I assembled an hard-top gazebo which has steel loops at the inside peak. I wondered how best to hang a ceiling fan.
The flat part is 3 1/8 inches:
The gazebo is designed with a roof above the interior ridge, something like this:
My first thought was to just using self drilling screws to mount a steel electrical box, but I didn't know if I should trust that method to fasten the box. There is no reasonable way to get access to the zone between the two ridges, so that rules-out a nut/bolt solution.
A similar solution would be to drill and tap some holes. That steel is 1.6mm thick. I suppose I could tap the holes, put in some bolts, and then additionally twist some wire around the box and loop, so if the bolts gave out, at least the fan wouldn't fall on someone's head!
Another thought was to cut the loop, leaving two "studs". If I then used a die to make threads, I could put a lock washer and nut on the studs. But that's going to be very tight quarters, trying to make threads on the improvised studs.
I'm afraid to remove any of the existing fasteners because there are a lot of forces in place, and the risk is simply too great to remove a bolt holding the structure, and then not be able to get it back in. I have experience with removing a bolt elsewhere in the structure, and it was very difficult to replace.
If I would have thought about this before assembling the structure, it would have been easy to bolt a steel box in place, but now that the structure is assembled, it would be way too much work to do a nut and bolt solution (I'd have to remove all of the roof panels on one side).
Any thoughts for how to best accomplish a safe but easy way to hanging a ceiling fan in this situation?