I bought a Westinghouse Saf-T-Brace (Model 01400) for use in
installing a ceiling fan. Unfortunately, I have discovered the
ceiling joists are only 10" apart (edge to edge) in the spot I want to
install the fan (after I cut the hole in the ceiling). Do they or
anyone else make a shorter version of the brace?
If not, has anyone every tried to cut each piece of the brace, to make
it shorter? The threaded rod looks like some kind of hardened steel.
Any other suggestions?
I had the exact same problem in my kitchen, and had purchased the same
brace. I took my 4" grinder and ground down the square tubing around
the cast threaded insert piece. I then knocked the insert out, cut the
tubing down with a hacksaw, drove the insert back in, staked it with a
center punch, and then cut the screw on the other foot to match. Et
voila, works like a champ. Probably not UL listed but it can't be
anything but stronger than the original 16" configuration.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
I have cut a few of them. The steel is hard, but I use a reciprocating saw
with a hack saw blade. It is best if you clamp the pieces down or use a
vise. I also file the edges of the square tube a little before reinserting
the square nut.
If the brace you have is similar to the Westinghouse 01100, you can unscrew
the threaded rod and cut it. It's shiny but not case hardened. You have to
tap the threaded plug out of the end of the square tube, cut down the tube,
then tap the threaded plug back into it. It works fine
What I've done in the past is buy one of those round "pancake"
electrical boxes and screw it directly to the joist. You still have
plenty of room to tuck the wires in the housing of the fan. Of course
this would only work if the joist was centered in the room, but in
your case your talking only being off by a maximum of 5" off center
being that your joists are 10" apart.
The trouble is that OP has already cut the hole, and it would be take
careful mud work to conceal the hole. I never buy any of these ready-
to-use contraptions. I simply build my own out of lumber to fit
between exisiting joists. Using a 2x4 as a base board, I secure
(using screws) two vertical end pieces out of 3/4" plywood stock and
assemble the contraption to look like a flat bottom U (like this |
___|) --measured to fit snugly between the joists, of course. I then
affix the junction box to the bottom of the base board making sure to
drill a hole for the cable to reach the junction box. ALL THESE STEPS
ARE DONE IN MY SHOP. Now, with the hole in the cieling already cut, I
simply drop my contraption between the joists and secure the vertical
end pieces by screws or bolts. Now this may not be code, but the
bracket could not be any stronger and it will definitely hold the
weight of the fan. I have done this with four different fans and they
are still holding now over 20 years later.
Fine and well, if you have access from above. These "contraptions" IMHO,
having installed literally hundreds of fans, are the best things since
sliced bread. The good ones like Westinghouse 01100, you could do chin-ups
I encountered this also. I'm not sure of the brand of brace I had, but it
was a square tube with cast aluminum ends. I was able to saw the tube off,
then knock the end out, and re-install the end in the shortened tube. I
also had to saw an amount off the screw in the other end. Worked good after
<nosmo email@example.com> wrote in message
If you were able to measure the ten inches between joists then I assume
you have access to the spot from the attic. If so then cutting a piece
of 2X4 to the exact size and drilling a hole through it where you want
the electrical box to be attached is the best way to go.
The space above the hole is finished, so I don't have access to the
joists. I just measured the space using the hole (measure from one
side of hole to one joist, repeat for the other side and add the two
A friend has a chop saw with a metal cutting blade. I'm going to cut
the brace as suggested by others.
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