Attaching a Mantel

I have been asked to mount a mantle on a rough fieldstone fireplace. There is no obvious place to fasten it. I am thinking of lag bolting a 2×3 that is coped to fit the rock and then mounting a hollow shelf to the 2×3. The shelf will have two right angle brackets set to keep it from tilting down. Any better ideas?

Rob Johnstone:┬áThe only thing I would add is that you should lag into the mortar between the fieldstones. (I like the lead collet system where you drill out the mortar and pound a lead collet into the hole. Then you wrench your lag bolt into the collet. It expands into a tight friction fit.) And this is one of those applications where more is actually better. Don’t spare the fasteners when attaching your scribed hanger to the fireplace.

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