Saturday, October 03, 2009

More DIY

We were at Victoria Gardens during the week. We were in Dick Smith Electronics looking at brackets to mount the tv on the wall. R wanted to buy it straight away but I am more cautious. I wanted to check for studs in the wall etc. A raging blue polite exchange of words followed which took two days to mend.

The next day in Harvey Norman, we just bought the bracket. I had checked with the stud finder, how I love that phrase, and the studs within the wall seemed to be in the right place to mount the tv (Brian or old Lordy, don't you dare). It was cheaper too, $25 less.

Today we decided to put it up. There were many parts and poor instructions, probably why it was cheap. I had to get my head around it before I could proceed.

Eventually I worked it out. I attached the brackets to the tv, the tilting mechanism to the brackets and that was a mistake. The wall plate should have gone up first. I started to put the wall plate up and where the studs were supposed to be and they were not, nothing behind the plaster but some metal shavings on the drill bit. Oh dear. Drill a few more holes and not a stud to be found. Usually they rain from the sky.

Call Brother the Builder, the tradie one. I thought to indulge in some chit chat before demanding of him why there are no studs in the wall. He tackled a dozen graffiti writers last night who daubed his front fence a year or so ago and he ended up with some bruises and a broken and loose tooth. He will get his daughter to extract it tomorrow with pliers. Anyway, Brother the Builder was not very helpful, apart from knocking a hammer along the wall, padded by a handkerchief. He added, not a used one as they can mark the wall. I used a dusting cloth. He did suggest that maybe because it is an external wall, they would not use timber for fire reasons. He builds houses, not large apartment blocks.

So, obviously the stud finder ( I am getting a tingling feeling somewhere) was registering metal straps. There are no timber studs, so we cannot mount the tv on the wall.

Bit disappointed. Dismantled what I had assembled, packed it back into the box, will return it to Harvey Norman next week, and then tidied up. Wasted three hours for a person who is starting to think about a finite number of hours.

Something good did happen though. We had a too large picture, a Miro print, behind the tv and attached to the frame was a picture downlight. The picture must go because it is partly obscured by the tv, but I tried to turn the downlight into an uplight behind the tv. I clamped it the power plug at the back of the tv and it is hidden and gives great uplighting. No lamp to be seen, just a wash of light over the wall.


  1. Anonymous9:14 pm

    Inside or outside wall?
    (It is relevant....)

  2. Anonymous9:20 pm

    Mmm that was silly - you did say it was an outside wall.....ok, whats happening is - assumning its a concrete building.....the plasterboard is held in place by thin pressed metal strips - you found them with your stud finder, and confirmed it with the drill bit. If you havent sealed up the hole you made, stick a piece of (straightened) coat-hanger in there, see how far it is to the concrete outside wont be far, they wont waste sell-able living space.
    Let me know how you go, and I will give you part II

  3. If you live in a high rise (which, oddly enough, you do) I figured a traditional stud would be a difficult thing to find, wouldn't it? All the load bearing stuff will be buried deep within the building and inaccessible I would imagine. The plasterboard you're trying to mount onto is basically just strung on those tin straps in the same way your ceiling would be a 'fake' too, right?

  4. All correct Michael. I have filled up the holes already and I expect you are going to suggest something really difficult, like drilling into the outside masonry. From some discussion and memory from near ten years ago when we were hanging Roman blinds on exterior walls, and ended up using butterfly bolts, the gap is about 50 mm.

    Mutant, the interior walls have traditional timber studs. I think you are right about the exterior walls. Metal straps. Never thought about the ceilings, but I think you are right there too. Load bearing comes from the external walls and the central core, I think.

  5. Anonymous1:10 pm

    Sounds like your stud finder has low expectations...easily satisfied?

  6. Shoot stud finder, turn lounge room around and locate studs in interior walls via dust cloth on hammer.

  7. Story of my life Scott.

    Backs to the views Jayne? No, tv can stay sitting where it is.

  8. Anonymous11:20 pm

    Andrew - Mutant is right, outside walls are concrete and thus load bearing - in brick veneer construction, its the studs that are weight bearing..
    The method is to drill dynabolts into the walls, machine spacers to be flush with the outside edge of the plaster trim, bolt TV bracket to that.
    Just normal DIY, really....

  9. Oh Michael. There is a bad memory I had nearly forgotten from when we lived in solid brick houses. Dynabolts. I just so am not going to revisit them. The tv stays on its stand. Since you are knowledgeable, what holds our concrete floors up? Just the strength of the concrete over the whole apartment or do the internal stud walls, piled on top of each other for many stories help?

  10. Anonymous1:31 pm

    Its the concrete holds itself up - it will be reinforced with steel bars (reo in the trade) to control lateral movement, and for floor slabs. Concrete has very good compressive strength, which is why they can build high rise trog boxes easily. Its got to the stage where the slabs can be pre-made in a factory (the theory is better quality control) and then just lifted on site and bolted together...
    The lift shaft is usually poured to get even strength with no joints. Samples are taken from each pour to be analysed by an independent laboratory to see it reaches specifications - you might notice them on building sites, round slugs, size of big coffee cans....And I will spare you the lecture on concrete grading - needless to say, a particular mix is specified for the type of job. When something goes wrong, or not specified correctly, or a backhander to the supervising agency, ie in the recent Indonesian earthquakes, and the collapse of multiple schools in the Chinese earthquakes, then......
    (cheap cement mix....)
    Dynabolts are Good Things, but need to be used with care - NOT into wire cut bricks, they shatter - drill then into the mortar course. Fine with solid bricks in old homes, but you DO need a fairly decent drill for this, not the $20 Bunnings special.
    Hope this helps, an addition to the trivia file....

  11. Ok, yes thinking about it more, there can be large spans of concrete without any central support. We have watched buildings being constructed from up here and I knew about the central lift/services core. I hope corrupt practices with concrete pour testing doesn't happen here. I believe there is also some dodgy stuff with reo specifications too. My drill is an almost thirty year old Black and Decker. I amazed it still works with what I have put it through, ditto the jigsaw.