Question re shelves

Old 08-16-03, 06:47 PM
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Question re shelves

My handyman skills are very rudimentary. I haven't done the do-it-yourself thing very often. I have a power drill and know how to use it, and have used some other basic tools like hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc., and that's about it. Most people here are probably much more skilled than I am.

Nevertheless, I've just moved into a new apartment and would like to put up some shelves on the walls. I've seen it done before, but have never done it myself. I have the brackets, the planks, the screws, the carpender's pencil, the leveler and the power drill all ready to go. However, on the first step I'm running into difficulty. I'm having trouble locating the studs behind the wall. I tapped across the wall with a hammer, listening to a tone change. I heard low-pitched thuds until I got to one point where the pitch went higher. I thought that must be where the stud was. Wrong. I hammered in a thin nail to see if I struck wood, but it went in too easy and when I pulled it out, the nail was coated from head to end with plaster dust. What am I doing wrong? What do I listen for to hear where the stud is when tapping with the hammer? Or is there some better way to find the studs? I don't want to keep driving in test nails and end up mucking up the walls.

I know this is elementary stuff for most of you and appreciate any suggestions you can offer. I also wasn't sure if this walls board were the right one for this question. If this should be on a different board, please let me know and I'll post it there.

Old 08-16-03, 08:23 PM
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Location: Taylors, SC
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Tapping and nailing is one method. I have done a lot of that. A stud finder helps an awful lot. Outlets and switches are mounted on studs. The top edge of a baseboard is nailed into a stud. Studs are usually on 16" centers. So you can measure from one to another if you have found one in the regular 16" progression.

Your nail may have been just to the side of the stud. You might try more to one side or the other based upon sound.

Hope this helps.
Old 08-17-03, 01:00 PM
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chfite is correct the wall plugs and swithches are mounted on a wall stud so the stud is on one side or the other of the box. 16 inches away there is another. Usually 15 1/2 inches from one of the corners there is one also.
If its an apartment building you may also find that the drywall is laminated on concrete walls separating the units from eachother and the corridor.
The interior partitions may also be framed with steel studs inwhich case you will need to use screws to attach to them.

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