952: Stud Finder
Title text: According to every stud finder I've tried to use, my walls contain a rapidly shifting network of hundreds and hundreds of studs.
It sounds like you may be interested in my new product, a— stud finder finder.
Cueball cannot locate his stud finder, so Black Hat begins a sales pitch, presumably for a "stud finder" finder. The joke is in the irony of having to find something that is used to find other things. Cueball interrupts Black Hat before he can make the obvious joke. The same comic technique is used later in 1059: Bel-Air. Currently no product exists that will locate a stud finder, although online review compilations are useful for finding the right stud finder to buy.
Studs are vertical wood members in wood-framed construction common in North America, although steel framing has become a popular alternative. These supports reinforce a wall at regular intervals, typically 16 inches (about 40 cm), and at corners, windows, and doors.
Most stud finders use an electrostatic field that is affected by the densities and types of materials in the vicinity, identifying where studs and other significant framing elements are located. One might want to know the locations of studs within a wall for installing wiring, mounting shelves and heavy objects to walls, or in this comic, hanging a picture. Wiring can be inserted between studs behind the drywall, while shelves, pictures, etc. are better affixed to studs. In constructions with mostly solid walls, discovering (and avoiding) any previously installed electric cables or pipes is as important a prelude to any new drilling of holes or hammering of nails, and the same or similar detectors aim to reduce that risk.
Many stud finders have a light that turns on in conjunction with a beep when a higher density is detected, indicating the edge of a stud. But there are circumstances that can fool stud finders. Most are designed for the drywall-over-wood-framing construction, and can be fooled by older plaster and lath construction where the density is much more uniform throughout the length of the wall. Lower quality stud finders can also be fooled by things like moisture in the drywall or wiring within the wall cavity, and may thus beep when there is not a stud behind the scanned location. As a result, many people will try alternatives such as using a magnet to find the drywall screws or nails, or tapping a finishing nail through the wall to see if there is a stud underneath.
At the title text, Randall just gives up. Assuming there was no electrostatic interference, a stud finder going off randomly would indicate lots and lots of studs at random places that change position.
The idea of a "something doer doer" was explored again in 1821: Incinerator, the title text of 2376: Curbside, and 2382: Ballot Tracker Tracker.
- [Black Hat sits on a couch, reading a book. Cueball is approaching him from behind the couch holding a picture in a frame, a screwdriver, and some screws.]
- Cueball: Have you seen my stud finder? I've looked everywhere.
- Black Hat: It sounds like you may be interested in my new product, a—
- Cueball: Shut up.
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In most of the U.S. local building codes specify 16 inches (about 41 cm) center-to-center as the standard distance between wooden studs.wknehans 15:22, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Could Black Hat probably have fixed Cueball's stud finder so that it always showed studs everywhere? Guru-45 (talk) 15:23, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
- Well, I think it's Randall who's talking in the alt-text. --Jimmy C (talk) 17:43, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I thought Black Hat was about to say he had a "stud" for sale. Which can be taken in one of several ways... 22.214.171.124 21:34, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
I've always taken this as Black Hat doing in real life what obnoxious advertisers do on the Internet. Which is to say, take key words out of things you type (like your email or a search box) and advertise at you based on that. Black Hat pounced on the word "stud" and Lord only knows what products might be advertised at you based on that word, especially out of the twisted mind of BH, and Cueball is smart enough to head that one off at the pass. 126.96.36.199 23:50, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I think this is obviously sexual innuendo and not about a "stud finder finder". (for non-native speakers, "stud" can also mean "sexually attractive male") Black Hat is offering Cueball access to some sort of technology allowing sexually available gay men to locate each other. One example would be an app like Grindr, which connects users based on their physical proximity to each other at any given moment. Someone using such an app, at least in an area with a large gay population, would indeed be confronted with a menu of "a rapidly shifting network of hundreds and hundreds of studs". EristicWidgeon (talk) 14:03, 5 August 2022 (UTC)
Note to all: stud-finder-finder is obviously and completely correct. 188.8.131.52 20:39, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
- I concur. Although there are obviously many other references to the words Stud, then by saying he has a product that will interest a guy that is already looking for his own stud finder, it would not make much sense that the product should not be for finding the stud finder. (And not for finding studs etc.) --Kynde (talk) 15:43, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
At first, I thought Cueball was referring to rats in his walls in the title text. 184.108.40.206 20:40, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
It's a little bizarre that Cueball appears to want a stud finder to hang a picture. That's…mostly impractical and more trouble than it's worth. (Also, most people who hang pictures don't have stud finders, I claim.) A picture is one of the lightest things you can mount to a wall, it's normal to use a drywall anchor (of various types) or even forgo the anchor and use a picture-frame hanging hook (cf. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/choosing-proper-fastener). I'm not sure if Randall is just taking a shortcut here to come up with something that you could plausibly use a stud finder for, even though normally you would not, because illustrating, e.g., a bookshelf might be harder? Or perhaps he actually uses stud finders to hang pictures, which would be an example of overkill (Should there be a Category, like "tangential overkill"? It could include this comic, 952, as well as 1384: Krypton and 804: Pumpkin Carving). Or maybe something else? It's hard to know what is meant ironically, and thus hard to know what to put in the commentary. JohnHawkinson (talk) 22:46, 10 June 2017 (UTC)