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Finding Studs

Posted by John Sprung on February 23rd, 1999 12:19 AM
In reply to Finding studs in your plaster wall by Isidro on February 16th, 1999 03:46 AM [Go to top of thread]

The best and most accurate gadget I ever saw for
doing this was sold about 30 years ago under the
name "Morrison Probe". It consisted of a thin
piece of tube, about 1/8" O.D., with a 90 degree
bend of about 1" radius. On one end, it had
a little triangular plastic piece set perpendicular
to the tube. There was also a piece of stiff
piano wire running through the tube, with a plastic
handle on the end.

What you do is push the tube thru a small hole,
and turn the plastic triangle to get the piece
of tube inside the wall pointing horizontally.
Then push in the piano wire until it hits a stud.
without moving the piano wire, pull the whole
works out, and use it to measure from the hole
to the stud.

That's fine for getting a precise location when
you're sure you want to mess with holes in the
wall. But sometimes you just want to know roughly
where the studs are, without doing any damage, so
you can plan and decide where to put some alteration.

For that kind of rough guesstimate, I use an
electric shaver and a piece of cloth. Wrap the
cloth around the shaver, so you don't make marks.
then turn it on, and hold one corner against the
wall. Move the shaver from side to side, and
listen to the sound of the reverberating wall.
You should find narrow solid sounding places,
with larger hollow sounding places in between.
Those narrow places are the studs.

-- J.S.

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