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Chad Fabry

Googling for info on Plaster- interesting return

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Oh my God! His work is magnificent. I got goosebumps reading the article - the same feeling I would get if I was standing in a building looking at his work. Makes me think my woodcarving is like pre-school popsicle-stick projects. I'd give anything to travel back in time and work under him. How could any man have accomplished so much in such a short life?

I've been to the Eastman Theatre a loooong time ago. I vaguely remember the story about the washtub lights, but I don't think there was any credit given.

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Great man, great work. In my plaster class at school, I struggled 6 week on one plaster medallion and it came out looking like a lump compared to his work.

No man should have the right to tear down or alter such gems.

Therefore when we build, let us think that we build (public edifices) forever. Let us not be for present delight, nor for present use alone, let it be for such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."

- Seven Lamps of Architecture--The Lamp of Memory John Ruskin (1819 –1900)

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Chad,

Your grandfather's accomplishments are more than interesting - they're astounding. He had a truly rare gift. You should be exceedingly proud of him, I would be.

And, there's no doubt in my mind that some of his drive for perfection lives in things like your wood stove, and other things you've put your hand to.

That's the particularly cool thing about heritage - a marvelous thing to embrace.

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The reason I was googling plaster is I have an upcoming job to plaster walls in an old school house. Flat walls. No ceilings. And I'm still googling plaster trying to learn more before I start.

I'm a prune that rolled under an apple tree.

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Chad,

Awsome story. You know, plastering, real plastering, is almost a lost art. I read an article years ago in Walls and Ceilings Magazine that had been written by a former stockbroker (or something like that) turned plasterer who claimed at the time he was making more money as a plasterer than he would have ever made in his former life.

Think you could revive your great grandad's art and carry it on?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Chad,

Awsome story. You know, plastering, real plastering, is almost a lost art. I read an article years ago in Walls and Ceilings Magazine that had been written by a former stockbroker (or something like that) turned plasterer who claimed at the time he was making more money as a plasterer than he would have ever made in his former life.

Think you could revive your great grandad's art and carry it on?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

That's no joke. During my masonry years, plasterers were making double the top wage for a mason.

I've dabbled with it a bit (flat work only). It's not the sort of thing one can do slowly. To do it well, one must have high quality flexible steel tools and the confidence to use strong, quick confident passes. Otherwise, you'll see every tremor of the hand.

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I think I'd change my name to Thillman.

I've plastered walls before. And ceilings. It's intense. Get in shape, it's gonna kick your ass.

What's the substrate you're applying over?

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I did have the pleasure of learning how to use a hawk, which few people know how to do. That also takes speed and confidence. And, in the beginning you end up with a whole lot of plaster or mortar on your shoes, until you get the hang of it.

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And in your hair, mouth, ears, pockets.....

Keep a wet edge, and hope your tender can keep up.

I've still got my hawk; haven't touched it in 20 years.

Jimmy, don't make me come over there....

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There's a 'walls & ceilings' magazine? That's astounding.

Jimmy,

There are literally dozens, maybe even hundreds of magazines out there on every aspect of the building, plumbing and electro-mechanical trade.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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And in your hair, mouth, ears, pockets.....

Keep a wet edge, and hope your tender can keep up.

I've still got my hawk; haven't touched it in 20 years.

That's the only hand tool I no longer own. I didn't learn the hawk, through plastering, but parging. So, the helper had it easy - standing on the bank dropping shovels of mortar onto my upraised hawk, as I stood down in the ditch parging away.

I've actually started doing some masonry restorations again, after many years - more for hobby - tiny jobs only. Recently I replaced, a hearth that caved into the crawlspace on 110 year old home. As was typical for the period, the hearth was laid on a mud bed in a wood form supported by the joists to either side of the fireplace.

I also have a brick arch over the gate of a garden wall to re-point (home built around 1900); a stone foundation to re-point on a structure built in 1799 (featured in one of the threads here), and one on a home from the 30's.

Heaven only know when I'll get to them, but everyone, thankfully, understands that it's only going to happen when I'm slow on the inspection side, which is rare.

I suppose I've come to miss the art, but no longer have the body for the heavy work. So I've chosen to market myself as a historical restoration guy - small specialized repairs only.

Chad, if you have the coordination and the natural inclination (which I already know you do), as Mike has already stated, you could make some REDICULOUS money, through the scarceness of the skill and your grandfather's name. (I'm betting that if Kurt or I give you a crash course in the tooling, genetics will kick in.)

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I think I'd change my name to Thillman.

I've plastered walls before. And ceilings. It's intense. Get in shape, it's gonna kick your ass.

What's the substrate you're applying over?

We're going over a previously plastered clay brick. The old plaster is removed now, leaving a surface that has moderate irregularity.

I know how to use a hawk, and my darby is nicely broken in but I've never done a job of this scale before- and with the myriad of products out there I'm also unsure what products to use.

For economy, I'm pretty sure we'll be using a "neat" base coat, one that requires the addition of aggregate on site , but haven't yet decided which finish coat product to use. I'm all ears.

As far as Thillman goes, the H is silent. My Grandfather's and my Dad's first name is Thillman but my youngest son was named after Dad's middle name, Chaplin.

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