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Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

Posted July 31, 2017 5:01 PM
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This month's Challenge Question: Specs & Techs from GlobalSpec:

Steve recently moved into a new apartment and wants to use his father’s stud finder to help put up a TV mount. It’s a nice summer day, so Steve doesn’t mind driving to his parents’ house. After retrieving it he went back to his apartment and turned it on but the screen remained blank. He changed the batteries and still it didn’t work. Steve ended up guessing where the studs were. When he finished working he tried the stud finder again and this time it turned on. Why didn’t it work the first time?

And the answer is:

It’s a nice summer day, so it is sunny. When Steve drove to his parents’ house to get the stud finder he was wearing polarized sunglasses. The stud finder had an LCD screen, so the light coming from it was polarized. Steve forgot to take off his sunglasses when he went into his apartment. When he turned on the stud finder, his glasses blocked the polarized light from the screen and the display looked unchanged, thus he thought the battery had died. When the battery change didn’t work he assumed it was broken. Later, when he checked it again he had been in the house a while and taken off his polarized sunglasses, so it worked.

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#1

Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

07/31/2017 6:04 PM

He left the stud finder in direct sunlight in his car, causing the LCD to be over its temperature range. Once it cooled down, it was fine.

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#2
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

07/31/2017 9:13 PM

Yeah, good answer.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

07/31/2017 10:41 PM

I concur...

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#4
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/01/2017 12:17 AM

Beat me to the punch on this one too, having experienced this first hand myself.

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#5
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/01/2017 3:43 AM

Yep, me too!

This one seemed way too easy, didn't it?

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#6
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/01/2017 8:48 AM

Reading the problem, I knew right away that it was a heat issue. But you, my friend, not only hit the nail on the head, but drove it in in one blow...AND you hit the stud!

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#7

Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/01/2017 11:38 AM

'Steve ended up guessing...' Wait, WUT?

There are lots of ways to locate studs without a stud finder. There's no need to 'guess'.

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#8
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/01/2017 11:41 AM

Technically, the method you're showing is a form of guessing.

When finding studs to put nails in, the goal is to use as little Spackle as possible.

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#10
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/01/2017 2:02 PM

That's why I posted it. This is what I imagine Steve's wall looks like after he 'guessed'.

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#12
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/01/2017 2:23 PM

Yeah, that is why I go for it with sledge hammer, and I never need any spackle, but I will need that pick-up load of dry wall sheets.

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#16
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/02/2017 11:00 AM

I found this method works VERY Well on finding poly water pipes as well.

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#18
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/02/2017 11:59 AM

Neat.

I have a follow-up question, where do you get the narrow nozzle extensions for the caulk gun to deal with the after-effect of finding the water pipe by this method?

Asking for a friend, a friend with very wet shoes right now.

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#19
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/02/2017 12:18 PM

Adresler; I found I had a new skill I was not aware of; splicing Pexflow water pipe with Shark Bite fittings (Cool Stuff) and Sheet Rock taping and floating.

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#20
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/02/2017 1:23 PM

Cool. So you seal the pipe hole with the Shark Bite, tape over the sheet rock holes, then float away on the standing water?

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#17
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/02/2017 11:07 AM

When I can't find the stud finder (the wife puts it in a SAFE place, meaning we will never see it again) I pull out a moderate sized neodymium magnet and go looking for drywall nails or drywall screws. The magnet sticks to them and the magnet is strong enough that it will hang on the wall. Once I have a vertical run of ails or screws found, I check 16" to the right and left to confirm that I have found wall studs. This method seems to work as well or better than the electronic gismachies.

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#28
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

09/05/2017 1:44 PM

Nah, mate, that is not a magnet, THIS is a magnet:

A whole island is magnetic

You need one that pulls the nails out of the studs.

Jumping a conductive rope on that island, could that result in life-threatening shocks?

To me a part-time stud finder sounds like one of the ladies on a girl's night out.

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#29
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

09/05/2017 1:59 PM

Speaking of Magnetic island: I wonder what's happened to Ky

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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

09/05/2017 2:06 PM

Dunno, sounds like an interesting chap alright.

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#27
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

09/05/2017 1:02 PM

Hey... the TV will cover it... and I just upgraded from a 53" to a 72" screen to do it.

