How to Properly Mix Concrete: Mastering the Craft with BG and Jon

Welcome to another episode of The Concrete Podcast! This week, join your hosts BG and Jon as they dive deep into the art and science of mixing concrete. Uncover the secrets of "How To Properly Mix Concrete" – because, believe it or not, there's a right way and a much more challenging way.

Discover the key techniques and best practices that can make a significant difference in your concrete mixing process. BG and Jon break down the benefits of mixing properly, from reducing the amount of plasticizer needed to slashing the time it takes to mix your concrete. It's a triple win – save on materials, time, and minimize wear and tear on your body and machinery.

Whether you're a seasoned concrete veteran or a DIY enthusiast looking to master the craft, this episode is packed with insights that will elevate your concrete mixing game. Tune in to The Concrete Podcast and learn how to mix smarter, not harder. It's a concrete jungle out there, but with BG and Jon as your guides, you'll be navigating it like a pro in no time!




How are you doing today, Jon Schuler?

I am doing excellent even though you know I just went through a huge frustrating thing I just told you about.

But I am awesome.

Awesome ever talking about Brian.

His response?

Every day.

No, Brian.


Mashed potatoes with googly eyes.



I know you've talked about it, but yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

So, Brian, every day.

Brian come in.

Good morning, Brian.

How are you doing today?

You go another beautiful day.

There you go.


Yes it is, Brian.

It's a beautiful day.



It actually is a beautiful day.

Yeah, you know it.

Again, you just can't.

Whatever it is, you can't.

You can't let it derail you.

That's all that's true.


It is.

It's true, true story.

So what else?

What else is going on?


Just living the dream, right?

It's going real well.


Real well, glad to hear it.

All right.

Well, that's the Concrete Podcast.

Thanks for tuning in.



Glad everybody's listening.

Hope you're doing well.

Take care.

So a few things we get.

We got our main topic.

We're going to hit here in a minute, but I had an interesting text exchange back and forth last night with Dale Cecil.


I love Dale.

Yeah, Dale, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dale is killing it and he's having really good success with Kodiak.

He came to a class and he found religion.

We got him on the path to to doing things the right way.

Dale was for the first time ever casting an SECGFRC piece.


But he it's a 3 dimensional sink and normally he pours in an inch or two, then he puts his backer mold, then he continues to pour and he's like, I'm just going to, I'm just going to put it all in at one time.

I'm going to, you know, attach my backer mold.

Will that work?

I'm like absolutely.

That's how I do it.

And I gave him some tips.


And one tip is you angle your casting table up on one end, so one end is higher than the other and you pour from the low end.

So you start pouring on the low side of your form and you let it fill uphill.

So as it fills up, as the form fills up, it's pushing the air out ahead of it versus like.


On a teeter totter, teeter, totter, But it's like you're pouring in the valley and it's filling up the valley slowly and it's pushing the concrete uphill.

If you do the opposite and you pour at the top of the hill and you let it run down into the valley, it's going to trap air.

So you don't want to do that.

You want to pour in the lowest spot and let it fill up.


And same thing with rubbers.

Really any anything that you're trying to reduce any entrapped air, that's how you do it.

So that was one tip and he's like great, great, great.

And so he sends me a photo and I don't know, you had 100 screws holding the background mold down.

I'm like it's good bro, but you need to drill some like 8 inch air holes in there in areas where there's no way for the air to get out.


He's like he's like, OK, so I haven't heard from him today yet on how it went, but he had to take the holding a part to drill some air holes.

But that's other thing if you're pouring SECGFRC into a multi part mold and air can get trapped, it's called an air lock and it doesn't happen always, but it does happen and that's where you know the concrete's filling up and it gets to a point where the air is trying to escape but it can't escape and it keeps the concrete from filling up the rest of the way right there.


And it happened to me in a class once.

Were you in that class, Jon?

I don't know.

You know we normally we do sinks and we pour SECGFRC and we have a backer mold that we put in and same thing we we suspended it and I'm getting ready to pour.


I'm like oh we forgot to put the air holes in to let the the air get out.

I'm like we'll be OK and we pour it, the mold it there's a big hole right in the middle of the sink where air got trapped and it couldn't get out.

So it does happen, doesn't happen always but it does happen.

So it's always a good idea to put 8 inch breather holes, whatever you can call it air vents, whatever you want to.


Call it.

I just referred to them as breather holes.

Yeah, and if they're small enough, like eighth inch air holes, concrete will seep up through it.

You don't have to plug them.

Back in the day, I used to have like little rubber plugs and when I saw concrete come out, I put a rubber plug in it.

Anymore, I just don't care because by the time once you get it filled up and you set that mold flat, so that's The thing is you're filling up the the concrete.


At some point, the concrete's going to get to the very top of the form on that low side.

But because you have an angle, it's like, you know, it's it's not filled to the other side.

So then you have to lower your table down.

And I usually use like a car, I have a Jack that I use or you use a forklift or you can use straps, pulley, whatever, or just muscle if it's not a heavy piece.


