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Easy way to find joists above a lath and plaster ceiling?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 8th 08, 04:47 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 2,360
Default Easy way to find joists above a lath and plaster ceiling?

I'm putting up timber stud partitions, and need to screw several top
plates into the loft joists in a lath and plaster ceiling (working
around various exposed features).

For a bunch of reasons, access from above is not so easy (not
impossible, just awkward).

My stud detector just bleeps everywhere (because of the laths and
nails).

The only thing I can think off is to drill a few test holes with a
fine drill (e.g 3mm) until I hit a loft joist. I reckon I could end up
doing a few of those for each fixing point, as the loft joists are not
very accurately spaced (Victorian building).

Anyone have any tips to make the job easier?

Where I have to fix top plates parallel to the loft joists (and no
doubt not directly underneath one) - I'm thinking to fix noggins above
(fortunately these will be in a more accessible area), and then use
120-130mm screws to be sure to bite into the loft joists.

Any other recommended solutions?
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  #3  
Old November 8th 08, 05:29 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 7,811
Default Easy way to find joists above a lath and plaster ceiling?

On Nov 8, 5:10*pm, "Cash"
wrote:
wrote:
I'm putting up timber stud partitions, and need to screw several top
plates into the loft joists in a lath and plaster ceiling (working
around various exposed features).


For a bunch of reasons, access from above is not so easy (not
impossible, just awkward).


My stud detector just bleeps everywhere (because of the laths and
nails).


The only thing I can think off is to drill a few test holes with a
fine drill (e.g 3mm) until I hit a loft joist. I reckon I could end up
doing a few of those for each fixing point, as the loft joists are not
very accurately spaced (Victorian building).


Anyone have any tips to make the job easier?


If tapping doesnt do it, tiny holes + coathanger to roughly locate
them. With 2 points you can pencil lines on. Once you've got a few you
can interpolate others.


Tap the ceiling with a hammer until you hear a 'solid' sound - and that's
where the joist will be!



Where I have to fix top plates parallel to the loft joists (and no
doubt not directly underneath one) - I'm thinking to fix noggins above
(fortunately these will be in a more accessible area), and then use
120-130mm screws to be sure to bite into the loft joists.


Screws are really not essential here - simply cut the noggins between the
ceiling joists (a snug fit) and then use 4" nails to fix them through the
rafter or 3" nails if you are going to do 'skew' nail fixings.

Cash


its a brave man that will slam a large number of 4" nails into L&P


NT
  #4  
Old November 8th 08, 05:43 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 121
Default Easy way to find joists above a lath and plaster ceiling?

On Sat, 8 Nov 2008 08:47:25 -0800 (PST), "
wrote:

I'm putting up timber stud partitions, and need to screw several top
plates into the loft joists in a lath and plaster ceiling (working
around various exposed features).

For a bunch of reasons, access from above is not so easy (not
impossible, just awkward).

My stud detector just bleeps everywhere (because of the laths and
nails).

The only thing I can think off is to drill a few test holes with a
fine drill (e.g 3mm) until I hit a loft joist. I reckon I could end up
doing a few of those for each fixing point, as the loft joists are not
very accurately spaced (Victorian building).


Yes thats the way to do it. Just be glad that you have some access
above so you can get an idea of the spacing and direction of the
joists. I once worked on an old building with no access above and
where the joist direction changed midway across the room. It took me
ages to realise what was going on

Its worth putting a skirt around the drill bit so the chuck doesnt get
bunged up with mortar

When you have finished fill the holes with polyfilla

Anna
--
Anna Kettle
Lime plaster repair and conservation
Freehand modelling in lime: overmantels, pargeting etc
Tel: ***(+44) *01359 230642
Mob: * (+44) *07976 649862
Please look at my website for examples of my work at:
www.kettlenet.co.uk *
  #5  
Old November 8th 08, 06:25 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 2,360
Default Easy way to find joists above a lath and plaster ceiling?

I was hoping you were going to answer Anna, thank you. I tried the
tapping others have suggested - slightly better than the stud
detector, but still very hit and miss - the fine drillings worked
best.

No need to fill the holes, as they're directly above the timber plate
(I already have a laser line to follow, it's just finding the
intersections with loft joists that's the trouble!)

Thanks to all for your suggestions.
  #6  
Old November 8th 08, 06:46 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 667
Default Easy way to find joists above a lath and plaster ceiling?


wrote in message
...
I'm putting up timber stud partitions, and need to screw several top
plates into the loft joists in a lath and plaster ceiling (working
around various exposed features).

For a bunch of reasons, access from above is not so easy (not
impossible, just awkward).

My stud detector just bleeps everywhere (because of the laths and
nails).

The only thing I can think off is to drill a few test holes with a
fine drill (e.g 3mm) until I hit a loft joist. I reckon I could end up
doing a few of those for each fixing point, as the loft joists are not
very accurately spaced (Victorian building).

Anyone have any tips to make the job easier?

Where I have to fix top plates parallel to the loft joists (and no
doubt not directly underneath one) - I'm thinking to fix noggins above
(fortunately these will be in a more accessible area), and then use
120-130mm screws to be sure to bite into the loft joists.

Any other recommended solutions?


Do you know which way the joist are running? Those old ceilings have latte
(lathe) batons across the joists, running at 90 degrees from the joists.
When you try to find the joists with a detector, all you get is the points
where the lattes are nailed to the cross batons, which is almost everywhere
on the ceiling.

Where you are erecting your stud wall, punch a hole through enough to stick
a hand in and feel exactly where you are with the joists. Use your tape
measure to get an idea of where the rest of the joists are.

The hole you make is easily covered by the top plate of the stud you're
building.



 




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