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Pickngrin 10-27-2011 08:02 PM

mounting shop lights to garage ceiling - thin joists?
I was mounting an 8 foot fluorescent fixture to my garage ceiling (using 3/8" eye bolts and S hooks) today. The ceiling is finished (not popcorn but seems similar) and above the garage are bedrooms. I was surprised that my drill bit went very quickly through the joists (felt the bit pass through and then hit open space). I made pilot holes in a few other areas over the joists and found the same thing. I did install the eye bolts and hung the fixture, but wanted to ask if that is sound. The eye bolts aren't as tight as they would be if they were screwed into a solid 2x4, but they don't feel like they would come out. I a second 8' fluorescent fixture to hang as well. Am I OK to mount to whatever these thin joists are?

Edit: I was just doing some Googling, and now I am wondering if that is strapping that I mounted to -- I was not
familiar with strapping. My question still stands.


Just Bill 10-28-2011 06:20 AM

Not sure what you hit??? If there is a living space above, there should be at least 2x10's above the drywall, or is it wood lath plaster(old House???) And they should be 16" on center unless the house is OLD, in which case thy could be from 16" to about 20".

Pickngrin 10-28-2011 06:59 AM

The house was built in 1965. I am now thinking that I drilled into the strapping. If that is the case, then the 2x10 joists would be perpendicular to where I drilled, right?

1910NE 10-28-2011 06:13 PM

i was thinking you might have engineered I beams, but it could also be strapping...

oh'mike 10-28-2011 07:04 PM

It's not unusual to have 1x2 furring strips above the drywall----If you are really curious---drill a small hole and insert a piece of bent wire up there ---spin it around and see what you hit.

Pickngrin 10-28-2011 07:40 PM

This is getting frustrating. I haven't been able to locate any joists and I've got a number of pilot holes drilled that I need to patch. If they are indeed 1 x 2 furring strips, is it safe to hang the eyebolts from those? Doesn't seem too sound to me. Poking a coathanger around didn't really work for me.

oh'mike 10-28-2011 07:49 PM

Florescent fixtures don't weigh much----consider using molly bolts and hanging directly to the drywall.

Some times thin sheet metal furring is used----

woodworkbykirk 10-28-2011 09:23 PM

this pretty much sounds like you drilled through the strapping. if you anchor to the strapping it should be fine if its near the joist. . just a matter of figuring out which direction the strapping is going

based on the age of the house the floor system is definitely 2x8's or 2x10 joists. at first i though it might be tji's or ojt's but they werent being used in the 60's

Pickngrin 10-29-2011 05:18 PM

I figured it out guys/gals. I cut a small square out of the drywall. Funny thing, my last pilot hole was millimeters away from the joist. What had been happening is that every time I felt the bit go through the drywall and into empty space, I assumed I was off target. I didn't realize that there would be a gap between the drywall and the joist. Thanks again for the input.

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