But you let your form down so it's level and then you continue filling.

But once you let it down flat and you fill it up all the rest of the way, a little bit of concrete might seep out, but it just stops.

If if you're not agitating the form, it's not going to keep coming out and you're fine.

Any thoughts, Jon?


That's true.

No, it ends up plugging it.

They really, between the fibers and everything, they really end up plugging themselves, yeah.

Yeah, and it, you know, depending if you're using melamine or something, it's sucking the moisture out anyway.

So they turn into their own plugs, yeah.

Unless you make the holes too big, some people have bigger holes than others.


This is true, and sometimes plugs don't fit.

Yeah, well, all my years in prison.

Like a hot dog down a hallway, right, Jon?




I try not to feel from the low end.


That's terrible.

Oh God.

Oh, terrible.

Well, it is what it is.

You know you hit on something important.

That we're kind of just glazing through pretty quickly.


But you know, I didn't, I didn't think about how many people actually do the opposite, set something up, pour from the high point, you know what I mean?


And yeah, and that's just not the way to do it.

The easiest way to remove air is just what you're talking about.


And it's a big enough mole let's say a bench or something is just that.


Again, I refer to it as a teeter totter, but whatever.

Teeter totter, I guess.

It means you have it in the center, but no, just set it up in a way that as you're filling and slowly lowering the cast down to the point that the 2 high points end up even.


Yeah, yeah.

Clearly the way to do it.



You know, years ago, so much of the things I've learned, I've learned from people that work in other industries and at a body who still does this.

He's, he's a professional prototyper and he does like small run production mainly for the military and for really high in medical stuff.


So some of these companies, they'll build like some imaging machine that has a shroud, but they're only going to build 10 of them and each one's like 5,000,000 bucks for the machine, right?

They're not going to, they're not going to produce tooling for injection molding or whatever because the tooling is crazy expensive for for five or 10 shrouds.


And so they'll hire him and he he'll build this crazy rubber mold and and then he'll he'll pour resin or inject resin into it.

But I was there and there's this company in Scottsdale, AZ.

I used to make these gatling guns that could go into like an SUV and the top it opened up and a Gatling gun pops up and Oh my God, amazing on a turret.


Spend 360 like the Secret Service has these in in their vehicles, right.

Suspendables, dude.


And I think I think anybody can buy one if you get like a you know the stamp for it for the full automated weapons.

I think anybody can own one of these things and I think they do have wealthy clients that that do have them.


But anyways, where I'm going with this is my buddy was hired to make this giant O-ring for the turret for this Gatling gun system.

And so I was I stopped by a shop one day.

I'm like hey, what's up?

And I went in there and he had this really cool mold set up and he had it tilted at an angle.


And he's injecting the, the rubber compound in the lowest point and letting it fill up.

And then he had an air hole at the top and the air, you know, when the rubber came out there, then he knew it was full and there was no air in it.

And that's when I learned that I'm like, what are you doing?

He's like, oh, I'm like, why are you doing it that way?


He's like, oh, because as it fills up, the air pushes out.

Then when it comes out there, I know there's no air in it.

It's a perfect O-ring, dude.

Yes, I was like without work with concrete.

It's like, dude, it works with everything.

It's universal, you know, like, Oh yeah.

So anyways, that's how I learned that.

And ever since then, that's what I do with concrete.


When important SECGFRC tilt your form up, pour from the low side bada Bing bada, boom.

There you go.

Simple, simple, simple, simple.

Although it doesn't seem no.


If you've never done it before or it's not intuitive, I can see it's not so simple.

Yeah, yeah.


And then mix is going to matter, you know.

So I'm pouring right now a tile for my shop for the, I'm doing these triangular tile in the bathroom here at my new shop and I have these molds set up and they're quarter inch thick tile, quarter inch thick concrete Tile is freaky when you pop it out how thin it is, right?


But I'm making, I don't know how many tile I'm making thousands of tiles.

I think that's a bunch.

I'm pouring maker mix and there's not one pinhole in any of these tile, not one.

I've popped out probably 1000 so far, not one pinhole, any of them.


But if you're doing SECGFRC and you're using more, let's say, conventional or traditional or legacy, whatever you want to call it, GFRC mix has a polymer in it, whether it's liquid or powder, You're going to have a lot of error even if you go through the steps.


And really a lot of these steps I used to do when I was using those mixes to try to minimize the air and they help to minimize it, but they don't eliminate it completely.

So you know, if if you're using that method and you're making things that you want to have very little air in, the mix is going to matter and you're you're going to want to use something that doesn't contain the ingredients that are in training air in your mix to begin with.


So arguably, I guess what you're doing right now is you're making.

Tile that's, from some people's perspective, is not concrete because they don't have pin holes.

Because they don't have pin holes.

Yeah, So had a guy call me today.


That that debate's always going to go on.

You know what?

I mean, it is whatever.

It's a stupid debate.

It's not even worth discussing that debate because it's not a debate.

It's an opinion from somebody that's trying to sell you some crappy concrete.

