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Thread: Trade Secrets & the Internet

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Default Trade Secrets & the Internet

    I'm curious if plumbers have trade secrets they keep to themselves and if so, has the Internet been responsible for broadcasting those secrets.
    I just want to know your feeling on this.

    I just curious because of a situation where Im trying to gain some knowledge about applying Italian "Venetian" Plasters. I only want to do a couple rooms in my house.
    The big dog on the block (Plaster Importer) won't sell to you if you don't attend their 1 week school which is not cheap.

    Their message board is pretty restrictive as well.
    Mike

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Additionally and AFAIK Terry Love was one of the first guys to "get it"-that encouraging community discussion drives commerce. John Bridge is very successful as many of you know regarding Tile etc.. In fact I don't think I've ever seen a restricted board like (Italian Plaster) with any large degree of success. Not that they don't exist--I'm just not aware of them.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Mike50

    We do have trade secrets but we are sworn to secrecy.

    If any one reveals them when they shouldn't the closest plumber living near them has to do away with them and their immediate family and anyone in the room at the time.

    The secrets are given when we become Masters.

    So you see we can't reveal everything.

    I guess plasterers are the same.
    Last edited by Cass; 12-09-2006 at 02:33 PM.

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking call me "worshipful master"

    the greatest secret that I can reveal


    thier is no secret .......crap is crap

    always has been .....always will be.......



    also .....no body really wants to work hard.....

    nobody wants to get their hands dirty.......


    thats why I charge so much....

    I actually NEVER get dirty on jobs

    and I usually just cover myself with dirt
    ONLY if the customer shows up
    on the job


    I got a set of really dirty work overalls in my truck
    that I put on every evening when I come home....
    to trick my wife too....
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 12-09-2006 at 02:34 PM.

  5. #5
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Yes I have a few of those.

    1 pair is covered with dried mud when I want her to think I was in a ditch, another pair has sewerage all over it. That one is when I want her to think someone flushed a toilet when I was under a house.
    Another pair has burned holes in it when I want her to think I was doing a lot of soldering.

    What other tricks do you do.

    I make my truck a mess so she won't know I was sitting and drinking coffee and eating doughnuts all day.

    I also put flux on my hands from time to time, just to make it look good.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass
    Mike50

    We do have trade secrets but we are sworn to secrecy.

    If any one reveals them when they shouldn't the closest plumber living near them has to do away with them and their immediate family and anyone in the room at the time.

    The secrets are given when we become Masters.

    So you see we can't reveal everything.

    I guess plasterers are the same.
    LOL.

    These plasterers are people just like me who took an expensive course
    and overnight they are "artists" who dont want to tell anyone (for example) how much
    tint or additives to add to the plaster unless you are one of the chosen few.

    It's an Artists or Plumbers Talent and Heart that makes him great or mediocre imo.
    Last edited by Mike50; 12-09-2006 at 04:36 PM.

  7. #7
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike50
    It's an Artists or Plumbers Talent and Heart that makes him great or mediocre imo.
    Yes, and that includes the wisdom of knowing, for the sake of the listener, just when to say or to not say however much!

  8. #8

  9. #9

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    Hmmm... plastering is something I will admit being ignorant about. Once upon a time I worked in a upholstery shop for a guy who taught upholstery at the local trade school. I found it funny that he was teaching me and paying me to do what he was charging others to teach them to do. So, one suggestion, if you don't want to pay for this expensive course is to go to work for a plasterer for 6 or 8 weeks... you'll be the grunt for sure...but you can ask lots of questions and get a pay check and free lessons!

  10. #10
    Plumber RioHyde's Avatar
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    Since I too am in the Cincinnati area, I have been contracted to fulfill the obligation of keeping an eye on Cass. Seems he's come very, very close to revealing those trade secrets (muddy overalls, sewer"ie" overalls, et al). No offense of course Cass. Business is business you know.....but I wont go farther north than Middletown.

    LoL

    Cheers!

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randyj
    Hmmm... plastering is something I will admit being ignorant about. Once upon a time I worked in a upholstery shop for a guy who taught upholstery at the local trade school. I found it funny that he was teaching me and paying me to do what he was charging others to teach them to do. So, one suggestion, if you don't want to pay for this expensive course is to go to work for a plasterer for 6 or 8 weeks... you'll be the grunt for sure...but you can ask lots of questions and get a pay check and free lessons!
    I don't need to be paid.
    I thought about doing some free grunt work for a plaster guy--no problem with that. Trying to find a guy that knows these unique venetian/Italian techniques is about as easy as finding a one armed paper hanger. I'm still working on it...

    Mike

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie
    Mikey,

    I have one idea. What if you hired someone to do one room, then you could watch, and if the person is agreeable, you could lend a hand.

    Hands on training. Plus, one room would be done.
    Cookie many of these guys get 5-10 dollars a square foot. I'm not paying someone 1200 dollars to plaster my kitchen. lol

    Bob thanks for that link. As you see one of their secrets is that your trowel must be sanded with 800 1000 git sandpaper to get the shiny marble finish. (even if it's new)
    look at this:
    http://216.193.252.74/photopost/show...o=1690&cat=511

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike50; 12-10-2006 at 06:16 AM.

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    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by got_nailed
    Great minds think alike. I'm renting that whole series of DIY DVD's on line.


    I think we all know that the nature of trade secrets is alot different than it was back in the 70-80's.
    The Internet happened. Open Source software issues happened.
    If my business was dependant on trade secrets I'm sure I would feel differently about this issue.

    This particular school/importer is telling people that they produce a quality
    second to none and all others are inferior in some way.
    IMO I think they are in for a rude awakening sooner rather than later.

    I guess I'd hoped they would give me professional courtesy as I've worked in a closely related field of work imo.

    Like I said it's the technician/artist that makes the difference.
    I obviously don't have any plumbing secrets however:
    In the spirit of an open source internet I will reveal a closely guarded Holiday cooking ingredient secret.

    When making a holiday turkey:
    Use 1 teaspoon of Lard (pork fat) in your marinade/seasoning mixture before buttering the bird. It adds a lot of body to the flavor but it's subtle and no one can identify it.

    And one more thing-don't tell anyone-it's a secret.
    Last edited by Mike50; 12-10-2006 at 03:17 PM.

  15. #15

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    I can plaster, but I have never learned how to do venation plaster. I have seen it done but all it ever looked like was drywall mud with paint in it. After that they used some kind of wax. But I was doing other finishes so I couldn’t sit and watch.

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