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Old 05-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


Hello all!

I'm basically trying to install an extension of the counters with a 3/4x24x48" solid aspen with legs and want to secure it to the studs in the wall for extra strength. Now, I'm preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty new at this and I have no knowledge of anything and since this project is close to the kitchen sink (also in a townhouse apartment where the neighbor's kitchen is also right behind the wall), I needed your opinion on what my stud finder found.

Attached is a picture of the area. The blue outline indicates the metal it found and the red indicates the center of "something".

Here's where I'm confused: does this look like a pipe to you? I was thinking the blue might be the metal brackets holding the pipe and the pipe might be made of something other than metal.

Also, I've used the AC detector on the stud finder and it's been all over the place. I guess it just doesn't like the texture of the knockout wall. :\

For those experienced, I really do appreciate your help! My DeWalt drill has been standing by for 5 days now because I am not able to determine what the heck I've found

EDIT:
About 2 feet to the right, the metal detector has found areas of metal as well. I haven't gotten down the shape yet because too many plot points on the wall and my arms are killing me!
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!-studorpipes.jpg  

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Old 05-20-2013, 07:23 PM   #2
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


What exactly are you trying to hang?

In an area where hitting something mechanical might be a wallet changing event---

I suggest using helical wall anchors, if the object to be hung is not super heavy---skip screws into some unseen item behind the wall.
Sure Wall Drywall Anchors - Anchor Systems ~ Simpson Strong-Tie

Use the stud finder to intentionally miss the 'studs' or hidden pipes---then, using the point of a Philips head screw driver---'drill' through the drywall --use a length of stiff wire to probe the hole and make sure the anchor will not hit a pipe---then insert the anchor---

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Old 05-20-2013, 10:01 PM   #3
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


I've never had much luck with stud finders I use a heavy duty magnet which picks up the screws in the studs but not the copper lines, I find this much easier to find studs. Typically any horizontal pipes will run lower than where you would install your counter top extension. But if your concerned then you can skip the studs and use easy anchors into the Sheetrock and attach a wood ledger with plenty of high quality liquid nail.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


A stud should be 1 1/2" wide. But really stud finders only let you know something is in there but not what.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:01 PM   #5
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
What exactly are you trying to hang?

In an area where hitting something mechanical might be a wallet changing event---

I suggest using helical wall anchors, if the object to be hung is not super heavy---skip screws into some unseen item behind the wall.
Sure Wall Drywall Anchors - Anchor Systems ~ Simpson Strong-Tie

Use the stud finder to intentionally miss the 'studs' or hidden pipes---then, using the point of a Philips head screw driver---'drill' through the drywall --use a length of stiff wire to probe the hole and make sure the anchor will not hit a pipe---then insert the anchor---
oh'mike, I'm trying to extend the kitchen counters by hanging a 3/4" thick 24"x48" piece of wood. The space afforded to me isn't much and even placing a small 36 square inch table makes everything feel cramped around the kitchen. I thought making a "floating" bar counter would make the place a little wider.

I will try your method of probing around with a wire and hopefully get some good results. If not, I might have to attach a bracket to hold the new wood to the formica/particle board kitchen counter...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwoodty View Post
I've never had much luck with stud finders I use a heavy duty magnet which picks up the screws in the studs but not the copper lines, I find this much easier to find studs. Typically any horizontal pipes will run lower than where you would install your counter top extension. But if your concerned then you can skip the studs and use easy anchors into the Sheetrock and attach a wood ledger with plenty of high quality liquid nail.
mrwoodty: I'll swing by the store and pick up one of those magnets and see if I can try to figure out the nailing pattern they used.
I've had bad experiences with the easy anchors (especially the plastic inserts), but I chalk that up to inexperience.

Are you saying that I screw in a wood ledger the same length as my new wooden counter to the wall, and then use liquid nail glue to attach the two pieces together? I kind of like that since it won't leave a mess on the wall and whatever holes left behind can be easily filled in. But do you think the wall will hold up to the weight? The wood isn't that thick (3/4") but will stick out 2ft from the wall and is about 48" long for eating, chopping vegetables, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
A stud should be 1 1/2" wide. But really stud finders only let you know something is in there but not what.
Thanks ToolSeeker! I didn't think to look up the standard sizes of studs, so this is really good to know. You don't think they'd attach metal braces to studs, do you?


EDIT: The more I think about this, the more it seems impossible for me to attach a counter that's 24" deep to the wall if I can't figure out what the heck that thing is...

Last edited by totallyhelpless; 05-21-2013 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


If you attach a wood ledger (1x2 ) using three or for anchors you will have plenty of strength.

one ledger on each wall---first cut the wood ledgers to length---then drill the holes in it for the screws-

hold it to the wall where you want it---mark the drywall by pushing a nail through each hole.

