book collections email follower instructable user
Picture of Paper Stud Finder
recyclable stud finder.gif

Have you ever been the victim of such puns as, ‘’This electronic stud finder must be working, it started going off as soon as I touched it!’’ told repeatedly by such ‘’studs’’ as our fathers. Well, the next time they decide to pull out a variation of that golden line when asked to hang up a velvet Elvis, hand them this Paper Stud Finder. But how does it work? Well the stud finder nomenclature is a bit deceiving as it uses a strong neodymium magnet to find drywall screws, which are consequently screwed into studs (in countries that nail up their drywall, this tool will still work ! ).

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

- Die-cutter or Hobby knife

- Glue (I used cyanoacrylate )

- Side cutters

- Paperclip

- Bamboo skewer (to aid throughout the gluing process, non-essential )

- Cardstock (colour of choice )

- Small neodymium magnet

- Protective cutting surface

LondonThunder5 months ago
Sweet! This would be an awesome gift for father's day! Plus the magnet on the inside can double as a way to secure it to the inside of a metal toolbox (on the wall or roof). Do you have any suggestions on where to find cheap small magnets?
Ham-made (author)  LondonThunder5 months ago
Thanks LondonThunder!
You're absolutely right, this would make a great gift for the maker in the family! Oddly, I hadn't thought of simply attaching it to a metal toolbox, this is now where it resides! As far as sourcing magnets, you can purchase them as Scanner2 suggested, or if you have access to dead laptops, most have tiny neodymium magnets in their screen bezels, which activate a reed switch, indicating if the lid is open or closed. Free source if you can source them! If not, Amazon is probably your best bet.
Mr. Ham :)
Try local hardware stores. If you don't have any nearby, try Amazon.
Dolon125 months ago
Nice idea. Perfect design to 3D print!
Ham-made (author)  Dolon125 months ago
Hey Dolon12!
It sure is! Let me know if you end up modelling and printing it!
Mr. Ham
Dolon12 Ham-made5 months ago
Here are the .stl files. The design is for a 6mm dia magnet, 4mm thick. Let me know if you need another size.
Ham-made (author)  Dolon125 months ago
Thanks for sharing with the community Dolon12!
Mr. Ham
Dolon12 made it!5 months ago
3d Printed!
Ham-made (author)  Dolon125 months ago
Hey Dolon12!
AWESOME job! My personal goal when creating Instructables has always been to inspire others to make my projects! Would you mind sharing the .stl or .obj file? I'm sure others would appreciate your generosity!
Mr. Ham
Dolon12 Ham-made5 months ago
Yeah sure I have attached. They are for 6mmdia 4mm thick magnet. Let me know if you need another size.
Dolon12 Ham-made5 months ago
Here are the .stl files. It is for 6mm dia 4 thick magnet. Let me know if you need another size.
JohnC4305 months ago
I guess a simple toy compass would also do the job. You are assuming that the drywall screws are installed on every stud behind it. sure they will be on the edges of the drywall but definitely not on every stud. This is a Ferrous metal finder and NOT a stud finder. magnets are not attracted to wooden studs. it will not even find copper pipe behind the drywall.
Ham-made (author)  JohnC4305 months ago
Hey JohnC430,
As I mentioned in the introduction, the stud finder nomenclature is deceiving as the device locates screws, which are made of ferrous metals, being the only types of metals magnets stick to. If you're worried about hitting a copper or PEX pipe, I recommend that you stick with a traditional electronic stud finder or X-Ray vision.
Good luck!
Mr. Ham
stevebower5 months ago
Given drywall screwed are spaced out vertically. Should the stud finder be 'swept' over the wall? Isn't a 7mm screw head tricky to find?
Ham-made (author)  stevebower5 months ago
Hey stevebower!
If you start at a corner and measure out roughly 16" and start your search there they are surprisingly easy to find!
Mr. Ham
S0dyP0p5 months ago
Nice way to keep track of the little magnet and to make it a bit easier to use. I'm thinking a piece of wooden dowel would make an eaiser-to-assemble indicator, but this is a good simple concept and a step up from both the problematic electronic stud "finders" and knocking with my knuckle (my current favorite method).
Ham-made (author)  S0dyP0p5 months ago
Hey S0dyP0p!
I agree with that improvement! That stack of what was essentially confetti was extremely tedious to assemble. In fact, the entire thing could be made out of wood or even 3D printed! Hopefully this will help you to avoid knuckle bruises in the future!
Mr. Ham
pgs0709475 months ago
I live in the UK where most drywallers loved their nails - cost less than screws.
So apart from the damaged board, popped heads and doubts about any weight-carrying, I routinely hoick out the nails with a cat's paw nail puller and replace with screws. The magnets are cheap enough so that half a dozen give you a nice line down the stud. Screws are a lot kinder on the board and no worries about fixing cupboards etc.
Surprising how easysome of the nails come out. Beware at joints in the board where two nails are often clouted in close to each other.
Ham-made (author)  pgs0709475 months ago
Hey pgs070947,
I cringe at the thought of putting up drywall with nails...great initiative on your part replacing them with screws! Also, great tip about putting several magnets in a row to mark a stud; hadn't occurred to me!
Mr. Ham
UkeDog5 months ago
Wow! That's quite an involved project, considering all the labor and die cutting hardware used. It is a cool looking device though, for sure!

I simply use a "magnetic finger glove" to pass over the wall, and when it finds a drywall screw/nail it holds itself in place right at that spot. "Points to it", so to speak!

This works so well that I refuse to use it as probably intended, that is to retrieve dropped fasteners when doing automotive work. I don't want to risk getting oil or grease on it!
Ham-made (author)  UkeDog5 months ago
Fantastic use for the magnetic finger glove! I've been trying to find a clever use for mine for years! Looks like I'll be harvesting the magnet and recycling my Paper Stud Finder project, thanks for the tip!
Mr. Ham
AlejandroS1015 months ago
Nice idea !
I'll grab your idea for my little works at home !
Ham-made (author)  AlejandroS1015 months ago
Mr. Ham
yrralguthrie5 months ago
Afraid I don't see the purpose or need for all the paper parts. A single magnet works fine.
I wrapped a neodymium magnet (about 1/2" diameter) with green painters tape (the good stuff) and left a tab to hold it with. I go across the wall till I find a drywall screw (aka stud) and mark it. Quick and easy peasy.
Ham-made (author)  SomervilleDesigns5 months ago
Great tip SomervilleDesigns!
Thanks for sharing!
Mr. Ham
maxhirez5 months ago
Ham-made (author)  maxhirez5 months ago
Cheers maxhirez!
Mr. Ham
randofo5 months ago
Nice design! That is basically what I have been doing for years (minus the whole paper part).
Ham-made (author)  randofo5 months ago
Thanks randofo!
I've also kept a magnet stuck to the small hammer I use to hang things around the house for years, to both hold nails and locate studs. Having a dedicated way to hold the magnet and a clear way to indicate the center of the stud is definitely an upgrade!
Mr. Ham