I'm setting up a wall mounted bar counter top and want to find some
studs under the plaster lath to sink the brackets in.
I have a Stanley IntelliSensor Plus with 3 different depth settings.
All of which are ambiguous. I can't tell anything by knocking on the wall.
Is there a trick here? Would the "magnetic" kind work better?
Instead of sinking into a stud what kind of anchor would work well. I
remember seeing a lot of kinds at the Borg. I'm thinking some kind of
What kind of "brackets" are we talking about?
For a counter, I'd certainly prefer to mount my "bracket" into a stud.
Are there any receptcles currently installed along this wall?
If so, remove the cover plate and see how the box is mounted. If it's
attached to side of a stud, note it's location and measure from there,
using 16" or 24" OC, based on what you think you have.
If it's not attached to a stud, perhaps you can take the box out and
measure inside the wall in either direction to find the stud.
- Remove the trim along the floor.*
- Measure from a corner approximately 16" (or 24", if that's the OC
spacing you think you have)
- Find the distance above the floor where you're pretty sure you are
above the sill plate but below the top of the trim.
- Drill** within that space around that 16"/24" OC distance.
- When you hit a stud, use a level to make a mark at counter height
- Reinstall the trim to hide the holes.
* If this counter is going to hide the wall behind it, you could use
this "poke and hope" method along the line where the counter meets the
wall instead of removing the trim.
** Instead of a drill, you could use a long deck or drywall screw.
It'll spin if you hit open space behind the plaster and catch if you
hit a stud.
Now, that's a plan. Thanks.
You can forget regular 16" spacing in a '29 house though. The last
time I tried that I had a long line of test holes!
The counter is 18" deep. I'm thinking a 1 x 2 strip to hang the back
edge and some "props" cut out of 2 x 4 angling from the wall to the
counter at a 45 or so. There would be some vertical shear with that
depending on the angle.
The counter substrate is 3/4" cabinet plywood. Wonder if that should
be doubled up? Granite tile on backer board is the surface.
Sometimes on an old house that's the only way to find the studs where
there's no box attached.
My house was built in '59 and the 16" centers don't apply as you get
close to a corner, and nothing but the drill applies on the outside
walls, which are furred.
Well, maybe 8' or 4', but I can't find the drywall joints anyway.
Since you've covering a strip with counter and don't have to patch the
holes there, you're ahead of the game.
I just covered a bunch of drill holes with crown molding.
Even when a stud finder finds the stud I drill to verify.
When I hit it, I always drill one (lucky) or two more holes to make
sure I'm not on the stud edge.
Use a pinch of masking tape to mark the stud center when you find it
if you don't want to mar the paint.
First time I drilled for studs I used a 1/8" bit to keep the holes
Went to using a 1/4" bit because it's much easier to feel the stud and
see the turnings.
No harder to patch or cover 1/4" holes than 1/8" holes.
(-: Been there, done that. It's like roulette and the 0 and 00 equal
hitting an electrical wire or a water pipe. Bang, you lose.
Steve B. (I think) had a good idea. Drill one hole and then insert a wire
to try to feel for the stud on either side of the hole (assuming you didn't
hit a hole in one). My Zircon works pretty well if I make multiple passes
at different heights and make pencil ticks for each hit. Eventually, a
pattern forms and a majority of the tick marks will line up. Can't trust it
for a single read, though.
What I hate the most is hitting the very freaking edge of a stud so that the
screw breaks out through the side when you tighten it. That's why I still
drill at least two holes on either side of where I think the final hole
How's the garden? Mine is mostly done, but my gardening neighbor has
a tomato factory going. His compost pile is generating second generation
cukes and tomatoes. Melons were a bust all around. Peppers OK.
I'll catch you back over in rec.gardens when I get my kitchen back.
Can't garden *and* fix a house too! At least, I can't!
I have several circular magnets from old microwave ovens. You don'tr
want to get your fingers between the magnets and any iron surface or
your fingers will get crushed. Haven't tried them for finding studs,
my electronic one works fine for 3/8" plaster over 1/2" sheetrock.
A drill and bit is easier than a screwdriver in plaster.
Well, there is another "sure way". Draw a horizontal line at the
approximate desired height. Use a roto zip or router -- plunge it in
and cut the plaster out along the line. Wide enough and the OP can
see the studs. Not a clean method, but it will expose the studs. Easy
enough to patch and cover with his ledger support board.
I've used a similar method (chalk line /diamond blade -- 4" angle
grinder to cut stucco) to hang a ledger board for the patio roof.
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