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#9

Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/01/2017 12:06 PM

That's funny, on my stud finder, it only has LED's...works every time.

Sounds like over-tech to me. Whatever happened to rapping on the wall, and picking a spot? We used to thump a watermelon to see if it was ripe enough to take from the field.

Tech-geeks have to have something made in China for everything they do. I am surprised if they don't own an automated toilet paper dispenser with LCD screen and blue-tooth capability permanently logged into Facebook, although it probably should be "Arsebook".

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#11
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/01/2017 2:03 PM

Mine too; it has LEDs and an audible beep when it finds the edge of a stud. But I usually rap the wall first and use the stud finder if I'm not sure.

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#13
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/02/2017 12:05 AM

A sound procedure, I am sure!

That's my method too - saves time!

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#14
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/02/2017 3:02 AM

Maybe his GF wore it out already?

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#15
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/02/2017 4:07 AM

Had to check, they do exist.

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#21
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/02/2017 4:23 PM

Yes, yes, yes...From a former Carpenter ..I can go into a house/building, and tell you within seconds, where the studs were, first using a knuckle, then measuring 16" in both directions, Once the pattern is determined, it goes quickly. Only problems were when studs were added for plumbing or mechanical chases ...But drywall was often spanned over those additions, so again, no problem. Stud finders were used for old plaster homes, but then again. pop off the base molding, and one can find the heads of the lath nails at the bottom of the wall, above the sill plate.

The new hollow wall anchor systems for both plaster and drywall make attachments (pictures etc.) a lot easier. and you shouldn't hit ANY plumbing if it was installed in the right place,middle of studs, not out towards the wall surface.

BTW Pex pipe is not on my recco'd list any more, after a good friends' ceiling totally collapsed from water leaks caused by Rats chewing on the Pex. Google or U Tube it. Careful with that stuff. Something in the composition that attracts rats.

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#22
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/04/2017 9:03 AM

As a Chicagoan, I would never use PEX for any concealed installation, I would limit its use to running the cold water tap from the kitchen sink to the automated icemaker and/or 'self-filling' coffemaker. The PEX isn't visible to the house guests, but one needs only open the cabinets under the counter to inspect/repair/replace the entire system.

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#23
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/05/2017 2:01 PM

Absolutely correct. Our ice maker lines, from the valve at the wall surface into the fridge, and from the cold supply line fed to the water filter are the only flex lines in the house. Oops..Also , High Pressure rated, S.S. shielded braided lines to the washing machine, also located in the house. Fittings and washers should be checked, and washers replaced once a year, especially in highly mineralized water areas. ...Thanks for reminding me!!

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#24
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Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/07/2017 8:31 AM

We Chicagoans may be crazy, but we have some serious building codes, the safety of the occupants is Job 1, 2, 3, AND 5(1). Whether the Contractor is following the codes is another matter, which is why it's a good idea to use Union Shops in the city; the Unions take complaints about shoddy workmanship seriously, they do NOT want that 'lazy & corrupt' reputation to stick on them, that could bleed over into dislike of the Democrats, and that would be bad for the entire 7 County Area(2).

Notes:

  1. Job 4 is supporting the Unions when the homeowner is not functioning as the General Contractor. If someone is doing the work themselves, on their own primary residence or the primary residence of an immediate family member, there's a little more slack cut about the type of labor used. Otherwise, what would be the point of having an uncle who is a certified HVAC tech?
  2. And that's already more political than I want to get here, so I'm leaving it at that.
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#25

Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/15/2017 10:12 AM

The stud finder may have become overheated in the vehicle if left exposed to the sun on the journey.

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#26

Re: Mystery of the Part-time Stud Finder: Newsletter Challenge (August 2017)

08/15/2017 4:53 PM

I love it! My favorite (and most frustrating) personal experience of this phenomenon was buying a "budget" IR temp gun to use to check motor temps on hobby grade RC trucks. Incredibly frustrating to find I couldn't check how hot the truck's electric motor was because the temp gun was too hot to work!!!

Purchasing a higher quality temp gun and placing it in an area sheltered from heat during transport solved this problem, but it just seemed so ironic at the time.

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