1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

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

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    649
    Loc:
    New Mexico
    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

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,847
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    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.
  3. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    3,590
    Loc:
    Central NY
    I still use the old knock on the wall trick. Hasnt failed me yet...that I know of
  4. freeburn

    freeburn Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    332
    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.
  5. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,847
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    I tried this method, but some houses don't have framing 16" on center....I can show you the holes in the walls :)
  6. freeburn

    freeburn Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    332
    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."
  7. vandedav

    vandedav Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    45
    Loc:
    Southern Indiana
    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

    kork New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    91
    Loc:
    Southern NJ
    If you have a half way decent magnet you can usually find the sheetrock nail/screws and then lightly draw plumb lines.
  9. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    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 ;-)
  10. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,065
    Loc:
    Twin Cities, MN
    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.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    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.
  12. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,126
    Loc:
    Midwest
    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.
  13. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    649
    Loc:
    New Mexico
    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;
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    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]
  15. Cutter

    Cutter New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    135
    Loc:
    Tecumseh Kansas
    If your wood trims are stained as opposed to painted, you can see filled nail hole in the top edge of your baseboard.
  16. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    :lol:
  17. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    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
  18. Billster

    Billster New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    39
  19. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    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
  20. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    547
    Loc:
    CENTRAL COLORADO
    "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.
  21. Billster

    Billster New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    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

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    649
    Loc:
    New Mexico
    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.............
  23. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    OK, we gotta know, how many holes did it take to find the stud?
  24. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    649
    Loc:
    New Mexico
    5 on the first one and 3 one the second...................
  25. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    649
    Loc:
    New Mexico
    Check................
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page