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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Finding Studs in Old Plaster Walls with a Twist

    When the house was built, the trim carpenter had to hit the studs to nail in the baseboards, so that's where you look for stud locations. If the painters did a perfect job with the putty so that you can't see the nails (kudos to the painters) then get a magnet or better yet, a magnetic 'wiggle' type of stud-finder made for finding metal studs in commercial walls. Find one and 16" centers should work- if they don't then it's not hard to find them all this way one at a time. If you need the exact center, use a small finish nail (or drill for plaster) and probe into the wall where the top of the baseboard meets the wall downward. A dab of caulk (almost always white) will hide those holes well till the next time you paint.

    Just another of my 'idiot-proof' methods for those of us like me who tend to forget that things don't always work as they are supposed to


  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: Finding Studs in Old Plaster Walls with a Twist

    In many older houses, you'll find that the studs are on 24" centers, not 16" centers. Back when a 2x4 was a full 2" by 4" of clear, straight, and tight-grained old-growth wood, they were much stronger and able to bear the weight at greater spacing whereas today's undersized, knot-filled, twisted, second-growth pulpwood that they pass off as "lumber" can barely handle 16" on center.
    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.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Finding Studs in Old Plaster Walls with a Twist

    you might want to check out the studpop. It's magnetic and will work on lath and plaster

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