Studs behind drywall


new to the group and i've been checking through the forum trying to find an answer to this problem i have. I recently repainted my daughter's room and i am in the process of putting up shelves.
I've put up shelves before and i have a handy little zircon stud finder that has worked in the past.
Well, this time, i located a stud, marked off where the shelves are going, an 8" shelf and approximately 12" above that a 10" shelf.
Now, my conundrum.
Where I drilled into the wall, for the 8" shelf, i found the stud no problem. But when i went to drill 12"s higher for the 10" shelf, no STUD!! I ran the stud finder around where it should be, and nothing. I then tried screwing in a 2" screw wherei drilled and it doesn't appear to be there.
Anyone have any ideas? This is an older house, i think it was remodeled last in the 50's.
Any help would be appreciated.
Sal
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...

Sounds strange, but who knows what may have been done during the framing (or some remodel)? I'd say it's time for the wall anchor or moly bolt(s), depending on load. How much weight you expect this shelf to hold?
It's unlikely to be worth tearing the wall open to put something solid in there unless you really _must_ have a lot of weight on a wall-hung shelf. (That is, if it's for a library shelf w/ lots of heavy books or some such and can't switch to using a bookcase or supported shelving.)
One alternative would be to go to the very top of the wall just below the ceiling and find the top plate and fasten into it and hang something from there to use as the mounting. (One would assume there _is_ a top plate. :) )
Oh, a couple more last thoughts---have you explored a couple inches either side of the last position to see if by chance when the wall was framed one end of the stud was laid on one side of a mark and the other end the other? That's a 3" offset from one side of one to the other side at the other end, possibly. Stranger things been known to happen, for sure. Also, what happens if you do the "hunt and peck" operation in steps directly above the last known place? Might then be able to follow it's path or discover it actually does simply end.
Oh, the ugly thought...any chance there's been some damp or other problem and you've just uncovered termite or other damage? :( This room doesn't back on a "wet wall" by any chance?
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Perhaps the area was once a window, now covered over? The only other thing I can think of is an attack by avian termites (the work from the top down).
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A way to do this would be to mount a piece of wood to the wall, then mount the shelves to the piece of wood instead of the wall. You would want to use a nice piece of wood and pstain and varnish it, of course.
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Happens all the tme, sometimes the framers spike two short pieces together and use the waste for a stud giving you an offset between top and bottom. Sometimes an old wall opening gets sealed off.
SAl wrote:

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Explore the cavity by drilling a small hole and feeling around with a long curved wire. If your hole is anywhere near a stud you can find it that way.
Don Young
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