I had a guy call me today that is making a ton of samples for flooring.



He does flooring and he casts thousands of samples for these sample boards that he he gives to architects, designers, whatnot.

And he's been using different bagged mixes.

He's tried CSA mixes, He's tried, you know, all these different things and he's tired of it.


He's tired of all the problems because he gets tons of air and he has to slurry everything and it's all these steps.

He's making thousands round circles, but it takes 10 steps to get him to where they look decent.


And so he called me up today and I was explaining to him, I said, listen, dude, you're probably using polymer mixes.


He's like, yeah.

And I was like, they probably look like plastic.

He's like, yeah, he's like, I don't like the way they look.

I said, listen, let me explain to you what we do.

Kodiak Pro and the mix that we've developed.

I've been doing concrete for a long time.

I taught the first class on Chief RC in the United States.

I've used those mixes for many, many, many years.


And the mix that me and Jon have developed and that we sell does not contain polymer.

It is as true a concrete as you can get.

We're not putting glue, we're not putting plastic in it.

This is concrete.

But through, you know, through particle compaction and graduation, we end up with extremely dense mix that's very good at self degassing air.


So the problems you're having with all the air and all the slurring and everything, and this completely eliminates that 100%, you're not gonna have that problem anymore.

And #2 that plasticky look you're getting with the polymer, you're not going to have that.

So if you're wanting concrete, real concrete, not fake concrete, not plastic concrete, but you want concrete, then this solves your problem for you.


So he's going to call Joe and place an order and do some tests.

So we'll see how it goes, yeah.

Good for him.

I look forward to hearing from it.


And so far, I mean, I have to admit, I I still.

I truly enjoy seeing people's projects.

And what they're doing and what they're let's say, able to do from where they've been by using materials that I'm just going to say are better suited for what they're trying to do.



Well the the best for me the best feedbacks from people that have a a long history with those older generation mixes.

Somebody like Simon Leighton, he, he posted a photo yesterday on Instagram which I shared.

But you know he's used the polymer mixes for for well over a decade.


His concrete, his company's called concrete works Bermuda, he's in Bermuda and he's used those for a long time.

But he switched to maker mix and he's shipping it down to Bermuda and having phenomenal results.

But when you see somebody post the results are having when they have had a vast experience with the other less generation of mixes, you know, that older generation, that's what really is.


It makes me feel good.

I I love getting new people that are new to concrete.

That's great.

You know they're they're bypassing all that struggles we all had with the air and the slurring and everything you had to go through.

So they're they're bypassing that but the feedback from people that are used to that and now they don't have to do that anymore.


That's what I love.

But you know let's let's get on to this podcast.

You ready to have a conversation?

I'm ready.

What are we going to talk about today, Jon Schuler?

We're going to talk about how to properly mix concrete, which seems like, How's their conversation about that?


But there's a lot that goes into it and there's a right way and there's a wrong way and there's a hard way and there's a long way and there's, you know, all these different things you can do incorrectly and you know you've had some calls, I've had some calls.

I had a guy, I cannot remember who it was.


I need to look through my text.

But essentially he was hand mixing maker mix and he's like, dude, this stuff makes amazing.

Like the pieces are are, you know, phenomenal.

But it's really hard to mix and I'm like what are you doing?

And he was putting all his dry in and mixing it all at once.


I'm like, no, no, no, no, no.

I was like listen dude put in if you're hand mixing with the with the column mix handheld mixer put in half your put all your water in.

So let me tell you I'll I'll I'll get my brief discussion and you can take over and go through the whole the whole process but I'm going to talk about hand mixing.

If you're hand mixing which is what I'm doing right now with these tile everyday I'm mixing and casting these tile I put I weigh out all my liquid which is water and ice.


So weigh my liquid I weigh up my TBP and I weigh out my pigment if I'm using pigment which I am for this so I put that in the bucket water.

Oops, sorry.

I put water and ice.

If you're using ice, I'm actually not using ice right now.

My shop is pretty cool, so I'm not using any ice but water TBP pigment in the bucket and I mix it up.


Then I take my dry, I have that weight out.

My maker mix is weight out.

So I'm doing 35 pounds of maker mix.

So I pour about half that in into all the liquid.

Mix it up really, really soupy.


Pour in another half watts leftover, mix that up, pour in the rest, mix it up.


Mixes so easily, so quickly.

But had I done the opposite, had I just dumped 100% of it in there and tried to mix that water would have, you know, mixed in that very bottom, but that top would have choked it.

And then you'd be fighting it and it'd just be, you know, balls of mix and all, hard and clumpy and doughy, and finally it would wet out.


But you'd have to fight it.

You'd have to fight it.

I think people go that route.

They they just try to dump it all in in an effort to save time.

They're think I'll just you know I'm not going to I'm not going to layer it in.

I'm just going to dump it all in at once and I'm going to save some time.

But in the end it takes way longer.


It's way more difficult And as you and I were discussing earlier the the viscosity of the mix isn't as good.

