View Full Version : Trick Mounting

04-02-2009, 11:12 AM
I need to mount 3 fixtures on a 1x1 iron railing that is around an overhang above an entrance. People do not go out on this overhang and the mounting locations are concealed from view below but I was wondering if anyone had a really slick way to mount to something like this.

Surface mounts are not an option because I do not want to penetrate asphault roof.

Right now I am stuck on the unibracket and either trying to drill out some 1/4 inch holes some kind of U bolt .

Anyone have some ideas ?

04-02-2009, 01:02 PM
I bought some powerful rare earth magnets last year (at a hobby shop) to mount some fixtures on an iron railing.

In my case, it turned out that the railing was solid iron (couldn't be drilled easily), not steel tubing, and I was able to conceal the cable pretty easily. What helped was that the fixtures themselves were a heavy gauge powdercoated steel (Nightscaping Sagittas (http://www.nightscaping.com/sagitta.htm) fitted with wedge base sockets and Xenon lamps) and not too big or heavy. They worked great.

04-03-2009, 09:04 AM
No way a magnet is going to hold a starburst in place. These are iron rails from the 1920's I am going today to get some copper fittings and will solder up a crutch for it and bend up some custom U bolts then use a unique unibracket unless someone has a better idea.

04-03-2009, 11:57 AM
Don't want to argue with you about magnets Billy, but I urge you to pick up some of these and see what they can do for you.

They are not toys. They are incredibly powerful (keep them far away from pacemakers, laptops, cell phones, PDAs etc.)

The 1/2" disc nickel-plated magnets have about a 3 lb. pull as I recall.

"Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets are the most advanced commercialized permanent magnet material available today."


David Gretzmier
04-04-2009, 01:34 AM
Billy, we use neodymium magnets on our Christmas side. I've ordered from kjmagnetics and off ebay, but trust me, a 3/4 by 3/4 disk magnet of neodymium will rip your skin off and draw blood if you put your finger between it and metal. I've picked up my breaker bar and post hole digger with it.

won't work on copper, aluminum, or most brass though.

Mr. Quik electric
04-04-2009, 07:51 AM
What a great tip, thanks guys. I wouldn't have thought of using a magnet for that. What kind of cost can I expect to pay for a small disc magnet.

04-04-2009, 08:58 AM
Guys I understand neo magnets and rare earth ones are very strong however the leverage created by this and the fact we have hurricanes here is enough to shy me away from using magnetics.

On a temp display like Christmas I would not hesitate. Not sure if you have picked up a starburst latley but they are pretty heavy not to mention brass and a stainless unibracket.

On gregs steel lights it may have been an option but with my brass and the 1 inch by 1 inch mounting bar diameter its just not going to happen.

I went with marine epoxy and a U bolt. 2 tons of holding power vs 3 pounds and I can sleep a bit better tonight. All I need is their fat cat to come and push on the fixtures or something and they will rotate out of adjustment with a magnet.

04-04-2009, 01:09 PM
What a great tip, thanks guys. I wouldn't have thought of using a magnet for that. What kind of cost can I expect to pay for a small disc magnet.

Prices I paid locally in store @ D and J Hobby, Campbell, CA.


You can order online from them, or go to a local crafts store?. They are nickel plated. You might try epoxying them to a fixture or bracket, but they work especially well with powder coated steel.

I used a half dozen to hold down a tarp over my truck in 45 MPH winds/ rain storm recently. They sort of jump out of your hand towards steel when you get close.

MGS60000 Crafts General Crafts 1\4" NEO-BUTTON MAGNETS 6PCS 2.79

MGS60001 Crafts General Crafts 1\2" NEO-BUTTONS MAGNETS 4PCS 2.99

MGS60002 Crafts General Crafts 3\4" NEO-BUTTONS MAGNETS 2PCS 3.39

CAUTION: DO NOT LET CHILDREN PLAY WITH THEM. VERY BAD DEAL IF THEY ARE SWALLOWED. They can major damage to a TV or computer monitor too.

04-04-2009, 01:21 PM
These look useful too. D and J only carries the disc type.



04-05-2009, 06:19 PM

The more I think about this the more it bothers me. Using a magnet no matter how strong thoes little things are is not the way to go for a permanant installation. In the case of Davids holiday lighting installation its fine.

Imagine using a magnet to secure a fixture and the fixture somehow came loose and hit someone.

If thats how you choose to do your installations thats fine but as for me.... I preffer to give my clients something a bit stronger. All I need is that fixture to fall over just once and it would give my client a bad impression as to the quality of my work.

04-17-2009, 08:55 PM
Where I used the magnet was on the underside of a wrought iron hand railing. They won't come lose on their own.The fixtures are a powder coated steel from Nightscapiing called a Sagitta. Small rectangular cube that doesn't weigh much (10.5 ounces). It's actually hard to pull them off.



Remember, these are not toys. they are industrial strength magnets.

The client was very impressed with the installation. Nearly invisible during the day.