How to Supercharge Concrete Strength by 30% with a Single Step

Get 30% more concrete strength with one simple step – a bold claim, but it won't cost you much, if anything! 

As Halloween approaches, costume ideas are brewing. While some opt for the classic ghosts and zombies, others are embracing the persona of "accomplished concrete artisans." Cosplay is fun, but it’s time to discuss concrete batching scales for the real artisans.



Hey, Jon.

Hey, hey, How's it going?

Hey, Hi.


Got to get real high.

Yeah, sounds like the hoedown.

That's what we're getting ready for.

The Hoedown, getting ready for the hoe down.

I'm looking forward to it.

Dusty's got some music lined up.


A live performer.

Yeah, I heard him say that.

Yeah, it's going to be a good.

Time a pole and everything.

Got a pole?

Yeah, right.

On Yeah, it's going to be a good time.

Speaking of hoe down, if any of our listeners have any experience making a air cannon, please hit me up.


I'm working on an idea right now and I need some assistance.

What's new with you Jon?

You've been working a lot of tests, haven't you I?



What are you doing now?

I got a fan going over there.

What is that?

That is the dryer.

Oh geez.



That's what that is.

That's the dryer going.

Or maybe it's the washer.

I don't know.


Maybe it's the washer.

The what?

The washer?

The what?

Washing machine.

The washing machine?

What are you saying?


What is that word talking about?

What is that word?

Say it again.


Washer machine?

You got a washer clothes?

How do you spell that?


There's AR in there somewhere.

You're saying worship the washer machine?


It's a washer, yeah.

The what's pronounced?

The washer?

The washing machine.

No, it's a washer.

When you go to Washington, DC, how do you say that?

Well, that is Washington version.

Oh God, I love it.


I love it.

A whole new word I didn't know existed.

I never heard.

I never heard that before.

Yeah, it's it's that's the way it's done.

Yeah, it's California style something I don't know what that.


But yeah, testing, man, no.

I've been doing a lot of.

Well over the last two weeks I think I told you I I'm going to call it what I refer to as I passed the sniff test.


So I you know the made the molds, you know where did that term originate the sniff test?

I don't know what would be another term to.

That's the way I just say, you know, to sniff it out.

See, in my mind I see you like scratching your butt and smelling your finger.


The sniff.

Well, that is what I do.

That's right.

That's where the term originated.

That's where it started.

Like, I don't know, man.

I don't think that's so.



Man, I don't know.

I've always just kept that.

It's, you know, does it, Does it hold?

Is it valid?

Does it even, you know, mean anything?

And as long as I've been doing chemistry.

So many times over the years you could put something down on paper, you know, everything based on the pH or the percent solids or whatever the case may be and be like, Oh yeah, there's no question that'll work.


And then you go put it together, always start with small batches and like, Yep, Nope And then no.

And then you have to try to figure out why it didn't worked and you know, so forth and so on.

So that's what I did the first couple weeks was.

First of all, recalibrate my beam breaker.


Well, I didn't realize that it had been so long man.

I mean, I picked that up and it was 2009 when I picked that up back when I was doing ECC.

So first I had to focus on calibrating it and and then I think I told you in the last podcast, I made all my beam moles but I made them the wrong size because I forgot that I had the whole thing modified for different beam size and.


And then from there, you know what?

I'm just saying this is how I operate.

I first made some beams, again just based on old knowledge because I haven't done dump beam breaks in so long, and then I test them to see.


Because these mixes are so much more advanced than I ever was, I pulled out old notes and and just just did some very quick down and dirty comparisons.

And now this week I started and it helps you kind of gain you know vision of where you want to go.


So first of all I'll jump all over the place because I just want to test what I want to test to kind of get me back in gear again.

And then this week I started doing control samples and and now I'm moving forward with them.

So that's kind of, but what are you testing?

That was my question.


What do you what?

What are you trying to ascertain?

What information are you trying to gather here?

Well, we've talked a lot.

Again, I don't know, I don't know how to explain it.

So number one, I want to do some comparison and fiber loadings.


I want to do some, you know, comparison and set times.

I want to do, you know, get some real data again on our, you know.

What I re refer to as the heat cure or covering up and curing versus not heat curing, just basically covering and insulating.


You know, just just kind of pretty standard stuff like that comparisons in flow, you know how what what fiber loadings do you keep a certain flow and what fiber loadings do you see the flow go down and and and what does that even mean?


You know, just just stuff like that.

What happens to the fibers?

That was a big eye opener here recently.

I know I talked to you about it because I sent you the picture, but what happens to the fiber, whichever fibers you're putting in when you put them in and and how does that translate to how they Orient themselves in the mix?


And how does that correlate to strength?

Or at least strength on a on a beam breaking machine.

Just, you know, all that kind of stuff.

