So, I've tried all the standard methods. Checked the outlet, which is screw directly into the lath(yeah, is that even up to code?!). Magnet doesn't work, I've got a rare earth magnet, and the plaster is apparently too think to pick it up(it's about an inch thick, so this doesn't make sense). I though to use the window as a base, but from the center line of where a stud would be at the edge of the window, 16 inches from there, there is no stud(I drilled it).

I'm losing my mind on this.

  • The outlet should be in a box that is attached to your lath. If the attachment is just with screws, you may be able to unscrew and pop the outlet box out of the wall, which should give you a way to locate the studs around that outlet. – Shimon Rura Mar 9 '16 at 2:38

16"oc is just for the field, around the windows, doors & corners will vary, down to 2"s is what I've seen. Like bib said, you can get a Stud Finder, but it needs to have Deep Scan capabilities, it's especially for plaster walls.

Otherwise, just Keep Drilling. Drill a hole & stick in a crescent shape bent & inch marked coat hanger for a fairly accurate measurement to the next stud & next drilled hole. I prefer to drill on both sides of at least 2 studs to see if I'm actually dealing with a full 2" thick stud. Yours should be 2" & they usually are.

Mark your bent coat hanger where the tape measure's straight line measurement hits, so you get pretty much what your tape measurement will be on the outside of the wall. A minimum of a 1/4" hole works well to give your wire room to navigate.

  • I will try this, I already have a couple holes drilled where I expected studs. Thanks – Tyler O'Neill Mar 9 '16 at 2:38
  • It can be a chore, but easy to fill back to invisible. Great Luck! – Iggy Mar 9 '16 at 2:40

There are numerous electronic stud finders that do not rely on magnetic signals. They use a form of density testing looking for studs, not the nails in studs. Many of them can see through plaster and wood lath.

stud finder

There are a wide range of versions and prices, and, as in many things, the midrange may give you the best value.

 Images and links are for illustration only, not an endorsement of goods or sources.
  • I was really hoping to avoid spending more money, but I bought this one from HD. Will pick it up tomorrow. Thanks. – Tyler O'Neill Mar 9 '16 at 2:36

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