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Old 09-01-2014, 08:30 AM   #1
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Stud finder operation

Howdy all my Sunline buds. I have a question: Will a stud finder be reliable to detect an aluminium stud? I need to drill a hole through the side of my trailer to accept an electrical port and I don't want to meet a piece of metal along the way.

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Old 09-01-2014, 01:14 PM   #2
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I have steel studs in my basement. My Zircon stud finder picks them up. I believe they work on the change in mass.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:44 PM   #3
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I believe they work on the change in mass.
I thought they did. I was just wondering if a hollow aluminum channel would be enough of a mass change.
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:22 PM   #4
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If you look at a steel stud there isn't much there yet my stud finder found them through 1/2" plaster board
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
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There is a lot of variation in how well stud finders function. I think Zircon is one of the better ones. I have an older Zircon that isn't as sensitive as my newer Zircon Z-50 and the new one finds things and the edges of things on "deepscan" better than the old one. Thin aluminium is a challenge but I think if you are searching through a thin wall it should work well for you.

One hint, sometimes when you start a search the studfinder may already be over or near a stud. The startup calibration may think that is the normal wall and never find a stud. If that happens just start several inches away and start again. You don't have to ask how I figured that one out.
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:40 PM   #6
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OK, I just had to find out for myself so I did a little test. I had a 1 inch thick piece of styrofoam and a piece of aluminum channel that you use for suspended ceiling tiles. My Zircon Z50 found the aluminum behind the styrofoam and lit up on the exact edge of it on "normal" scan. Deepscan was too sensitive and and lit up almost 2 inches away.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:09 AM   #7
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Great! Thanks Jim and Gene for your "real world" advice.

Teach
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:04 AM   #8
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Just a little update. Stud finder also found the aluminum through a 1/2 inch piece of scrap plywood I had in the garage.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:11 AM   #9
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Not too busy today, eh?
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:41 PM   #10
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That is the joy of being retired.

The question raised my curiosity so I thought some empirical engineering would be this morning's project.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
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That is the joy of being retired.

The question raised my curiosity so I thought some empirical engineering would be this morning's project.
Raised mine too. That's why I tried mine on steel studs through plaster board
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:32 AM   #12
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Now all I need to do is get retired and go play with my stud finder....
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:34 PM   #13
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If only I could retire and become the stud!......
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