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I have a 50lb mirror I'd like to hang. It has an iron frame with two hangers welded onto the curved top edge on the back. Here's a close-up of one of them:

enter image description here

The hangers are about 17" apart on center, and the keyhole cutouts are 3/4" wide. The wall is standard drywall, and there happens to be a stud dead-center where I'd like to hang it.

What are the simplest and safest options here? Considerations:

  1. I haven't checked yet but there's no guarantee that the brackets are 100% level, so the solution needs to be able to account for that.
  2. I'd like for the mirror to hang as flush to the wall as possible, minimizing lean-out and gap.
  3. I'm pretty conservative re: hanging weight and would strongly prefer using the stud for support, although I can be convinced otherwise. I saw this (Hillman no-stud hanger) mentioned in another answer and perhaps two of those could work if the result hangs fairly close to the wall, although point #1 could make this very challenging.
  4. Preference is for a minimum of "construction": cutting wood, etc. This technique (spanning plywood) seems to be a good solution, and I can make it happen, but if there's something simpler that is as safe I'd be interested.

My experience with hanging anything close to this heavy is to just use a z-bar, but I don't have that option with this frame.

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    Unrelaed, I would suggest de-rusting the frame before hanging it too. – Criggie Jan 24 at 7:45
  • I think those speckles are intentional – Jasen Jan 26 at 21:57
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(Suitably sturdy) Picture hanging wire. Wire between the hangers, put a screw or hook into the stud, hang and adjust.

"100 lb" rated picture hanging wire is easy to find. As is 200 if you want more safety factor...

  • Thank you! Do you have any comment on the response I left to the other answer that suggested wire? – nlawalker Jan 24 at 2:51
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    They might also be concerned with the edge of the hanger cutting the wire - easy solution to that is S-hooks at each end, or go absurd and follow the "do not use wire" advice literally by using small chain instead ;^) A "thimble" (not for your finger - for the inside of a loop/eye of wire rope) would be another approach to prevent cutting, but might be hard to find that small. – Ecnerwal Jan 24 at 3:04
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    It's worth noting that the tension in the wire is increased because the wire isn't vertical. If the wire is 60 degrees from vertical (30 from horizontal) the tension is doubled. Even so, with two hanging points, each will only apply half the tension, so 100lb wire will have a safety factor of 2 (which isn't much, for domestic stuff) – Robin Bennett Jan 24 at 10:35
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    Wire can cause a picture or mirror to lean away from the wall depending on the slack in the wire and where it is attached which might not be what you want, especially with a mirror. Of course if the mirror is hung a little high, you might want it angled down a bit... Just be aware this makes it very hard to hang it flat. – JPhi1618 Jan 24 at 15:55
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Since the answer has to take into consideration that the two hangers are not level, you're stuck with one solution: hang it like a picture. Go to your home store and get some stainless steel picture hanging wire rated for 50 to 100 pounds. Make a strong loop around one end and hook it into one of the hangers. Do the same to the other hanger so there's not much slack in the wire. Add two wires if it will help you sleep at night. Then screw a 1-1/4" lag screw and washer into the center of that 2x4 stud you like so much. Leave just enough space between the washer and the wall to slide the wire behind. Lift the mirror and slide it around until you hook the wire behind the washer.

  • Thanks! It has one of those standard "do not use wire" notices on the back that some manufacturers put on all their frames. I'm inclined to try this anyway, because my understanding is that those warnings are there to prevent warping and D-ring pull-outs in wooden frames, and to prevent people from mounting heavy stuff to a single point without a stud. Can you lend credence to that? This frame is welded iron and extremely sturdy, including the hangers. There's not much clearance for slack in the wire, which I know can create a lot of force, but I can get extra-sturdy wire to compensate. – nlawalker Jan 24 at 2:49
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    Those hangers are likely designed to take the load vertically, but wiring together like a picture will change that angle and possibly warp the frame. Also, the load on each hanger will be (significantly) greater than a plain hang - the vertical component will be the same, so you can calculate (or visualise) the horizontal component when you see the angle. – Toby Speight Jan 24 at 9:36
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Cut a piece of steel bar / tube that is thin enough to fit between the back of the glass and the front of the hangers and will reach between the two welded brackets. The bar needs to be strong enough to support the mirror at it's ends without significant bending so it might need to be wide. Drill and tap this so you can fix it to the hangers such that it can't move. Just to be clear, the bar is to sit inside the thickness of the frame of the mirror between the front of the welded hooks and the back of the glass. Attach to the mirror and find the point at which the whole assembly hangs vertically. Remove from the mirror and attach a length of suitable chain or wire to the bar so it bridges this centre point on the bar by maybe an inch either way.

Use this chain or wire on a suitable hook or bolt screwed into the stud. It gives you a little wiggle room in case you didn't get the position it hangs vertically quite right.

If the concern of the manufacturer is that wire between the two welded hangers will distort the frame by pulling the sides together, this stops it happening.

  • Typo: s/it's/its/. Note that the main direction of force is downwards, so the bar/tube can be a strip, aligned vertically, or an asymmetrical angle section. The horizontal force should generally be under 10kg, so as long as you screw the bar securely to the hangers to prevent it twisting, the asymmetry keeps it small and light. Note that you'll probably get the strip in between the hangers and glass if you choose well, which will help get it flush to the wall. – Toby Speight Jan 24 at 9:41
  • You might not need the inch of chain if you choose a metal rod that can sit securely on the hook/screw - and when you find the balance point, make a small notch to stop it slipping. – Toby Speight Jan 24 at 9:43
  • I did think of that... with access to suitable equipment you could kink the bar so it sat closer to the wall / further from the glass at that point so the screw / bolt head could sit between the bar and the glass. I'm not sure it would need a notch, at 50 lbs it's not going to move very easily. Can't correct that silly it's error unfortunately – houninym Jan 24 at 9:47
  • Thanks, this is good to consider. Given that the whole frame is very stiff and sturdy, I would think you could also prevent the sides from pulling together while hanging from wire attached to the hangers by just wedging a carefully-sized piece of lumber between the hangers. – nlawalker Jan 24 at 17:55

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