Ellsworth, ME, US
A good mud job can foil your method or at least render it difficult. Here is another option.
I carry a 1/2 diam. spherical rare earth magnet or two stuck to a convenient magnetic like the side of a hammer or nail gun. This little gem pinpoints screws or nails thereby locating studs. A 24" beaded chain with a mark at 16" is also handy. attach the first bead to the magnet and either let it hang to find the lay of the stud or swing it 90º to the floor to find the next stud. No guessing. .
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