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-   -   Need to find load bearing ceiling joist/stud! (

BrooklynGuy 01-28-2012 08:29 AM

Need to find load bearing ceiling joist/stud!
I have one of these hanging chairs I want to put in my living room so it's crucial that I install it where it's going to support a lot of weight.

I live on the top floor of a brownstone built in 1901 so the ceilings are wood lath and plaster. My stud finding has been useless in helping me out at all so I decided to drill small holes in a large square section (about a 2 feet) of the ceiling to find a joist. I drilled about 24 holes in two axises (one every two inches) and every single one resisted at first and then popped through.

I'm not going to cut a big hole in my ceiling to peek up there and I'd rather not make my ceiling look like a cheese grater by drilling many more holes (or banging in 3" finishing nails). How haven't I hit a joist? Is it possible that I don't have any as the only thing above me is the attick (which I don't have access to)? HELP

oldognewtrick 01-28-2012 09:03 AM

If you drilled every 2 inches, chances are you may have missed the ceiling joist. Go back and drill in between the holes and see if you can hit solid structure. Heck, whats a few more holes at this point. Joists may be on any dimension from 12-24" centers depending on the thickness of the wood and the placement by the carpenter, they don't even have to be placed uniformly on structures that old. Good luck with your drilling.

And :welcome: to House Repair Talk!

BridgeMan 01-28-2012 07:50 PM

I'd be tempted to rent (or buy, if you have other uses for it in the future) a pachometer. Even a cheapo model can detect magnetic metal of any kind under most inert surfaces, such as plaster, concrete, wood, etc. I suspect the lath in your ceiling was fastened to the joists with conventional nails, which should be magnetic in nature.

inspectorD 01-28-2012 08:13 PM

Go get a borescope camera, they are about 120 bucks at the box store or online, and you only need a half inch hole...they even have a light at the end.:D
And I'm sure you will use it again for another problem inside a wall.

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