Attachment of Rail to Concrete or Motar Pillar ??


I need to attach a rail to my 92 year old Mom's front steps. I am using a 1 inch galvanized pipe, 60 inches long, with 90 degree elbows on each end, and 1 inch floor flanges for attachment at each end.
The pillars that I will attach to are some kind of mortar or concrete. It is 50 year old construction, but it is something that was obviously formed and poured. It looks quite solid. I just don't know if it would be called mortar or concrete...... again, it is solid, not just concrete blocks.
I need to know the best method of attachment. I am thinking of either using tapcon screws, or lag bolts of some sort, using a lag shield to anchor the lag bolts. Whatever I use, I will be able to attach 4 bolts or screws, as the floor flanges have 4 drilled holes.
Any ideas, or comments ??
Thanks !!
James
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James wrote:

I have similar set up in my back porch steps with Aluminum railing. I used tapcon screws. I guess it all depends how solid it is.
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Did something like that a decade ago, and it is still in A1 shape. Bought some stainless steel threaded rod, 5/16" IIRC. Used a 3/8" carbide masonry bit and carefully drilled the holes about 3" deep. Filled the holes with1:1 slow cure epoxy and inserted 5" pieces of the rod. Next day, finished installing flange, trimmed off excess rod and painted it black. These days, it might be better to use a Harbor Freight diamond bit if there could be unusual hard aggregate in the cement/concrete. Might work for you.
Joe
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Simpson makes wonderful epoxy. They make a heavy bodied one.... You can install just about anything in concrete with this epoxy. (threaded rod, anchor bolts, carriage bolts pushed through a bracket and then into the concrete drilled location........) It is used for earthquake retrofit.....It is a strong attachment.... jloomis

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Tapcons are what I used
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Tapcons are good, but depends on the load. I used a ton of sleeve anchors to put dumpster gates back on grouted block when the garbage men or the wind took them off. They have a sliding sleeve for most of their length, not the wedge type that are meant for hard concrete. They are relatively inexpensive, particularly when bought at a fastener house, and by the box.
Sleeve anchors can be bought in all lengths, so you can go far in lessening the tendency for the outside of the material to fracture, as when you are drilling into block and want to hit the mortar rather than the skin of the block.
There are tricks to them, alignment mostly, and putting the nut on the shaft to tap them in, so you don't booger the threads. Set your depth 1/2? longer than the shaft so you can put if in as far as you can so that when you tighten, the shaft isn't sticking out very much past the nut.
I have used a lot of them, and they work good.
Steve
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92 year old "Mom" is the load..probably quiute a bit less than windborne dumpster gates..
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The problem you will have is that the opening for the screws in the floor flange are small so any anchor that would work with them and go directly into the concrete will be weak.
What you might want to do if the post is large enough is get a hammer drill and bit to drill some half inch holes then attach a mounting plate made of presure treated lumber to the concrete by using threaded rod and epoxy specifically made for anchoring bolts. I would use 4 bolts / threaded rods and washers with nuts .. then you can mount a hand railing.
Galvanized pipe is nice in some ways because it is strong, inexpensive and will inhibit rust but I would spend the extra cash and look into a real railing... after all she is 92 and will probably put a lot of her weight on it and... she is your mom :o)

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