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I want to hang fireplace tools next to my fireplace without damaging the stone work. I don't want to drill into it.

The stones have mortar between them with gaps about half an inch wide:

enter image description here

I have nearly half an inch of depth to work with: enter image description here

I would like to be able to put some sort of tension screw between those rocks that I could then hang something on. My plan is to use two such locations and use them to anchor a row of hooks on a board. All in all, it would have to hold about 20 pounds of fireplace tools.

Despite spending a bunch of time on Google, I wasn't able to find any hardware that would suit my needs. The closest I could come up with are "cap nuts" which I might be able to tighten in place if I put something rubbery on the end first:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-f0-lMwtL._SY355_.jpg

What kind of hardware should I be looking for and how does it work?

  • What's the "depth" of the mortar? It looks like you might only have 1/8-3/16th of usable "wedge" area. I think drilling a small hole in the mortar might be the best option. – JPhi1618 Nov 16 '15 at 21:28
  • I edited the question to include the depth measurement (with photo) – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 16 '15 at 21:32
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Adding an answer because it would have been quite a long comment...

I knew I had seen "brick clips" before, but I'm not sure either style would work for you.

This kind is made to "hug" the top and bottom of a standard brick, so probably will not work for you, but at least you know it's available...

Brick Clip

There's also this style that has little "ears" that you use to wedge it into the horzontal mortar lines. These could work, but I'm not sure they will support the weight of tools, and may easily pull out. I've only seen them used for Christmas decorations.

Mortar clip

My goal here is to show you what I've seen, so maybe you can use them as search points for something that will work.

  • I don't think that will work for me, but +1 for the good info that somebody with a similar problem might be able to use. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 16 '15 at 21:37
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You can drill a hole and use a standard masonry screw such as Tapcons:

enter image description here

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You might be able to use a rock climbing cam to hold it in place. A picture of one is below. Rock Climbing Cam

With the large gaps in between the stones, you can also drill into the mortar using a masonry bit and attach the tools with a masonry screw. Since you are screwing into the mortar, and not the stone, then you can easily patch over the hole later if you want to remove it.

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    At $50 to $100 a piece for rock climbing cams, and the lack of depth, that's probably not an option, but I was going to suggest just drilling into the mortar. It will patch easily, as you said. – JPhi1618 Nov 16 '15 at 21:25
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You can use a climbing nut:enter image description here

But if I were you, I'd probably just epoxy a metal bar directly to both stones and screw a hook into it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nut_(climbing)

  • How hard would it be to remove the epoxy if I ever wanted to do that? – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 16 '15 at 21:34
  • I'd think that removing the epoxy would be impossible without damaging (or at least scratching) the stone. Hot glue comes to mind as easily removable, so with a large enough contact area that might be an option. – JPhi1618 Nov 16 '15 at 21:37
  • Hot glue tends to soak into the stone... Epoxy comes off apart from a small sheen on the edges. Metal screws would grind the granite into dust. you could try to get a right angle drill and put small holes in the sides of the blocks and put a pin in there and suspend the tools from that. But basically, there's no easy and safe way to do this that won't have some small impact on removal. – gbronner Nov 16 '15 at 21:37
  • Any idea what kind of turnbuckle would work? Most of the ones that I've found are meant for tightening a line (hooks or eyes on the ends) rather than fastening something with tension. Most turnbuckles seem to come in sizes measured in inches. It seems hard to find one short enough. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 16 '15 at 21:40
  • A regular flat headed hex bolt with a nut on the end would work; you'll need two extremely thin wrenches to tighten it. Cut the hex bolt to the exact length, thread the nut on it, and carefully rotate the nut to expand it. Slip a thin wire behind it, and attach the tools to that. – gbronner Nov 16 '15 at 21:54

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