Finding stud on a masonry wall


I bought this Stanley stud finder and trying to locate a stud on an old masonry wall. I did as the instructions said ....slide slowly in a horizontal position with the activation button depressed. I did it on a 8 foot wall and the red light with the sound kept going the entire length of that wall. I did it vertically also...same results. Which brings to mind that it probably has a metal grid installation as they did in the old days. So how can I know if there is a stud behind such walls with this tool. It seems to work fine on some newer walls that have dry walls..but my problem is the masonry wall. Also, that grid might be nailed to thin laths, which is not a stud.
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Poke some small holes in the wall to see what in there. Typically masonry will have furring strips, not full studs
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Anthony, I think you might mean "plaster". A masonry wall is made of brick or CMU. Many plaster walls were done on wood studs with wood lath/metal lath/rock lath; many were also done on top of brick, CMU, gypsolite block, terra cotta block. The wood framed walls should have studs, the others will not. I would expect that you should see studs with your stud sensor. Make sure you are following the directions completely.
If you still do not get a consistent indication of a stud, it is time for the time honored method of probing the wall with a drill bit. If you do the drilling just at the top of the baseboard or some other system, it will be fairly easy to fill the holes without showing.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DanG
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Thank you, I stand corrected...oops. I cannot do the baseboard method, cause it has ceramic tiles...its the bathroom wall.
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On 9/5/2010 6:17 PM, Anthony wrote:

I might try a strong magnet. Find a nail and you've found a stud.
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.
Find a nail you find a stud">>> is it possible the nail if its there is into a lath? Laths are pretty thin to enter a screw to hold up a small cabinet. I prefer a stud.
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I live in nearly 200-year-old house USA). The one "masonry" wall (9' high) has NO STUDS whatsoever. I'm confused. Do you mean real "masonry" or do you mean the modern fake brick/stone facing over wood frame construction? In my house, you will NEVER find a "stud" on the masonry wall no matter how long you look.
Why, exactly, do you need to find a stud? What are you planning once you find one? Might help us offer some advice.
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If you read the thread, i said i need a stud to add screws to hang up a wooden small storage cabinet. No i was corrected that its not a masonry wall its plaster wall.
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"a small wooden storage cabinet".....
Depending on the cabinet's dimensions & total weight when loaded, securing it to the wooden lath alone could be an acceptable method. Using the small drill method in the area to be hidden by the cabinet is probably the most positive way to verify stud location in your situation.
cheers Bob
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HI, thanks could you elaborate on the small drill size function to this naive 'handyman"? LOL
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On 9/6/2010 7:08 PM, Anthony wrote:

With light pencil marks, mark on the wall where you want the cabinet to go. Within these marks, start drilling a horizontal row of holes, using, say, a long 3/16" bit. Skinnier would work, but in old hard plaster or old rock-hard framing, the real skinny ones are easy to snap off. Make the holes about an inch apart. By the sound of the drill, and by how the drill suddenly plunges toward the wall when you are NOT on a stud, you will quickly find your stud. (note well- As Soon As you hit an air pocket, stop drilling. Drilling into a pipe or a stapled wire can ruin you whole day.) Move over 16" and try again. Hopefully the next stud will be there, unless there happens to be a weird framing situation that required a different spacing. If you decide NOT to put the cabinet there, or ever need to take it down, the itty-bitty holes are easy to plug with a finger full of patching compound.
Another trick- any outlets on the wall? If so, pull the cover plate, and probe outside the box with a skinny screwdriver, or peek in there with a flashlight. Boxes are usually nailed to a stud, and since most electricians are right-handed, they are usually on the right side of the stud. When I am hanging something, that is usually how I begin the hunt, and it works more often than not.
--
aem sends...