If you if you layer the mix as you're mixing you add the dry end mix it adds more dry mix, it adds more dry and mix it.

You end up with a much more fluid mix with a lower level of of TBP.


You don't have to add more.



Less necessity of load, right?


And so anyways, that's my advice.

If you're hand mixing Liquid TBP, pigment upfront.

Jesus, I got this microphone like in a weird spot today.

Liquid TBP and pigment upfront.


Pour half the dry, mix it, pour half what's left over, mix it and pour the remainder, mix it.

You can do all three of those in less than a minute.

Then you let it flash.

That get it mixed really good.

Scrape the sides of the bucket, scrape the bottom, mix it again.

Let it set for 10 minutes at a timer on your phone.


Come back, mix it again.

Add your fiber in gently Mix it in.

Cast, bada, Bing, bada, boom.

I mean, I I'm literally from the time I batch to the time I'm done mixing, ready to cast is maybe maybe 15 minutes.


And that's with the 10 minutes slate in the middle.

That's what I'm saying.

Yeah, because it doesn't take more than a couple minutes to to batch, so, so maybe 15 minutes and I'm ready to cast so it's quick.

Well, you're right, man.

It isn't great.


All right, Jon.

So you discuss your your side?

Well, I I mean, I do.


I get the question a lot too.

And along with that question, it's usually guys or all over the place on how much TBP they're using.

Like I'm at 85, I use 70I.

You know, why would you use this?

Why would you use this?

So I'm going to digress all the way back to the beginning and there's lots of information out there.


The simplest way, if anybody can grasp, and I know we've talked about it, you know that how a plasticizer actually works, how it works, and without going into the whole electrostatic, you know, hindrance and so forth and so on.


The the simplest way to describe, which then leads to the most efficient way of loading your mixer, is the plasticizer.

In essence, wraps around every particle in a mix, and when it does that, it's like magnets, right?


You know the the 2 positive or the two negatives, and by doing that static stearic hindrance or repulsion, whatever you want to call it.

It's that it stops or prevents all the small particles from globbing together.


And that's how we end up with more flow with the least amount of water.

Now all that seems like, yeah, yeah, I get that, Jon.

That's why I used to use plasticizer.


So that's how in a very, very simple mode, how a plasticizer works.

But they're steps to make that more efficient in a mix because as you're just describing, and This is why I've always been against, you know, putting plasticizers in a mix.


To begin with, as a dry material pack and then having it load at the end.

So when people try to put the plasticizer with all the dry ingredients, it's very difficult for the plasticizer to do its job, and that is to get around every particle and it's going to miss particles.


So the best way to get it the most efficient is two ways, and we recommend probably the least efficient.

But it hopes helps people more than loading all at once.

And that is we've always talked about putting you know, 70% of your drive materials, wet that out and then loading, you know, but you know half of the rest of your materials.


But the reality is mixing the mix in as you just described, I'm going to call it 3 lifts.

Now whether that's a third, a third, a third, a half 2525 or anywhere in there between, It's the idea that you're giving the plasticizer the optimal chance to a, we call it being wet out in the liquid, but really to wrap around all the particles efficiently prior to adding more materials, you know, so forth and so on.


So when guys, I get this a lot, when they're like, well, I I don't, Jon, I was reading on the forum or so and so says they're using 60 grams, man, I'm using ice.

I'm doing everything I can, but I'm at 75 or 80 and that's when I go, OK, but see, that's when people get locked on to the temperature it must because I'm going too hot.


Well, yeah, that's part of the balance.

But the reality is.

And then I dial them back, like, listen to me, here's what I want you to do.

Take your 60 grams, load it up front with your water and your pigment per the way we're described.

And then I want you to load, let's say, 1/3 to 1/2 of your dry ingredients and then wet that out.


You're like, OK, And then add half of your remaining, you know, somewhere in that zone.

It doesn't have to be perfect.

And then wet that out and then add the remaining.

Even if you take the 2 remaining and cut it in half, I don't care.

But what I'm saying is just don't how it, you know, don't make your plasticizer struggle and that's as soon as they do that, that's that's when I get people down into the the range that we're using, meaning you know, 5560 grams kind of zones rather than 70 fives and 80 fives and in anyway.


So yeah, plain and simple, how do you make your plasticizer more efficient?

How do you get your mix wetter?

How do you get the least amount of blending time?

How do you cut the struggle on your tooling and yourself?

Especially if you're hand mixing or, you know, bearing down or choking out your mixer?


It all comes back to the same it's knowing your materials, understanding your materials so that you're getting the most bang for your buck out of your plasticizer.

Because you know, I'm just, I'm looking at that.

Let's go back to a cost thing.

Well, if I can use 20% less plasticizer and actually get a better mix, if it mixes out faster, more efficiently and easier on my materials and easier on my mixer easier on me, then it just makes sense.


Yeah, and it's counterintuitive.

You know, slow is fast.

Fast is slow.

People are trying to speed it up, but in essence, they're slowing it down.

They're making the process a lot more difficult than needs to be just by.

By dumping it all in upfront, you're talking more about.


