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A Handyman Helping Hand

Lintel - What is it and how to use it.

Posted By: Phil Siowtu
Thursday, 17 May 2001, at 1:40 p.m.

I am having an opening cut in a block and brick wall that is 12" thick. I need to support the bricks and blocks above the doorway. My investigation revealed that I need to place a lintel (horizontal metal beam) underneath the blocks and bricks to support them. I called several companies and finally found a store that stocks angular lintels measuring 5" X 3" X 84". My question is what is the correct way of inserting the (angular) lintels underneath the blocks and bricks? The door opening is 36" and will accomodate a 32" door. Would it be simpler to use a flat metal beam measuring 12" by 48", cut an incision in the wall on either side of the opening close to the top of the doorway, then slide the beam underneath the blocks and bricks? Is a quarter-in thick lintel strong enough to support 2 feet of blocks and bricks above the doorway? Instead of a lintel, is it safe for me to make the doorframe with 2X12 lumber? The door jam can later easily be nailed to the 2X12 frame. Please provide me with the safest solution.

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