I’m in the process of putting a railing in the stairwell from the first floor to the second floor. First step is to pop a chalk line to get the height of each of the brackets just right–no problems there.
Second step is finding studs through lath, plaster, and 1/8″ oak panelling (the 40′s kind, not the 70′s kind). Nothing but problems there–even the fancy schmancy Zircon studfinder is confused by that much thickness. And the best part? I managed to find a grand total of three studs in the internal wall that faces the bathroom (which is a wet wall). One is 16.5″ on center, another 13″ on center. Fun, fun, fun!
Fortunately, the balloon frame studs are almost exactly 16″ on center, so getting the brackets up on the outside wall took no time at all.
After all this rigamarole, cutting, staining, and shellacking the railings themselves should be a piece of cake.