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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4

    Question Finding Wallstuds under Shiplap Walls and Firred Ceiling

    How do you find wallstuds under wood wallboard and shiplap walls?

    The ceiling in the kitchen has a wood ceiling, over what I have no idea. I want to hang a large pot rack my son made. How do I find the beams under this?

    Help.

    Monique

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,793

    Default Re: Finding Wallstuds under Shiplap Walls and Firred Ceiling

    Use a rare earth magnet or a metal detector to find the nails.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Finding Wallstuds under Shiplap Walls and Firred Ceiling

    Thanks. Makes perfect sense. Do you know if the stud spacing in a 1905 house will follow a regular 18 or 24 inch spacing?

    Monique

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,591

    Default Re: Finding Wallstuds under Shiplap Walls and Firred Ceiling

    For a house built in 1905, I would be very surprised to find any regular spacing of studs and joists. The 16" or 24" spacing generally came into common use with the advent of 4' x 8' sheets of wall paneling, plywood, and drywall. Before engineered wood, the wall boards were often random lengths. Therefore, it wasn't really necessary to have even spacing. Studs would be placed wherever necessary (beside windows and doors) and then enough to fill in to support the wall. The wall boards (shiplap) would then be cut to length as needed.

    Back then it was also common to not install headers above doors and windows, even in bearing walls. They could get away with this because the boards are quite strong and provided the needed support. Modern sheet goods don't provide the same strength and therefore require the installation of a header to support the wall and everything above it.

    To locate the studs and joists, you could aim a shotgun at it and pull the trigger. Go to the other side of the wall and observe the exit holes; you should be able to discern a pattern where the studs absorbed the shot. This will positively identify the location of the studs. Prior to undertaking this method, I advise you to establish a sufficient clear zone on the other side of the wall, so as to avoid injuring innocent bystanders, pets, farm animals, and your '72 Chevelle (the one with the jacked-up rear end). Proper safety gear includes a tank top of the "wife beater" variety. Sufficient consumption of cheap beer may improve accuracy.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Finding Wallstuds under Shiplap Walls and Firred Ceiling

    Thanks! Love your shotgun idea. In the rural town where I grew up that may been considered a true option, so it made me laugh. Think I'll go with the rare earth magnet though to try and find any nails in a vertical row. It's an 'interesting' house...so who knows what we'll find.

    Monique

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