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5

For an 8.5' span I'd say no. The purpose of the jack studs isn't just to hold up the header - it also helps distribute the load more evenly to the foundation. For that wide of a span the IRC calls for 2 jacks(see R502.5 Allowable girder spans).


2

You could drill out larger holes, then fill with epoxy, then mount the hinges through the epoxy. But that seems like a lot of work. I'd instead install a post alongside the wall and use the post.


1

When you are dealing with weak materials, the goal is to spread the load among several attachment points and across a wide area. You should consider gate hinges, preferably those with a long tongue, such as these The long section would go on your sandstone surface using the deepest anchors you can use. Consider expansion anchors and bolts rather than ...



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