So when I when I said I'd do it in three lifts, 3 layers, 3 whatever, that's for hand mixing and that's hand mixing using a single blade column mix.

But if I'm using my IMR 360, say I'm doing A10 bag mix, I'll hold back 2 bags, so I'll put 80% upfront.

And then that's a little bit different because I'm not putting my liquid in because if you put your liquid in, it'll leak out the the chute because it's not super watertight.


So in that instance I'll put let's say I'm doing A10 bag mix, I'll put 8 bags maker mix in my in my mixer I'll put all my TBP, I'll put all my pigment and I'll turn the mixer on, let it blend in the TBP in the pigment just so it's mixed in and then while it's mixing I'll add in all the water and it wets out super fast and then I'll add in another bag.


Let it mix.

Add another bag, let it mix.

Turn it off.

Scrape the sides, mix it for a second and then let it slake for 10 minutes.

Add my fibers and me personally.

It mixes beautifully like that.

Is that how you do it, Sean?

Yeah, but but the same idea.

Technically, you're still doing it in lifts, you know, It's just that you're and.


And there's two caveats here in the mixer.

At least this is the way I look at it, even with when I'm loading my 120.

Plus I can walk away from that thing.

So here where I said again for easy conversation, I'm gonna say 1/3 a third, a third, but in the mixer compared to the bucket.


If I put a third of my materials and all my water, then I risk wet stuff leaking out through my outlet.

You know my, you know my, whatever we call that the.

Trap door.

The trap Shoot.


Yeah, the shoot, yes.

So you risk that.

So how do you compensate for that?

Well, you put a little more dry materials, but you still want all your plasticizer and all your water.

Now the only thing.

And again, see, these are the little things for me.


Because again, I know how the plasticizers work.

Not that you don't.

I don't.

Like blending it into the dry material.

I have no idea how they work right Zero.

So what I'll do is still I put the dry materials in, same thing, somewhere around 60 to 70% so that I don't have leaking out my chute.


But then prior to adding the TBP in the pigment, I just reach in and kind of scoop a hole.

You know what I mean?

Scoop a hole into my dry materials, I put it into that.

And then when I load my water, my water kind of immediately goes into that hole so that it's hitting the plasticizer right off the bat.


And then as we've all seen doing that the amount of water sits on top of the dry mix and it's getting to the plasticizer quicker than if I had it all pre blended into the dry materials the same you know six half dozen the other in this case with a mixer you're always meaning a a big mixer you are going to.


It's just nature of the beast.

You're going to lose a little bit of the efficiency because you have to you know there's no way around that.

But I'll still say the same.

When I load the rest of my materials, I let the first wet out and then I'll add about half of what's left of my materials, and then I'll add either 1/2 of that last half and then my final load.


Still with the idea that I'm trying to allow the plasticizer to be the most efficient it can by getting to every particle that it can and not quote UN quote choke it out.

That's all.

And when you do that, yeah, you'll, you'll find that a everything wets out quicker because the plasticizers, as I keep using the word efficient, the plasticizer is working more effectively and it's less stressful on all of your on the mixer itself.


Yeah, I.

Was going to say the reason I dry blend in my pigment and ATVPI mean I could add the TPP separately, but I just blend it in is I've had some experiences many years ago, it's been a long time where if I put the pigment in and then add water, I've had the pigment form.


Balls or hard pieces that don't disperse completely.

And then when I cast my piece and I de mold it, there'll be these specks of like really dense color that can wash out.

And it's just it looks horrible.

And so I learned a long time ago, just blend in your pigment before you add your liquid and get it to disperse evenly.


And that problem never happened again.

So that's why I do it.

But yeah, well, but see, you're going back on the history of materials that you used.

I know, but it's just one of those things you You get burned on it and you say never again.

I'm not going to make that mistake again, agreed.

Well, and that's one of the, I was going to say is one of the beauties with these materials is the way they're designed effectively to increase total dispersion of the pigment by by design.


Rather than.

That's why I designed it that way.

That's why you designed it that way.


So, I mean, these are the little cool things.

Because you're right.

Everything you just said, I'm sitting on the other side, you can't see me.

I'm shaking my head and like, Yep, I've done that.

I've seen that happen.

Which is another reason why when these materials came to flu Ishin, I wanted it to, you know, we wanted all the ability for the pigmic and pigmic particles to be as spread out and even as possible with the least potential for Klumpich.



And there's a couple ways of doing that chemically that I'm not gonna disclose, but OK.

Because you sound like you're about to, and I'm I was gonna.

I was gonna, I was about right to, you know.



Hey, something you know when you're using Beep beep?

Yes, Jon, I do know something that when you were talking, I was, I think about conversation we had at the Hoedown was there was a person there.


That was struggling mixing because they were holding back their plasticizer.

Remember that?

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

And he was.

And we've all done this.

You know, at some point in your your career you're like, well, and a lot of times the advice from a long time ago was like that they like put in half your plasticizer and mix and then add a little bit more as you need it and add a little bit ease up on it.