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Anthony-
AEM explains the process well.
I like to use a smaller drill like 1/8" or 3/32" so the holes aren't so big. and I drill the holes 1 1/4" apart (the studs in my 1930 house are never narrower than 1 3/4")
With my slightly different technique a wind up with smaller & fewer holes.
As I drill I put an "X" above a hole that doesn't hit a stud, I put a "check mark" above a hole that does hit a stud.
Once I hit a stud I'll still another couple holes to explore the extent of the stud. With the first stud localized, I'll start my next exploration 16" away.
The outlet box trick is a good one, as is imagining how a the rough framing for the window opening was done.
Also if oyu have a video camera that is somewhat infrared sensitive you can often spot the studs by the temperature difference they create.
(Google THERMAL BRIDGING)
cheers Bob
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news:279a77e0-f7c9-471a-a173-
<stuff snipped>
<<Also if oyu have a video camera that is somewhat infrared sensitive you can often spot the studs by the temperature difference they create.
(Google THERMAL BRIDGING)>>
Are you sure of this? I could see being able to do it with the laser-aimed remote infrared thermometers you can get from Harbor Freight or Ebay
http://www.harborfreight.com/infrared-thermometer-93984.html
but infrared imaging requires expensive, specially designed infrared cameras (that the last time I looked cost several thousand dollars). I don't know of any way that any standard video camera would be able to image studs behind a wall but I'd sure be interested in learning how if I am wrong. I did Google "Thermal Bridging" and added "video camera" to the search terms but I found nothing. Perhaps you can give us some better search terms.
Thanks!
-- Bobby G.
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wrote in message

Just went outside with my Cen-Tech $20 thermal IR laser thermometer, and ran it over the stucco exterior of my house. There was a +.5 to +1.5 degree difference at 24", and along the sides of the windows where the post would be.
Steve
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wrote in message

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I'd attribute the difference to other, more likely factors. If you didn't walk the wall exactly parallel to its surface and just stood in one spot scanning, you were changing the reading angle and the spot size. That can have quite an effect. I find all sorts of other variations when using my IR gun thermometer to scan the walls, the floors and now, even a sheet of plywood for this post. The plywood gave the most variation even though I am sure it was all one temperature. Why? Different surface reflectivity. It's the Achille's heel of these IR thermometers. Stucco's pretty non-uniform. I'll bet you'll find variances just based on slight differences in surface texture and coloration.
Whether any of the temperature variations you measured indicate a handheld IR thermometer is capable of mapping out hidden studs is up for debate. It might work on an outside wall on a really cold day, but when the indoor and outdoor temperatures are close (as in interior walls), I suspect it would be useless. I just ran mine along the inside and outside plaster walls to see if I can tell where the studs are because the outside temps have fallen a lot in the last day. I found a steady dropoff toward the window, but no measurable difference when passing over a stud I marked off just the other day to put up a shelf standard.
There are always reading variations around doors and windows but it's mostly due to air leakage. If the camera method works, then you could have an image of exactly where the studs are on the wall, which I think would be a far better indicator of a stud than a difference in an IR temperature reading.
While I find that IR thermometers are very useful to find leaks around doors and to check the bottom of microwaved meals to make sure they're hot enough, they don't seem to appear anywhere near as useful as a good studfinder. Scan an inside wall for studs and see if you can see a repeatable spike every 16". My tests on plaster and lathe are 100% negative.
The most important part of DD's post was the tantalizing item about how to turn my handicam into a thermal imager like the ones used on police copters and military gear. I know that the ancient Coolpix 9** series of cameras by Nikon allow for IR photography by removing the IR cutoff filter but IR photography is NOT the same as thermal imaging. The first works with reflected IR light and produces false color images like purple trees and green flowers. The second transforms IR emissions from warm bodies like humans and rocket/tank engines into a visible image so you can see a white human silhoutte running across a dark field at night. Very different processes. That doesn't necessarily exclude using a camera with IR capabilities to map studs, but my Google search was unproductive. I am hoping to learn more.
-- Bobby G.
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wrote in message

You are in error, sir. I conducted the test after dark, on the morning side of the house, and I DID walk parallel over a level sidewalk instead of standing in one point, and kept the device the same distances from all surfaces, and perpendicular to them. You assume too much.
Steve
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I drill a hole, kinda oversized in the least visible place, then go in with a coat hanger in a slight curve. You should be within a stud eight inches either way. Sometimes you have to poke repeatedly to get it through the insulation, or if you can see or feel, run it over the top of the paper if the paper is in. Sometimes it helps to bend the tip back over making it round, sometimes the sharp tip helps you poke. Anyway, that's the way I find studs sometime.
Steve
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On 9/5/2010 3:09 PM, Anthony wrote:

If you could rent or borrow a Milwaukee SUB-SCANNER, I think you could find what's behind the wall without a problem. I want one of the new scanners bad, it's on my wish list.
http://www.milwaukeetool.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductId "90-21&CategoryNametection+Tools
http://preview.tinyurl.com/34ba5dx
TDD
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