So there's there's a whole lot of information that I'm going to slowly peel the onion back over, who knows how long, but it's it's just fun again.


I'm having fun with it again.

Yeah, well, you you have found some very interesting results that I didn't anticipate and some things that I don't think you did either.

Let's let's talk about the first one.

That's the fiber, which I thought was interesting about the orientation of the fiber because that is super fascinating and not something I ever would have considered.


But what did you find?


It's something we don't think about.

Well, you know, we've heard with a lot of people there's still this ongoing fear about SCC mixes and glass fiber and whether or not they show up in the face.


And you know why we recommend a certain certain kind of fiber, meaning Owens Corning or maybe other people?

Only recommend a certain other fiber like the Nippon and so forth and so on.

And so here was just something totally, totally interesting.


And again, this was part of my last two weeks just kind of looking at stuff.

So I broke these two beams and one was a beam with just all glass fiber, glass fiber loading 2% and one that I did a 2% with the PVA 4000 combo, kind of like what we did at Hero's Quest.


Back when people were kind of freaking out about the the videos shown, you know, like you can't get that kind of flow and etcetera, etcetera.

But here isn't, this is the interesting part.

We've talked a lot over the years and I don't think it really, I don't know, resonates with people when you start talking about the chemistry of products, specifically specific gravities and what does it mean?


But I've always talked about how glass fiber glass is the same weight as sand and all of us just take that for granted.

Like OK, what does that mean?

The interesting thing is in these self consolidating mixes, there was this very distinct pattern that showed up with the all glass fiber.


For better purposes, I'm gonna call it a horseshoe shape or a or AU shape.

Or like AV shape, what do you want to see and what you what?

What now is pretty obvious to see is that as the fibers were consolidating like anything else in the mix up the sides of the B mold, the fibers were dragging and basically they created this very distinct pattern of AU shape and.


Then you take that for what it is and like, OK, well whatever it is, what it is, maybe they tumbled, maybe whatever, but you just took it for what it is.

And then I compared that to the beam break with the PVA fiber.

And I mean as you very know, I sent you the pictures, it is absolutely distinct that showing that where the PVA fiber which is essentially half the weight of your glass fiber.


Created a How would I describe it?

A much better uniformity of the fiber matrix throughout the bar.

Excuse me.

And with that, like, well, what does that even mean, Jon?


Well, and then coincidentally I'm willing to say it translated to a much stronger flexural strength.

So the PVAS are kind of buoyant in a way and they hold they, they help create you like to use the term scaffolding become a scaffolding of the fiber to where they're evenly distributed and in a more uniform orientation where they're not going vertical up the sides and then horizontal bottom then vertical up the sides again.



Yeah, it was settling.

So it it helped create a stability and it's pretty obvious, I mean we could talk about it all day long and I have right PVA fibers.

Are, let's say half the weight, half the specific gravity, actually a little bit less.

But the reality is they're half the weight.


And in those conversations, you know, we've always just taken for granted it is what it is.

But when you see what happened in the fiber pattern in these beam breaks?

Again, these are all self consolidating.


So they weren't put on vibrators, there was not anything special about them.

And so when you look at those and you see what happened in the pattern and what that meant was I'm willing to say two things in the history of me doing this.


We've we've heard about you know primary reinforcement and secondary fiber and you know rebar versus glass fiber and etcetera, etcetera.

And when people are flipping their pieces times when they get cracking or breakage and often times could never figure, like, you know, I must not put enough fiber, I put 2% load and Oh well, did you calculate?


Did you add the water into that calculation?

Oh shoot, I don't know.

Oh, you know, should you use 3% instead of 2%?

And I think all those are valid questions.

But what this really showed me is regardless of that, in a self consolidating nature, like a real self consolidating, not a hand pushed around self consolidating, but a truly self consolidating is those fibers.


Assuming it's all glass fiber, it's undeniable that they are going to settle, just like if it was heavy sand, which means you could end up with.

And instead of a more even fiber network throughout the concrete, they can consolidate in a way so that now the back part or what now you know starts off this casting as the back doesn't have reinforcement and hence you're possible of getting breakage, but you bring in PVA fiber which is half the weight and kind of stops that from happening.


And keeps a much the ability to keep a much even fibrous network throughout the entire piece and and then your strength becomes more even.

Does that make sense?

Does make sense?

It'll make sense.


It'll make sense when we definitely when we show the pictures cuz well do me a favor, well cuz I don't have those photos anymore.

Send me those photos and what I'll do is I'll post them in the show notes of this podcast.

So anybody that's interested in seeing them, just go to, Scroll down to the podcast, find this podcast, and it'll be in the photos there.


Yeah, So now that that was I think the most interesting thing thus far other than reliving and you know, in other words, getting back into the zone for doing all these beam breaks again.

I got this whole pile of broken beams now at the shop.


I got to figure out what I'm doing with them.

