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First, how can I find the studs? My normal and good stud finders are mostly baffled. Second, what should I use to anchor into them? I'm thinking some sort of self-expanding toggle bolt?

  • a metal detector tuned for aluminum should work – ratchet freak Dec 30 '14 at 17:37
  • What is it you wish to attach? – The Evil Greebo Dec 30 '14 at 19:29
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    If you're not looking right at the studs what are you looking at? What are they behind that you are trying to locate them? Also, aluminum studs??? Are you sure they are not standard steel studs? Either way, regular fine thread drywall screws are all you need. – Speedy Petey Dec 30 '14 at 21:49
  • Keep in mind that the aluminum studs should be place center on center every 16". This means the first stud in a wall is 15 1/4 inches to the center of the 2nd stud. This allows for butting the drywall to the wall. If this is done all your studs are exactly 16" inches to the center part to screw in. – John Peters Dec 30 '14 at 21:49
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In North America, studs are usually installed 16" on centre, regardless of whether wood or metal studs are used. (Commercial interior walls may have different spacing.) If you can't find the stud with your stud finder, look for a plug or switch on the wall - they will be attached to one side of the stud and then start from there.

Just use normal fine-thread drywall screws. Drywall screws are available in coarse thread for wood studs, and fine thread for metal studs.

PS: Are you sure the studs are aluminum? All metals studs that I have seen are galvanized steel.

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