Wondering if anyone has advice for finding studs on old plaster walls. Our house was built in 1946. The builders used a method of hanging drywall and then coating it with a substantial layer of plaster over the drywall. We do not have the traditional wood or metal lathe as a scaffold for the plaster. We have been told that this is referred to as plaster reinforced drywall. The walls appear to be almost two inches thick.

Our problem comes when trying to hang anything heavy. Rather than using anchors we would like to hang some heavier shelves directly into the studs. We have tried three different types of modern stud finders to accurately locate the studs with very little luck. This usually ends in drilling holes in the general vicinity until we get lucky enough to find wood. I've additionally tried a strong magnet in the hopes of locating nails behind the studs with little luck as well.

Maybe we need something even more powerful. Has anyone ever run into a similar problem? Any suggestions on better products or other methods would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.