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Drywall Frustrations

8955 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  bjbatlanta
I just can't seem to figure out why I cant find studs in my garage. I swear, if I find one (with a stud finder), i can go down 12 inches and drill through drywall only. I have MANY holes in my drywall. Stud finder seems usless at times. any ideas how to prevent this in the future. Just hanging shelves, and your basic things in your garage.
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See if you can find the nails in the baseboard. If you do and they are 16" apart, then they are probably nailed into the studs. Use a level or a plumb line and go straight up from the nails............. Or get a better stud finder.
First of all, as maintenance has ellided some stud finders are much better than others. I have one that couldn't find a 2x4 beneath a sheet of copy paper! Second make sure you hold the stud finder level and go slowly. Several passed with it are a a good idea. That said, what weight do you anticipate on these shelves? Some wall anchors can hold hundreds of pounds!
How old is the garage?

My last house was very old & studs did not line up
When I redid the wall it turns out it used to be a porch with a 1/2 wall
They buit another wall on top but did not line up the studs
First thing, im gonna get better stud finder. Looked at bottom for nails, so i followed up, and nothing. drilled inch or so in both directions. Example, i hung a shelf (into studs). Went to add another, and used my previous screws as my guide, down 14inches, and cant hit a stud to save my life. house is 12yrs old. Would toggle bolts help?
Get a rare earth magnet. Move it around till it attaches, this is usually a screw or nail head. Then make a little tick mark. Move it up and down to find the heads above and below. This line won't always be dead center on the stud but will be a good start. We will sometimes use a level to extend the lines, if needed. We use the ones that are maybe 3/4" dia and 1/4" thick. Works great.
use a finish nail where the shelf will hide the holes and keep looking, you'll find them
Well.....99% of the time, walls are either 16" on center or 24" on center. In this case, garages tend to go 24". So just pick a corner and measure across the wall 23-1/2" (assuming you have 1/2" sheetrock) and punch a finish nail at that point. If it was framed properly, you should be close to if not right on a stud.

Then again Dave makes a valid pont. Old garages tend to have 2x4's wherever there convenient..:blink:..(really!)

You can also try going over 15-1/2" using the same principal.

Otherwise just cut a long hole in your sheet rock and you'll find Juuuust kidding:jester:. I've experienced the same scenario and sometimes I so tempted.

Anyway...goood luck. :wink:
just use some plastic mollies ,the white ones that screw into the sheetrock, i use those things for everything
those babies are rated to 50+Lbs and thats just one of them
four per shelve and you can hold up 200 lbs
anything heavier than that you probably don't want on the shelves any how
or....just get some rolling shelves so you can move the whole thing out of the way and you can put a ton of weight on them
also you may have blocking in between the 24OC studs and that could be why your not hitting studs vertically
The screw in threaded anchors are indeed a viable option. They come in white nylon or Zinc, and E-Z Anchors or similar brands are rated for up to 75 lbs for the threaded anchors. Avoid the plastic 'nubbie' anchors that seem to come with towel racks and other bathroom fixtures. They are fine with tile but a No No on drywall.

For really heavy duty use I use the newer type of toggle similar to the E-Z Toggle rated at 85 lbs.
Since this type of drywall anchor has become available I have never gone back to the spring type toggle bolt. Whenever I buy something that has to be mounted it always seems to come with with these old fashioned anchors. I guess because they are cheap. I always throw them out because there are so many better heavy duty anchors. Also see Hilti (at HD).

Here is a nice chart with ratings and installation instruction for E-Z anchors:


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Yup...those are the best. Have 2 sizes in my truck at all times!
There's a stud on one side or the other of your electric boxes. Take the cover plate off and probe either side ti find a stud. Measure 16" or 24" and hope the walls are framed on one or the other centers....
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