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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is behind the wall?



See picture below.



My objective is to hang very large painting on the wall. For the moment, let’s forget about all the different fasteners that could be used. We’ll get to that soon.



I put a stud finder on the wall (as seen in the picture below).



The stud finder is exactly at 48 inches from the beginning of the wall (which is what you would expect when the studs are 16 inches apart.



Here’s the mystery.



When I move the stud finder vertically (up or down a few feet), its still magnetized to the wall every inch I move it. I know the builder didn’t drive a nail in the stud every inch of the stud.



What is behind the wall?



If I drive a large fastener into the magnetized area (where I think there's a stud) what am I likely to break?

654772
 

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retired framer
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Heat duct. steel support post cast iron drain pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, so behind the wall could be a:

  • heat duct
  • steel support post
  • cast iron drain pipe

but aren't all those items to the left of the stud or the right of the stud?

How can they be on the same linear line as the stud?
 

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Ok, so behind the wall could be a:

  • heat duct
  • steel support post
  • cast iron drain pipe

but aren't all those items to the left of the stud or the right of the stud?

How can they be on the same linear line as the stud?
A metal track used as a butt joint backer for for drywall hung vertical.
 

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retired framer
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Ok, so behind the wall could be a:

  • heat duct
  • steel support post
  • cast iron drain pipe

but aren't all those items to the left of the stud or the right of the stud?

How can they be on the same linear line as the stud?
654778

654779

654780
 

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Naildriver
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Magnetic "stud" finders find anything metal. Graduate to a real stud finder so you can detect electrical items as well. Sometimes vertical movement can detect an intentional header to hang things. We put them in at strategic locations, like over fireplaces, in kitchens where cabinets will hang, etc.

 

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I have a couple of different stud finders and add to that my trained tapping. Before you drill or drive a screw in there you do need to know what you will be hitting.
A more drastic investigation could involve cutting a an access hole to take a look.

I also have a high tech tool, an Infrared camera and I can add heat to a wall and or use a fan to give more detail. But I would still cur an access hole.

Bud
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Those pictures look good and tell the story of what is behind the wall.

My stud finder is too basic.

Instead of cutting a access hole to have a look, I think what I might do is find a small nail to "hunt and peck" the area and the start stop location of the stud.
 

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You are assuming that your studs starting point is where you measured from. It could have been measured from a different starting point, especially if the wall is a bearing wall.
 

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Those pictures look good and tell the story of what is behind the wall.

My stud finder is too basic.

Instead of cutting a access hole to have a look, I think what I might do is find a small nail to "hunt and peck" the area and the start stop location of the stud.
I find that a large T sewing pin is far better as it leaves a very tiny hole that is easy fill.

Also don't discount the heat duct theory they make one that looks like this: Master Flow 12 in. x 8 in. x 4 ft. Half Section Rectangular Duct-RD12X8X48 - The Home Depot that fits between the studs on a standard stud wall.

+1 on buy a better stud finder.
 
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Usually Confused
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How wide does you stud finder say this area is? I would think not a lot of ducting, steel beam supports, etc. would be 1 1/2" wide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You are correct.

The stud finder says the vertical magnetized area is only 1.5 inches wide.

Now that we know its only 1.5 inches wide, what is likely behind the wall that is 1.5 inches wide?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I took a very thin nail and went through the 'hunt and peck' process last night to identify where the wall stud was located.

As I went through the process I was able to detect the builder put a heat duct between the studs that was making the stud finder give me awkward readings. As I slowly pushed the nail through the dry wall I could feel the sheet metal of the duct.

It pays to perform that job slowly and methodically.
 

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Usually Confused
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I took a very thin nail and went through the 'hunt and peck' process last night to identify where the wall stud was located.

As I went through the process I was able to detect the builder put a heat duct between the studs that was making the stud finder give me awkward readings. As I slowly pushed the nail through the dry wall I could feel the sheet metal of the duct.

It pays to perform that job slowly and methodically.
That's one narrow duct unless perhaps it is round and the detector and your pin are only getting the portion near the wall. A French Cleat would work well. It spreads the load over multiple studs.
 
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