Then use those marks to install the anchors---
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:18 PM   #7
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


My idea was to use metal (not plastic) easy anchors into the sheet rock this way you can avoid screwing into studs if your concerned about hitting a pipe. Use 3 easy anchors if your counter top is approx. 24" deep. Use liquid nail between the wood ledger and sheet rock wall. This should be plenty strong to hold one end of your counter top, if you don't have anything supporting the other end of your top then you will also need some type of bracket to support the top. I hope this is clear, if you had a picture of what your trying then Maybe I could give you more options. I install cabinets and counter tops for a living and I rarely see horizontal pipes running the height of a counter top (34" to 36" high) so there's little chance you will screw into a pipe but I understand your concern.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:25 AM   #8
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


Just an idea but could you remove the piece of baseboard at the bottom see where the studs are then follow that up mark it. that way you will know what is a stud, then replace the baseboard.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:44 AM   #9
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


If your stud detector only finds it as being 3 feet tall (length of your red line) its not a stud. Your studs are likely on 16" centers. If you find another stud 16" from there, and another one 16 more inches beyond, then you can have a pretty high confidence level that the first one is a stud.
I don't have very good luck with my electronic stud finders either. I normally run my cheap magnetic stud finder across the area to confirm the location (its actually finding the drywall screws --- they can be a little harder to find, but no doubt about it when you find one)
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:49 PM   #10
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwoodty View Post
My idea was to use metal (not plastic) easy anchors into the sheet rock this way you can avoid screwing into studs if your concerned about hitting a pipe. Use 3 easy anchors if your counter top is approx. 24" deep. Use liquid nail between the wood ledger and sheet rock wall. This should be plenty strong to hold one end of your counter top, if you don't have anything supporting the other end of your top then you will also need some type of bracket to support the top. I hope this is clear, if you had a picture of what your trying then Maybe I could give you more options. I install cabinets and counter tops for a living and I rarely see horizontal pipes running the height of a counter top (34" to 36" high) so there's little chance you will screw into a pipe but I understand your concern.
mrwoodty I attached a picture of my wall and photoshopped where the counter would be placed (along with decorative doo-dads lol). I was looking at the long l-brackets to support the counter on the studs, but until I find out if it really is a stud, then I am considering your option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
Just an idea but could you remove the piece of baseboard at the bottom see where the studs are then follow that up mark it. that way you will know what is a stud, then replace the baseboard.
Actually that is a good idea! If nothing works in identifying what's behind my wall, I'm going to have to pry that baseboard off. There's already a little gap in the corner where I can start yanking it off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
If your stud detector only finds it as being 3 feet tall (length of your red line) its not a stud. Your studs are likely on 16" centers. If you find another stud 16" from there, and another one 16 more inches beyond, then you can have a pretty high confidence level that the first one is a stud.
I don't have very good luck with my electronic stud finders either. I normally run my cheap magnetic stud finder across the area to confirm the location (its actually finding the drywall screws --- they can be a little harder to find, but no doubt about it when you find one)
SPS-1 thanks! I had to look up 16" centers and it really helped me get a better picture of the overall picture of my wall. Unfortunately, it seems that the other stud is a good ways off, and I'll try to upload another picture mapping out what else I've found. The "studs" I've found (see attached picture) are really far apart (around 2ft or 2.5ft). I'm going to have to re-measure that, but I'm pretty sure they're not 16".

Also, thanks for that picture of the magnet! I was looking for something entirely different and incorrect!

Starting to look like this isn't a stud, guys...
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!-kitchen-shelves_2_white2.jpg  
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:53 PM   #11
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


Thanks for the pictures, it helps. Basically all you really need is 2 brackets to hold up your counter top extension, one near each end attached to a stud (preferred), with a 24" deep counter top you probably want brackets at least 14" deep, which should be plenty. With regards to the studs, they are typically 16" and sometimes 24" apart. Honestly your chances of hitting a pipe running horizontally at counter top height are very remote. I would get a magnet (I attached a picture of the type I use) but any magnet should do, it will locate the sheet rock screws in the studs. Worst case if you canít find a stud you can use toggles or easy anchors to hold the bracket (see picture). If you donít find a stud then I would also attach a 1" X 1" wood cleat under the counter top to help support the top at the wall, hold the cleat about 2" from the end of the top so itís not so noticeable.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #12
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


That magnet stud finder doesn't work to well if you find some old metal pipe in the wall does it.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:15 PM   #13
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


Any metal pipe would usually be too far back in the wall for the magnet to pick up, I use this on a daily basis and it works great to find studs, as you can see by the picture it will actually stick to the wall on a sheet rock screw or nail.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:52 PM   #14
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


Magnetic stud finders work pretty well. Ive used the magnets in combination with a Zircon like the OP has and was able to do what I needed.

Heres the one I have, works pretty well.

http://www.magicstudfinder.com/

Really the only thing you need is the little magnets. The more little magnets the better. You know you have a stud when the magnets line up on top of each other every foot or 2 vertically.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:04 PM   #15
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Finding studs...might be a pipe? Help!


Use my knuckle and ear to sound-find the studs, a 12" electrical panel ground wire balanced on my index finger to find pipes (plastic/metal) in walls. Find your supply/drain pipes under the ground floor framing in the crawl space from the rooms above, underground sprinkler lines (plastic/metal), 15' deep city culverts, clay drain lines 7' deep in my backyard to alley city sewer, electrical conduit (plastic/metal) underground, etc.

Gary

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