onto something that's attached to the lintel. Thanks again. – SteveP Mar 10 '14 at 21:18
Old hard drives are excellent sources of these magnets, and cheap. – Wayfaring Stranger May 10 '14 at 13:40
Old hard drive magnets will easily permanently attach 8oz to a metal beam if all you have between the magnet and the steel is a layer of paint. Non-permanent and given the high intensity field and surface area, not going to slide or detach unless you want it to. – Fiasco Labs May 10 '14 at 19:42

Epoxy! And you can do it to the paint, or scrape the paint off first. The later is stronger in general. Almost any common hardware store epoxy will do. And, should you change your mind, a good whap with a chisel and you can take it off cleanly.

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Thanks. That's what I was thinking too. Epoxy would hold the washer or hex nut from which I would hang the wind chimes. I appreciate the suggestion! – SteveP Mar 10 '14 at 21:19

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