The problem is the plasticizer takes some time to do what it needs to do.

And so A, you're really fighting the mix and B.

You'll think, well, this looks pretty good and you walk away and you come back and it's totally soup at that point because now it's actually done its job and it took 5 minutes, but now it's water, you know, and it's segregated.


So you want to talk about that?

Well, it's.

Yeah, remember there used to be.

I can't remember who said it, but remember you'd load all your sands up front and then the water with the idea.

Yeah, remember that.

Like the water was supposed to wet out your sands 1st and then you.


Know, I think the idea was.

The sand was absorbing water, so if he could preload the moisture in the sand, it wouldn't suck it out of the mix when you're trying to mix.

But that wasn't the problem.

No, no, that wasn't the problem.

But anyway, I get it.

And then the other thing is, most of this older way of thinking was also, you know, let's say, revolving around older plasticizing technologies.


Yeah, you know the old melliment technologies and and so forth and so on.

But when you get into the newest high ends of Polycarboxyl based technologies, you know, at some point we have to let so much of those old ways of thinking go, because those now make these far too inefficient for what they're supposed to do.


Yeah, that makes sense.


So what you don't want to do, what you don't want to do is you don't want to chase the mix.

You don't want to be.

Trying to ease up on it.

You wanna get it dialed.

And if you keep copious notes of what you're doing, you should be able to say, oh, OK, so last time I used 71 grams, it was perfect.


I'm gonna do 71 grams a day.

All right, great. 71 upfront, not 50, and then ten and then five.

No, no, 71 upfront from the very beginning.

And you're not gonna fight that mix.

But if you try to ease up on it, it's gonna be.

A horrible experience you're going to You're going to hate mixing concrete if you do it that way.


Well that's just going back to the the basic chemistry when you're adding a plasticizer late in the system there's no way for it to efficiently or let's say let's use the word evenly, evenly did now disperse itself or mount amongst all the particles as it does in the very beginning.


So instead, you know what I mean?

You it's it's going to fight what's already out there.

And then sometimes your Poly carboxyls will just end up on top of each other and they're just not, they're not doing what it wants it to do.

Which means now you're adding thirty 4050% more than what's really necessary.


And then when that happens, yeah, now you walk away like, hey, I got it, that's perfect.

And then once you go break the slate, you're like, Oh my God, why did all my sands fall out of this thing?

Well, because it all kicked in way too late, you know, 2-3 minutes after when it was supposed to.


So no, it's upfront.

Upfront is the best way to do it.

Don't chase your mixes.

Dial in your temperature, don't chase your mix.

Add, mix and it.

And I would say a minimum of.

I'm calling them lifts. 3 different lifts, you know, don't add it all to the not even 90% of the dry materials.


I would say somewhere around 60 to 70% or come down a little bit unless you're in a in a mixer.

Like we said, nobody wants it leaking out the chute, but yeah, that's that's the way to do it man, plain and simple.

And that's not just from a wetness of the material.


That's also the best way to disperse the pigment so you don't end up with clumping and dry spots or weird floating of your pigments.

You know, like carbon float and all these kind of things.

That's you.

How you avoid all these things.


Yeah, I agree.

I do agree because we did.

We've lived it.

But it's one thing to to, you know, to do it and then get a understanding so you don't chase it.

Yeah, too too many of the calls I get is still chasing it.


Or per what I said, you know, I mean, plasticizers are not an inexpensive ingredient.

So if you're finding yourself consistently needing to use 20 or 30% more of what's truly necessary because of the way you're loading, well, you know, save yourself a the time because it really does save time.


And then save yourself the money and materials by changing your loading.


And updating your loading procedure.


I agree.

So the next thing that ties into this, and again this came from the hoedown.

Was We had a guy there that his shop has gotten pretty cold, but he's still using 50% ice.


I'm like, dude, don't do that.

As the seasons change, you have to adjust your ice.

When it's hot and your shop is hot.

Use more ice.

When your shop gets cooler, use less ice or no ice.

Right now I'm using no ice in my shop and I'm fine because it's pretty cool, but in the summertime you better be using ice.


But the whole thing is getting a digital thermometer, infrared thermometer, checking your mix and keeping it in the range.

And you and I talk about the range of being anywhere between 50 to 60 degrees.

And that range I personally like.

This is all preference.

It's funny how we all get very preferential about things, but I like 60.


I like it a little bit warmer.

You like a little bit colder in my opinion, because I'm pouring S EC.

I see it start to gel slightly the colder it gets.

And when it's a little bit warmer, for me, it flows beautifully.

And I'm not because it the process goes so fast.

When you're pouring an SCC piece, it goes really fast.


You're not spraying a face coat and brushing it and waiting, none of that.

So being a little bit warmer, I'm not concerned about the reduced work time because once I'm done mixing, I'm putting in the form, I'm done.

So that's fine with me.

I don't care.

So 60 degrees for me is great.

But my point is, now that it's starting to cool off for North America, for our listeners in North America starting to cool off here, you need to start lowering your ice and being aware of that and checking your temperature and being sure if you're still doing 50%, you check your mix and it's 40 degrees, bro, that's way too cold.


You you need to use less ice.

Yeah, no.

In fact, that'll that'll get guys.

I mean, you'll think you need more plasticizer or you think you need more water.

Yeah, because it's gelled up.

It's just yelled up.

It's not, it's not.

Nothing's actually kicking off the way you want to.


To me the, the minimum would be 4550 degrees, but you go lower than that and yeah, you're just fighting it again.

So at that point, if you're in a really cold shop, you may want to use tempered water, you know slightly warm and get it back up into that 50 to 60 or 55 to 60 degree zone.


That's optimal, plain and simple, that's optimal.

Even if you start get cresting under 55 degrees, you're running right on that edge of.

And when I say gelling, I don't mean kicking off.

I just mean the mix itself, the the plasticizers, It's just not efficient at those temperatures.


True temperatures, you know, 5560 degrees even cresting over 60, but much over 65.

Then you start going the other direction and that's when the materials want to start, meaning the hydration based materials want to start grabbing on to each other.


That's when they want to start producing Intranite and you know, start truly quote, UN quote, kicking off the mix, which then you're fighting it there, yeah.







So no, that's the way, man.


That is the way.

Hey, what What is the?

I was trying to What was the Mandalorian?

I haven't seen The Mandalorian.

No, you haven't.


Oh man, that's that's a fun series.

No, I haven't seen.

I haven't seen any movies in a while.

I'm going to go see the killers of the Flower Moon or whatever that one is.


I need to go see that Scorsese.

But but no, I haven't seen the movies in a while.

I need to.

I am.

I am going to Cirque du Soleil this weekend with my girls, so that's going to be fun.

Are you really they?

It's in Wichita.

Yeah, they do traveling shows and they have one coming to Wichita.


I bought tickets like six months ago.

And so they're going to, we're going to go to that this weekend.

So it's going to be fun.

Yeah, we did that.

When I we went to Vegas for Jayden's national shoots.

I can't remember.

It was The Mirage or something like that, but it was The Beatles.


Yeah, yeah.

I saw the one in Vegas.

It was the Fire and water show.

This is World of Concrete.

Maybe 10 or 12 years ago.

We went with buddy Rhodes and Susan.

We went, we sat front row, Paulo Petit, Buddy Susan and me went.


We bought tickets for in advance.

We had front row tickets and is 1 where they're falling from the rafters like 100 feet in the water and had scuba divers that would like give them air so they wouldn't come back up for 15 minutes whatever.

And there's fire coming, You know, like.

Into the audience like these huge fireballs.

It was crazy.



No, they're neat shows.

They're a lot of fun.

But I'll still say, because we did the same thing in Vegas, I'm one of those people that then I start getting frustrated because there's so much going on.

I feel like I'm missing parts of it, like, oh, did you see that?


No, I didn't see that because I was looking.

At this dude, what about that?

Did you see that?

No, I didn't see that because I was looking at.

This What about that new Dome thing they have in Vegas?

Oh yeah, yeah.

Is it called the Dome?

What's it called?

What's it called?

I don't Or the no what?


The sphere?

The sphere.

It's called The Sphere.

Yeah, yeah, dude, Next time, World of Concrete.

I need to go ahead and and book my travel for that.

And I need to go ahead and book The Sphere because I definitely have to go see something there.

Yeah, that thing looks crazy whether you're seeing it on the inside or outside.


And it's pretty, I think I watched it when they did the, I think New Year's, right, the fireworks and everything.

Last year at New Year's or or excuse me, I apologize, 4th of July, that's what it was.

I don't think it was New Year's.

It was 4th of July.

But it was really neat.


It was neat how they whatever they've set up in there to make all the panels come alive.

And sometimes it looked like a big eyeball and then it had fireworks and all this wildness and really neat.


I can't imagine a concert inside of it though.


Yeah, U2 is playing right now with the visuals and so they're playing live and they have these crazy visuals.

Elon Musk was talking about it last week.

He said he went to all U2 and said it was the craziest concert he's ever seen in his life because it was a great concert, but the visuals just pushed it over the top.


It was bananas, See.

I would almost think that would be distracting, but I don't know.

Again, I can't imagine being inside this huge wrapped around sphere.

You see what I'm saying in front, backside, oh, boom.

And at the same time, a concert going on that I'm trying to kind of be engaged with because, you know, you first of all, I don't go to concerts, but I imagine if I was like at a Taylor Swift concert, I'd be up there dancing and.


Seeing I would be.

Man, I love you, Taylor.

I can't even think of a song right now.

But I wouldn't be singing it.

And yeah, so having all that going on, I I don't know.

I think I I might get lost.


I think you would too.

So I think this is going to be a shorter podcast because I got things I got to do.

We're sitting here, we're sitting here doing the podcast.

But in my mind I got like 50 things in the back I got to get to, including the molding tile and casting more tile.

But there's a lot of other stuff.

But I do want to hit We have the workshop coming up for Concrete Design School.


It is the Fundamentals Workshop December 4th and 5th, and we've had more registrations for that, so seen some nice comments about that too.

It's great to see some seasoned guys really love the idea that you know an actual fundamentals class talking about real fundamentals rather than trying to twist it into something advanced.


So yeah, that's pretty cool.

We'll see that embraced, you know what I mean?

Yeah, I think it's important that we do this.

It's something that we haven't done in the past.

Our focus for what year is this, 2023.

Our focus for the last 18 years I guess has been advanced.


You know, we've we've been teaching the most cutting edge whatever, whether it's fabric forming or GFRC or injection casting, you know, all these different things.

We've been teaching the cutting edge of concrete.

And we have not focused on the fundamentals.


And the problem with that is the people that are coming in the industry are learning via YouTube.

They're learning via outdated books that exist out there and they're learning through maybe sale sales pitch seminars from material distributors.


But again, the people teaching the quote UN quote class or workshop, they're salesman.

They don't do this for a living.

And so they're getting a lot of bad information.

And so they're starting off on the wrong foot.

They're spending a couple years doing things the wrong way, the hard way.

They're struggling.

Why is it so difficult?


And by the time they end up at our class, they're very frustrated and and they've learned a lot of bad things that they have to unlearn.

A lot of bad habits, a lot of bad techniques, processes, whatever, such as chasing plasticizers, you know, all those different things.

They've learned things the wrong way.

And this really, this whole idea came about from talking to Sean Albright.


About getting people upstream instead of, you know, trying to course correct two or three years into their journey, let's get them at the very beginning and show them the right way and cut out all that struggle that they that most the people experience that come into this industry, so that we experienced.


That everybody experienced.

You know, it's one of those things, but it doesn't have to be that way.

And so this fundamentals class, which is our first, is really.

In effort to help mitigate those, those, you know, initial learning curve struggles.

How do I build a form?

How do I use this tool?

You know, how do I do the the most basic things that we assume when you come to a class, you know how to do it.


We make that assumption.

Yeah, like loading a mixer.

Exactly how to load a mixer, Yeah, or mix in a bucket.

Yeah, how to template a countertop, you know?


So these are all things that we're gonna cover in this 1 1/2 day class.

It's gonna be a fast-paced class.

We're covering a lot of stuff, but we're covering how to do it the right way.


And so that is concrete.

December 4th and December 5th, we're about, you know, a little over three weeks out right now from it.

So yeah, and if you're coming, just so you know, I'm trying to install HVAC in the back before then.


It may or may not happen.

We'll see how it goes.

So bring a jacket, bring a hat, 'cause it might be might be cool in the shop, it might be a little cool, it might be a little cool.

There you go.

Yeah, hand warmers.

Hopefully I get that, that HVAC hooked up in time, but we have heat and air in the the meeting room.


We have heat and air in the front office.

So you know, you can come in and warm up and then hop back there.

But yeah, it's gonna be a good time.

Anything else, Jon?

No, we talked earlier.

I I mean this is part of the podcast.

I wanted to just finish out with a thank you to everybody with things that are going on.


You know, as we walk into the holidays, I guess I get a little nostalgic, but number one, we have veteran's day coming up, right.

So this is just knowing full well we have quite a few customers that are, that are veterans.

So, you know, thank you for everything you've done right that's allowing us to do what we do.


And also thank you to our overall customer base.

Again, being nostalgic.

I just happened to be reflecting back on three years ago.

For me anyway, getting ready to walk away and I'm having fun again, man.


I'm getting fun, you know, being on the edge again, coming up with new ideas and new chemistries, innovating things that I was ready to walk away from.

So yeah, it's it's it's a cool ride.


So that's all.

I just want to throw some thank yous out there.

Yeah, well, Veteran's Day is a good one.


That's going to say thank you.

I was, I was telling you, there's this great Curb Enthusiasm episode, which I love, where where this guy just returned from from Afghanistan and Larry's going to dinner and this guy's coming and everybody's like, you know, thank you for your service.


Thank you for your service.

And he gets to Larry.

And Larry's like, hey, man, nice to meet you.

And everybody's like Larry, you didn't thank him for his service.

And Larry's like what I just.

I said hi, it's nice to meet you.

And so I always think of that.

But that being said, both my grandfathers served in World War 2.


My my grandfather, my dad's side was a Army Ranger.

He's in Battle of the Bulge.

He was a POW.

He he went through a lot in the war.

And it is definitely something that on veteran's day, it's very important that we acknowledge the sacrifice everybody's made and that allow us to live the life that we have and the freedoms we have and have the opportunities we have.


I mean even Kodiak Pro, the opportunity we have.

Is directly related to the sacrifices that people have made to to defend our way of life.

So thank you.

We appreciate you.



Thank you very much.



All right, buddy.

Well, let's wrap this up and we'll do another one next week.


Sounds good.

Yeah, I'm headed off to do some blending for a little while.

Cool buddy, right?

On adios, amigo, adios.