But yeah, man, you know, So hit me.

What do we want to hear first other than that one?

Well, the other thing that I thought was interesting was curing with a heat blanket versus not with a heat blanket.


And it's something that I've had a hypothesis for a long time that it didn't make a big difference.

I've always felt, you know, I've kind of argued back and forth because when we teach classes, you know, you discuss how you cure and the way you cure is you do polyester felt, plastic sheeting, a blanket, a packing blanket, a heat blanket set on low and then another packing blanket on top of that.


So that's.

One to two over that insulating your heat blanket.

Yes, exactly.

So that's your your system.

My system is the same.

I just don't put that heating blanket set on low in in the middle of those blankets and you know your your view.

What you've always said is, listen, it's going to create this exothermic spike, The concrete as it cures it exotherms and we want to hold that plateau for as long as possible.


We're not trying to push heat into it, we're just trying to maintain the heat.

We're trying to keep the insulation warm so it's not absorbing that exothermic heat.

So your idea was it's gonna spike up and then it's gonna hold it for a lot longer and slowly let it come down.

And I'm like, well, Jon, I don't think that's really happening, 'cause I come in the next day and it doesn't.



I put my hand underneath and that thing is cooking.

I don't know.

But now you actually have data to support your your side of it, which I'm glad to see, because I just had a hypothesis.

And what you found is it does make a difference, and it has a pretty profound difference in the strength and in a temperature 'cause you're tracking temperatures and I didn't think it would really make a big difference, but it it has right you.


Want to go over that?

Yeah, absolutely.

So the this week I went back to control.

Control, meaning I took maker mix.

I blended it up.

No fibers whatsoever.

Excuse me, just I don't know what's going on.


I got a frog in my throat or something.

Anyway, no fibers whatsoever.

Cast them.

And then I split the beams up.


Two you know X amount of beams go under the way I'm curing and a number of beams go under, again just covering and then some packing blanket just to act as insulation.


Put into context that my shop right now is about 65 to 70 degrees and and I wash it, I put the my temp cube I put under the ones with the heat so that I could monitor.

How long it takes for the exothermic spike to start, and then how long it holds that exothermic spike into the following day when I'm demoulding.


And then at that point comparing the overall strengths and what I found is this.

And again, now this is all in control, no fiber whatsoever, #1.

Let's just talk about temperature.

You know like using your the IR temperature and like at what temperature are the is the concrete at under the heating blanket.


Now again this is a heating blanket set on low, nothing fancy.

I don't have it on high I just have it on low versus the one that you know got no heat blanket.

I come in this morning 7:00 AM is when I looked at them and the ones under the blanket were still 118 degrees.


And the ones without the heat were 80 degrees.

So right off the, you know, right off the bat, a 38 degree difference.

OK, big deal, Jon.

Like then what does that translate to?

Well, what's that translated to?

Is this.

Now I'm not going to call it flexural strength because it's really called the moment of rupture.


So that's when you apply enough pressure to actually break the beam.

So the beams that were not under any heat.

All again, I just want to make sure these are all cast.

Same amount of water, same mix, same amount of plasticizer, except no difference.


The only difference is how they were cured, right?

So the first one took 3900 pounds of pressure with no heat, which translates to translated to a moment of rapture of. £2137 per square inch.


Once you do the calculation, the ones that sat under the heat was 5100 pounds of pressure translates to £2794.00 for a total difference of 30%.


Thirty .74% in strength.

That's significant.

That's huge.

If if there was AI, don't know, some kind of powdered ad mixing ad, they'll get you 30% strength increase.

Everybody'd be using it, but you're getting no strength increases just through curing.


Using a heat blanket set on low to keep the insulation warm, That's really the only difference.

Yeah, that's crazy.

Only difference, yeah.

And then like I said, so it's the same shock temps, you know, one wasn't moved over to refrigerator or anything.

They're literally.


On my casting table within 4 feet of each other, Yeah, that's the only difference, man.

Well, so I'm just going to round it up to an even 31 percent, 30.74.

So yeah, a 31% total change in strength in that same amount of curing time.


I think that's significant.

And it's.

And when I say significant, I know this is the way I talk about it, like, well, what is that?

You there, Chuck something?

Oh, you.

You there?

That makes it reasonable for us to talk, to talk about, you know what I mean?


Whatever you said, say it again because for some reason we lost connection but it reconnected.

Oh, really?

What I was saying is, So what are these numbers meaning the moment of rupture 2137 versus a moment of rupture 2794?

What does that mean to me?


And you, you know, does that mean I can be more careful flipping it?

You know, I mean, what does that really mean?

Other than the difference of about, you know, just over 600 some odd pounds PSI.

Honestly that one I don't know.


So for me what I translate this into is that's 31% more hydration that took place in the same period of time casting time in my shop.

So again, if I'm casting on Monday.


