Mounting clothing rack on plaster wall

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Old 08-12-19, 12:42 PM
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Mounting clothing rack on plaster wall

Hi there,

I am trying to mount a 48" clothing rack on an interior plaster wall. On exterior walls, I have used 3/16 X 3 toggle bolts to mount heavy stuff including basically the exact same clothing rack and it was easy.

When I drill into this interior wall to set up the hole for the toggle bolt, about 0.5 inches in I am hitting something extremely hard. I took out a 5/32 bit just to see if I could drill into it and after spinning the drill for 20-30 seconds I had made maybe a millimeter of indent in it. I tried my hammer drill with the same results.

I'm stuck and not sure where to go from here. What is the substance behind the plaster and what's the best way to mount something heavy in it (~100 lbs)?
 
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Old 08-12-19, 12:53 PM
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When you hit something hard (like steel) in the wall, it's not very smart to try drilling into it. Often it is a protective shield (like a Simpson no nail plate) that is protecting something important behind it... water, sewer, or electrical.

So I would suggest you move over and try your hole somewhere else. Left, right, up or down. But don't blindly drill into a wall when you don't know what's inside the wall.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 01:02 PM
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Fair enough but how do I figure out what is behind it before drilling into the wall? My stud finder doesn't seem to work on plaster.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 01:15 PM
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If you look at your baseboard you should be able to figure out where it was nailed (where the studs are) if you are using toggles you need to miss the studs. A magnet can also sometimes be useful to locate nails (in the studs) What I mean is don't let the drill bit go in 3" when you don't know for sure what's in there.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 01:54 PM
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..... and depending on the age of your house, the studs should be on 16" or 24" centers so you could measure off of an electrical box. That doesn't always work on older houses but gives you one more tool to use.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 03:40 PM
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Thanks to you both. I was able to find the studs using a magnet and mounted one of the pieces in a stud. Unfortunately the other two pieces do not line up with studs and when I tried to drill into the wall I encountered the same solid substance from my original post. I ended up drilling 6 holes all over the wall at different heights and always hit it. I'm stumped and not sure how I can mount this thing. It doesn't seem to be metal by the way. Would be grateful for any ideas.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 03:59 PM
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The only thing that comes to mind is that once a looooong time ago, (before I was a carpenter) I ran into something similar in a plaster house and never did figure out what it was. But it was very hard to drill in, and wasn't metal.

Let me ask you this... can you drive a sharp screw into it? Like a drywall screw?
 
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Old 08-12-19, 04:05 PM
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I don't have any here but I could give that a shot tomorrow. No pilot hole needed for those I guess? I tried a 3/16 regular screw but no luck.
 
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Old 08-14-19, 07:00 AM
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I decided to use a handyman app to bring in someone with more experience. He is coming tomorrow and I'll report back with what ended up happening. Hopefully he can hang it.
 
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