Hello. Have you ever wanted to speak like a highly skilled tradesperson but could never quite find the right words? Conversational Tradespeak 101 will help you talk-the-talk with no trades experience necessary. Each week we will look at some common, and not so common, trade terms. We will define the term before putting it to use in everyday conversation. We will also misuse the term for no particular reason other than a mild form of entertainment.
Term: Plenum Space
Definition: An enclosed space inside a building or other structure, used for airflow. Often refers to the space between a dropped ceiling and the structural ceiling, or a raised floor and the hard floor.
Proper Usage: Distinct from ductwork, a plenum is part of the structure itself.
Improper Usage: “Sandy’s dream to be the first woman to fly solo into deep plenum space was dashed when her optometrist told her she was legally blind and could never man a mission anywhere on earth or plenum space.”
Term: Radiant Ceiling Panels
Definition: Usually metal panels suspended under the ceiling, insulated from the building structure. The primary cooling/heating agent temperature is close to the room’s temperature.
Proper Usage: Radiant ceiling panels offer temperature gradients so low between ceiling and floor, less than one degree of difference.
Improper Usage: “Winnie, you truly have radiant ceiling panels, and I’m not just saying that.”
Definition: Finishing drywall is the process of applying paper or fibreglass tape over the joints between pieces of installed drywall, then covering the taped seams and filling the screw or nail holes with drywall compound. The process is known in the trades as ‘mudding.’
Proper usage: When done poorly, mudding can result in unsightly seams in the drywall.
Improper Usage: He was known around town to be a real mean mudder. He hung out at the pool hall swinging a chain.”
Definition: The spindle or shaft on a machine that turns blades or other cutting wheels.
Proper Usage: Mandrel is another term for arbor and means the same thing.
Improper Usage: “It’s fine Joe. I arbor no ill will, regardless of you acting like a jack ass.”
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