Hanging a shelf in drywall

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I'm trying to find where the studs are on a wall in my bathroom so I can hand a shelf and at least have some screws go into a couple of studs, but my stud finder is weird. I can go over the same spot multiple times and sometimes the stud finder light goes on as if there's a stud there, and then I'll go over the same spot again to confirm and it doesn't light up.
Is there a way to confirm a stud is there before actually drilling a hole since the stud finder is being weird? I don't know if I'm holding it right or not, or does it matter?
--
Maggie

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You could try the knocking on the wall with your knuckle and hear the difference in sound to locate the stud -- but that has never worked for me. In a situation where I'm not sure, such as yours, because of maybe electrical wires, plumbing or whatever, I have to resort to drilling a series of 1/16" holes to accurately locate the stud, but that means a little more work to fix the wall. :-(
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On 08/07/2015 01:39 PM, Gordon Shumway wrote:

I also do the "series of little holes" if I am putting in something like a lag screw which needs to support some weight; one swipe of some spackle fixes the holes until I get around to painting the spackle. Otherwise, if it's not something carrying a load, I'll just get it close enough with the stud finder.
Jon
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On 8/7/2015 3:39 PM, Gordon Shumway wrote:

I tried knocking on the wallboard to see if I could tell the difference in the sound and sometimes I thought I could and other times not, so I gave up on that idea. Glad I'm not the only one. :)
--
Maggie

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On Fri, 07 Aug 2015 15:39:04 -0500, Gordon Shumway

works good to find the screws or nails holding the drywall to the studs. The studs run vertically up and down from the screw/nail. When you find one, check for another above or below wihin 2 feet to confirm - then measure 16 inches across in either direction to find the next row of screws/nails.
That is one "better stud finder"
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On 8/7/15 4:23 PM, Muggles wrote:

Try a magnetic stud finder, (or just a good strong magnet) Find the drywall nails, and line up a stud from the nail locations.
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId 89967
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On 8/7/2015 3:45 PM, Retired wrote:

hmmm I don't have one of those, but I did have a level and got the shelf on the bubble! Kind of proud of myself. Took me 3 times as long as someone who does this sort of thing, though.
--
Maggie

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On 8/7/15 4:23 PM, Muggles wrote:

and beeps when it gets near metal. It works great when it works, but it's temperamental to adjust.
In the 1980s, I got an Archer stud finder that apparently works on inaudible sound. Like you, I found it frustrating.
Today I got it from the shelf and put in a new battery. It was erratic. I could scan 5 feet without finding a stud. There's a molded arrow on the top. The tip of the arrow is at the end, so I was holding the end against the wall.
Noticing felt on the bottom, I decided to hold the flat bottom against the wall. Bingo! About 75 years ago, drywall was put over the original wall. This would be a challenge for a stud finder, but it clearly identified them all.
On the back, the instructions say to hold it flat against the wall. I've always ignored instructions. I assume they're written for smart people and would only confuse me.
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On 8/7/2015 5:27 PM, J Burns wrote:

LOL! I kind of enjoy doing little projects around the house. Years ago I followed my husband around as his assistant on working on houses. I did mud work on sheet rock, patched damaged walls, sanded them, painted (I did more trim work with oil base paint, though), and did wallpaper, too. Now, I go pffffffft! Not going to do that stuff if I can get away with it! I just can't balance on ladders like I used to, and don't have the strength in my arms and hands to sand like I used to, either.
--
Maggie

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In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 7 Aug 2015 15:23:59 -0500, Muggles

Do you have tile on the wall? Does it go to the ceiling? Get a little step ladder and look for the studs above the tile. In fact, even if you don't have tile on the wall, go up higher or lower to look for the studs.

Yes. If it's an electronic stud finder, not just a little magnet on a pivot inside a plastic box, you need the back of it against the wall and the writing on the front right-side up so it can be read.
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On 8/7/2015 6:28 PM, micky wrote:

The wall only had tile about 12 inches above the tub. This bathroom only has a tub and no shower, which, I like.
It was weird trying to find the studs, tho. Where the stud finder said a stud was, it was just wall board. I ended up having to use all wall board inserts that came with the shelf.
--
Maggie

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Measure 4' from any corner and you should have a stud. From there measure 16" in either direction to find a stud. The original builders needed a stu d every four feet to land the edge of their wallboard. I also look where e lectrical outlets and switches are installed. They are usually attached to the side of a stud. I also look for signs of nail pops. I hold a flashlig ht close to the wall and can usually see shadows of nail indentations or po ps.
John Grabowski http://www.MrElectrician.TV
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Wouldn't that be 4' from half the corners? Unless the wall is a multiple of 4' one corner is going to off?
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Dan Espen

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On 8/8/2015 9:43 AM, Dan Espen wrote:

There is a bath tub on 2 walls of this bathroom, and the stud finder was showing to have studs in weird places around where the tub is at. I ended up trying the test nail idea that Oren posted where the shelf needed to be hung and there were 5 anchors I needed to space evenly across the wall and none of them had a stud behind where the anchors needed to go.
--
Maggie

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On 8/8/15 12:53 PM, Muggles wrote:

where there probably was no stud. No problem. If it has found a stud, it should alert above and below that spot and 16" on either side. To be methodical, one could put a bit of masking tape on each alert spot, then look at the pattern.
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On 8/8/2015 5:27 PM, J Burns wrote:

I suppose I should have tried harder, but I was getting frustrated and went with the nail in the wall looking for a stud thing that Oren mentioned. It turned out there wasn't a stud. I have to hand 2 more shelves, so maybe I'll actually get lucky and find one this time.
--
Maggie

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Dan Espen wrote:

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Me use'm stud finder just fine. Just trying to clarify this 4' from the corner rule.
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Dan Espen

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>>>> I'm trying to find where the studs are on a wall in my bathroom so I can

My father taught me how to find studs back in the 1960's when I worked with him during my summers off. No electronic stud finders back then. A magne t worked too if you found a nail head. I bought an electronic stud finder many years ago. I have no idea where it is. When I go in someone's house to work, I first look at the wall switches and outlets to get an idea where studs are. I know that studs are usually 16" apart so it is easy to measu re. If you have ever installed drywall or paneling, you know that you need a stud on the edge otherwise you can't nail the end down.
Anyway stud finders are so 90's. You now need to have a scanner to find a stud in the wall: http://tinyurl.com/Amazon-Wall-Scanner
John Grabowski http://www.MrElectrician.TV
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