Just bought a home built in 1945. Wanted to hang a ceiling fan where an old light fixture was. I am ignoring all the non-functional wiring. I purchased a ceiling fan rated box with brace from which to hang the fan. The ceiling itself appears to be plaster.
After wiggling out the old box I noticed this elongated U-shaped saddle brace that travels in the same orientation I would be placing my new fan box and brace. Unfortunately, I have no attic access to take a look from above. I cannot get a good view to see how this bracket is attached to the ceiling or where it attaches to.
Reading some other forums, I noticed some people stating that this type of set up should be able to support the weight of a ceiling fan. (mine is 18 lbs). So to test it out, I actually grabbed hold of the bracket and did a pullup. The bracket didn't budge and the ceiling didn't fall down.
I tried my best to get a view of the bracket from inside the ceiling with my phone, but there is a lot of insulation. Feeling around, I could barely get my hand to the end of the bracket, and I wasn't able to palpate any discernible bolt or screw, so I'm not quite sure how it's fastened to the ceiling.
This is what the old pancake box looks like: It is 3.5 inches in diameter. I attached the the 4 inch crossbar that was with the original light fixture. There is a center screw which would attach the old box to the saddle bracket. Would just need to find a nut to secure the crossbar to the old box.
Ideally I would love to remove the old U-shaped saddle bracket and install the new fan-rated box and brace, however, I am not sure how to detach the old saddle bracket, and the hole in the plaster ceiling is slightly too small to fit my new box in.
Long story short: has anyone seen a U-shaped saddle bracket like this, and would it be strong enough to support an 18 lb ceiling fan, especially if I was able to hang from it with my whole body weight for a few seconds?
Edit: Thanks for the reply @JACK. Best bet sounds like sawing through and getting rid of the old bracket. any thoughts on attaching the new box to the old bracket like so: