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I use a what???
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I wasn't sure exactly what catagory to post this but I will be mounting our new (early) Xmas present this weekend, a 40" LED TV.

My only concern is finding the stud(s) in our lathe & plaster wall. Would a regular ol electronic stud finder work or will the lathe throw it off?


Thanks in advance!
Steve
 

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Some stud finders will work on plaster, some won't.
I have one that includes a setting for metal studs that will find wood studs in plaster.
Have you removed the baseboard to see if there are any signs of the studs?
Maybe poke some nails behind the base and plumb up from there.
 

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I use a what???
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks jlhaslip,

I've been looking at the Zircon models on HDs site. I may go in tomorrow and talk to one of the reps and see what they say.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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A few tricks that I have used.

If you can get into the attic above the wall you can see where the studs are nailed into the top plate.

Studs are usually on 16" centers, even when they were building lath and plaster walls.

Some stud finders are designed to work on a "deeper" wall. They should detect the stud behind the lath and plaster.

Go to the outlet box on the wall where you're going to mount the TV. Remove the cover plate and determine where the stud is. Measure from the stud to get a good idea where the studs that you need for the mounting bracket should be. See if your stud finder will work. If not drill a series of 3/32" holes under where the mounting bracket will be and where the stud should be. (The reason I say drill is that a nail may do more damage to the plaster than drilling a hole.)

One final thing. A magnetic stud finder should find the studs more easily. The lath should be nailed to every stud.
 

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I use a what???
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've tried the "tapping of the walls" trick but it's hard to tell on these. The house was built back in 1916 and one of the previous owners (I think my wife's grandfather), had insulation blown in the walls from the outside. (We have little holes every 2 feet or so.)


Sometimes the old "tapping on the wall" will work. Many stud finders sense density differentials, which aid in lieu of a magnetic sensor for nail heads.

Some of the new ones have options even for electrical.













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I use a what???
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A few tricks that I have used.

If you can get into the attic above the wall you can see where the studs are nailed into the top plate.

Studs are usually on 16" centers, even when they were building lath and plaster walls.

Some stud finders are designed to work on a "deeper" wall. They should detect the stud behind the lath and plaster.

Go to the outlet box on the wall where you're going to mount the TV. Remove the cover plate and determine where the stud is. Measure from the stud to get a good idea where the studs that you need for the mounting bracket should be. See if your stud finder will work. If not drill a series of 3/32" holes under where the mounting bracket will be and where the stud should be. (The reason I say drill is that a nail may do more damage to the plaster than drilling a hole.)

One final thing. A magnetic stud finder should find the studs more easily. The lath should be nailed to every stud.
Thanks Rich, I didn't think about the outlet. I was thinking about the attic though. Whats funny is now I have an excuse to get up there! I've never gone into our attic and when I go to do so I get flack, "What do you need to go up there for?" :laughing:
 

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Stud finder

Being an x plaster contractor I could explain all the reasons that a stud finder could give a false reading with the end result being a very expensive new TV falling on floor and becoming landfill and a big patch in wall but I won't. Safest surefire method is a 1/16 inch drill bit and start drilling every 1 1/4 inches. when you find the first stud you have it made. A very inexpensive small can of spackle from home depot and your test holes are gone!! Toothpaste will even work in a pinch. Do not use a nail unless you like patching walls.
 

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most wall framing has two top plates, and the (top) top plate is most the time not nailed into the top of the studs. wouldnt do much good a 16p nail wouldnt penitrate the studs.
the best idea ive read so far is
using a drill, with a smalish bit. now depending on the size of your baseboard, i would do my drilling there. if your base is caulked to the wall drill right at the caulk line then re-caulk and your done. that will only work if your base is above the bottom plate.\

and starting at plug socket and measure over. i would still drill to find dead center of the stud at the place of mount. meaning drill several holes where your going to mount, find both sides of the stud tthen split the dif,.
myself im a wall tapper
 

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most wall framing has two top plates, and the (top) top plate is most the time not nailed into the top of the studs. wouldnt do much good a 16p nail wouldnt penitrate the studs.
I have been taught to nail the top-top plate at or near the studs for the benefit of Electricians and Plumbers.
 

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OLD DUDE AT WORK
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I've been known to use a 3" finishing nail to find the first stud. If you're hanging any weight, make sure you find the centers of any and all studs.

Just spackle 'em in.:yes:
 

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I use a what???
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey everyone,

Thanks for all your suggestions, they offered me several options. I did go get a Zircon i350and that actually seemed to do the job. I did have to go over the walls a few times where the stud was just to make sure I had the stud and the center.

The Zircon does have a deep scan and center finding option, I found with our walls which are covered in a texture like you put on the celieng, you would pass over the stud once and it would find it but you go over it again and it's a little off.

What my method was, was to place a thumbtack at the initial discovery, then run over it again place a second tack on the different spot (which was only a few mm off.). I did this at various heights and would then run a string between the different marks, once I found a line that seemed to be pretty straight I would make one final run with the finder just to make sure my lines were correct.

It seems like a little extra work but it was worth it. I found the stud we wanted and was able to get it hung. one thing I do suggest to anyone who is going to be doing this in the future, when you drill your pilot holes, start with a smaller bit first, move to the size you need, but don't put your bit to far into the chuck of the drill. Make sure your bit can extend as far as the bolt/screw you'll be using otherwise you'll get as far as the pilot hole and then have to hand crank it and that sucks! :)
 
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