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Struggling to drill into a ceiling joist to hang a sheila maid/french airer - something hard obstructing the drill

Postby petoid » Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:04 pm

I hope this is the right forum! My apologies if not!

I'm attempting to install a sheila maid/french airer and understand the necessity of afixing to a joist. I've located a joist using some very strong magnets to find screws running in a line. Upon tentatively drilling in at the marked spot, I've gone through the plaster, find a slight gap (maybe 1") and then the drill comes up against something very hard that it squeaks against.

Obviously I'm reluctant to apply much pressure to get through it as it doesn't feel like wood. I live in a ground floor flat, so can't realy get access from above. Are joists sometimes sheathed in something hard? Is there any risk that there are pipe/wires running on the underside of the joist?

Any advice/solutions would be much appreciated, either on how to get the right spot on the joist, or even just how to get a good look without destroying my entire ceiling!

Many thanks in advance!
Peter
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Postby stoneyboy » Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:42 pm

Hi petoid
Could be pipes or a lattice floor joist with metal joint plates. Suggest you enlarge the hole so you can see what is in place.
Regards S
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Postby petoid » Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:45 pm

Cheers! I've just ordered an endoscope so will enlarge hole and see if I can have a look around.
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Postby stoneyboy » Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:45 pm

Thanks petoid, please let us know what you find.
Regards S
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Postby petoid » Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:39 am

I've just had a bit of a look and along the line of fixtures (where I theorised the joist was) I'm just coming up against something that I can't really make out.

Interestingly throught hole that my fire alarm wires come through (roughly in line with where I think the joist is but futher down the hall) I can see something wooden directly adjoining the plasterboard, so I think there are joists.

When I go through a few inches over to see if I can get a better view, I'm just getting a load of fuzzy insulation material so can't get a clearer view.
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Postby petoid » Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:06 pm

Hi Stoney,

Thanks for the encouragement. The endoscope mostly revealed lots of wooly insulation material so couldn't see much. I did go up through the hole which my fire alarm electrics go through and found I was inside a sort of metal sheath,

Played around with magnets and found a lot more fixtures (pictures attached, hope they're clear) all in lines. They're all single points - ie screws, I imagine. Any ideas what these might suggest? Also any ideas on a part of the ceiling to make a hole in that's less likely to be obstructed by the insulation material?

Many thanks in advance!

Peter
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Postby stoneyboy » Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:22 pm

Hi petoid
The lines of fixings you have identified are likely to be screws or nails up into floor joists.
Suggest you investigate where you want your lazymaid fixings by cutting a larger hole - with a hole cutter. This will allow you to move insulation aside and see what you are drilling into. You can refit the plasterboard plug to make good.
Regards S
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Postby petoid » Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:37 pm

Hi Stoney,

Just got hold of a hole cutter and got the endoscope in for a better view. Found at least the left row of fixings are going into a sort of metal sheath. I'll upload pictures as soon as I get to a computer. I assume this wouldn't be strong enough to bare a serious amount of weight?

Is it possible that the whole ceiling is hung off these, or do you reckon there would be a joist somewhere regardless?

Many thanks for all of your help. Really appreciate it.

Peter
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Postby stoneyboy » Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:51 pm

Hi petoid,
Thanks for the update, I’ll wait for you to post the images.
Regards S
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Postby petoid » Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:34 am

Here they are.

First is view from the side. Second is a view from inside, showing one of the screws that I assume is holding the plasterboard on.

Thanks,
Peter
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Postby petoid » Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:35 am

Oh sorry, other way around - first is a view from inside, second is a side view.
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Postby stoneyboy » Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:36 pm

Hi petoid,
What you are looking at is a metal beam of the false ceiling. These are designed to hold up plasterboard but would not be strong enough for your lazy maid airer.
If you can hear people moving about in the flat above there may be a timber joist floor above the false ceiling. If you don’t hear much it is more likely that there is a concrete floor. Either way fixing into the ceiling is not going to be easy.
Regards S
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Postby petoid » Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:42 am

Aha! Well good to know I suppose.

Just trying to work out an alternative - my thought was to attach a couple of battens across as broad a space on the ceiling as possible and then screw the lazy maid pulleys into those.

If I attached these with, say, 8 toggles each (into 3/4" plasterboard) and then possibly used an adhesive as well, do you think that would take the weight? I'm anticipating it will need to deal with about 70kg (once you factor in the dynamic load) - that's 35kg each end, so about 5kg per toggle... or might it just pull don the entire ceiling?

No wories at all if this is an "I'd rather not comment" situation.

Thanks again,
Peter
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Postby stoneyboy » Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:56 pm

Hi petoid,
Even if you distributed the lazymaid weight the suspended ceiling would not cope. My recommendation is don’t even try it.
Regards S
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Postby petoid » Fri Oct 29, 2021 4:32 pm

Sounds very wise! Often the best advice.

Thanks so much for your advice.

Peter
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