How do I find a stud...............

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by WoodMann, Oct 9, 2009.

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  1. WoodMann

    WoodMann
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    Hey folks- I'm looking to builde a custom cabinet for my newly acquired TV as well as other equipment; amp, xbox etc..... Ultimately I'd like to anchor the cabinet to studs in the wall and affix the TV to the cabinet so in the evnt of a break in the TV cannot be grabbed and ran of with. I've tried kocking half- heartedly but couldn't really hear a difference anywhere. Wonder if I should be more diligent, which I plan to go back over. Is it possible I can rent a studfinder somewhere.............
    Thanks
     
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  2. daveswoodhauler

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    Studfinders are relatively inexpensive, so it might be time to saddle up and buy one....you'll use it more than once....don't get the cheapest one out there, as they don't read too well with thicker sheetrock/plaster.

    Or, you could use some of those larger anchoring bolts that spead out behind the drywall....used those when installing some floor to ceiling cabinets, and they are pretty sturdy.
     
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  3. Fsappo

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    I still use the old knock on the wall trick. Hasnt failed me yet...that I know of
     
  4. freeburn

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    Find your nearest outlet and take the cover off. You should be able to see which side the stud is on. Measure from the center of that stud 16" on center to where you want to anchor to. That's the surest way without buying a stud finder. Knocking doesn't work on plaster, and can be deceiving. I wouldn't anchor a cabinet to just the sheetrock, I will pull through if someone tries to run off with your TV.
     
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  5. daveswoodhauler

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    I tried this method, but some houses don't have framing 16" on center....I can show you the holes in the walls :)
     
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  6. freeburn

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    Nice house, I say, someone was skimping, or didn't know what they were doing. "Ok, this looks far enough let's put one here."
     
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  7. vandedav

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    try taking a large magnet and using it to find the screws/nails that hold the drywall in place. cheapest studfinder, other than knocking, that i can think of.
     
  8. kork

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    If you have a half way decent magnet you can usually find the sheetrock nail/screws and then lightly draw plumb lines.
     
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  9. GVA

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    2 things
    1)any house pre 1960s'ish 16"oc ain't happening
    2)the op residing in NM I'm guessing he might have different walls than sheetrock...

    Get a deep scan stud finder or use the old finish nail locator trick ;-)
     
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  10. Czech

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    Pook! You just made my night, thanks, LMBO! As already mentioned, finders are relatively cheap, just buy one. Heck even the less than $10 I have does a good job, save some spackle. Once you have one, it's makes for drunken fun with the SO, usually you can point them at parts of your body and say "See honey?". Worth the money right there, even if it works only once.
     
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  11. LLigetfa

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    I can't use a stud finder. I set it off as soon as I touch it. Measuring from an outlet and using a magnet works well.
     
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  12. Corey

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    Generally what I do is drive a nail in the wall...it most likely won't hit a stud, so choose a direction - left or right. Move over one inch and drive the nail in again...no stud, move one inch...no stud. Keep going- I usually hit the stud on the 14th or 15th hole. :) Then just hang the cabinet so it covers the holes.
     
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  13. WoodMann

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    I knew that gay bar thing was comming. But thanks guys for all the pertinent replies. Yes- my walls are plaster which makes the knocking technique rather useless. I'll try the magnet and possibly outlet method. thing is, with the outlet, it's directly under on of the windows;
     
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  14. LLigetfa

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    An outlet under a window is less likely to align on 16" centres. What about a wall switch? Look for nail holes on the baseboard to see if there is a pattern of 16" centres. Just above the top of the baseboard is a good place to drive small finish nails to find a stud as it's easier to hide the nail holes you make.

    Here is what a magnet stud finder looks like.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Cutter

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    If your wood trims are stained as opposed to painted, you can see filled nail hole in the top edge of your baseboard.
     
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  16. GVA

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    :lol:
     
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  17. Gooserider

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    The magnet may or may not work with a plaster wall, depends on what is backing up the plaster - if its wood lath you probably will have no problem, but I've seen plaster where they use a wire mesh, and that will give you a problem as the magnet will stick just about anywhere on the wall.

    IMHO one of the newer electronic stud finders is a pretty reliable option, and they are fairly low cost, on the order of $15-20 for a good one. What I find also helps is to look for the studs at 2-3 different heights along the wall, and working both left to right and right to left... The locations that appear SHOULD be consistent and all line up vertically, if not, then do additional searching, and or probing with a thin nail.

    Gooserider
     
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  18. Billster

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  19. Gooserider

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    Reviews on that unit were pretty negative, and the ratings were also pretty poor... I would say that the unit is representative of the low end finders, which might work OK on some walls, but not real reliably. I'd look for something a bit more capable - including separating the electrical wiring detection and stud locating functions, and possibly with a more graphical display.

    On a more general note, Stanley used to be a good name in tools, but IMHO they have abandoned their quality in order to sell at low prices in the big-box stores, and these days their stuff is gimmicky consumer grade crap that is little better than any of the generic cheapo brands, only at a higher price point... Sort of the hand tool equivalent of Homelite - a formerly great brand that is trying to live off it's old reputation while peddling crap...

    Gooserider
     
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  20. ROBERT F

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    "fratfart's" idea might work, but an ad in the classified might bring better "qualified" canidates. All depends on how long you plan on "renting" for.
     
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  21. Billster

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    I was just trying to find the cheapest one I could find.. (Since he ask if he could rent one.) Harbor Freight has some cheap ones also.

    I agree with you about Stanley. The stud finder I have is a "Zircon."... I don't think he wants to see the price of it. :roll: :lol:
     
  22. WoodMann

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    K guys- I went with the hammer and nail routine and I'll cover it all up with the cabinet. And no- no bars were visited in this undertaking.............
     
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  23. LLigetfa

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    OK, we gotta know, how many holes did it take to find the stud?
     
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  24. WoodMann

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    5 on the first one and 3 one the second...................
     
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  25. WoodMann

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    Check................
     
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