And I want to, you know, like anybody.

I don't want this stuff sitting around.

So I cast, I cure I process I I I guess the easy, easiest way to think about it is that's how much less moisture is in my concrete.

That's how much easier it's going to seal.



Is it going to be stronger that way I I can be less delicate, delicate with it.

I can, you know, I can be more aggressive processing it without worrying about messing something up or I mean, that's what it all translates to me.

So I don't know, I mean, what's your thoughts?


Because I'll be honest with you, right, when you and I talked, I was maybe thinking the same thing, 15%, maybe 10, I mean at the most 20, but when it came out to, you know, darn near 31% difference in the same amount of time, that's significant.


Yeah, it's huge and the density aspect of it.

You know the increased density because increased strength, increased density, the increased density.

The whole reason that we're shooting for what we're shooting for with maker mix and rad mix is for density and if people can increase density and you should still use the best mix possible Kodak bro.


But that being said, if any mix you're using some crap polymer mix cure properly, you're going to get a better density with it.

You know it doesn't matter what you're using.

So I think that was interesting things.

Just the.

The increase in the strength, increase in the density, just from such a simple process.


And I was resisting.

You know, we talked about why are people resistant to this kind of stuff, But I've been resistant to it, right?

I don't know why I have a packing, not a packing, but a heating blanket here.

I just, it's a step that I felt was unnecessary, but I didn't have any information to back up that presumption and it was a presumption.


And now we do have data.

And now I'm going to start using.

The heating blanket, because it makes sense.

It's not hard to do.

It takes 5 minutes.

It's just another step, but it it adds a lot of benefit to the end product.

Yeah, no question.


And I agree with you.

I mean, these are questions I still field probably at least a few times a week.


Hey, Jon, I'm doing this.

I know this is what, but I mean, do I really need to cover it?

Well, depends what you're trying to do, you know, I mean, my answer is always yes.

If it's not something, you know, again, we're not, we're not talking about equipment that's thousands of dollars.


We're not talking about something that, you know, cost you 3-4 hours of your time to set up.

I mean, we're talking about a heat blanket, You know, a Sunbeam heat blanket.

Yeah, they're readily available.



You know, if you have a three-dimensional project, you can still put it in and tuck it in.

You know, these are not ones that that burn up.

You know, I'd say if anything, if I could grasp for a downside would be just make sure you buy the ones that have the auto.


What's it called?

The auto off feature.

Oh no, auto off select.

That's what it is.

So in other words, you don't want it turning off every 10 hours, you know, just set it up, turn it on.

That that would be the only grasping downside I could come up with is you bought your blankets without the controllers that allow them to stay on for 24/7.


Yeah, that everything we're talking right now for anybody who wants to listen this translate hugely into running your business and being profitable and turning product quicker And and I know I keep talking about this, but this rabbit hole gets huge.


That difference in hydration that takes place has a direct correlation with ultimate sealer performance.

And when you apply that sealer, how it absorbs, how it mechanically, if you're using a topical, how it mechanically bonds, how the isothionate reacts.


If you're using a reactive technology, how well does it absorb?

You know there's so much that translates.

So I will recall on that little number of 30.74% in total hydration that takes place in the same amount of time that that again I I realize it gets frustrating sometimes to get the same questions from people thinking I don't know is it necessary I'm willing to say yes.


Oh, now I am.

Before I said no.

Before I was.

Kind of the the the other side of that coin where when in the classes you would say do this, I'm like well I don't do it, you know I I don't really but I just felt, I just felt that it didn't have a big impact.


But now that I know that it does then I'm gonna start doing it.

There's no point not to.

So, you know, it's one of those things that.

Once you know better, you do better.

You know, I I had this assumption and I've had a lot of assumptions in the past that turned out to be incorrect.


I did an assumption that it wasn't having a big effect and it turns out it's having a massive effect.

And if you increase density of the concrete, you increase abrasion resistance, you increase the ability to resist stains, you increase the ability to withstand transport and installation.


You know, there's a lot of benefits to curing it properly it, you know, you and I were talking earlier about this.

And you were saying you know, well you know I'll I'll essentially discuss my findings and let leave it up to people to determine if it's important to them and my response was it's important to everybody.


Jon what people need to what people need to decide is are you in the business you the person listening are you in the business making the best concrete you can possibly make.

And if the answer is yes then you want to do this.

If your answer is well, I just make wall caps, you know I sell them by the pallet to.


To home builders for, you know, these tracked home subdivisions.

Well, then maybe you're not in the business of making the best concrete possible.

And that's OK, 'cause you don't always need to make the best concrete possible.

There's there's certain industries where it's, you know, I'm making landscape pavers.

Oh, OK, Yeah.

I mean, who really cares?


Use a liquid polymer mix.

Who cares?

Who cares?

But if you're in the business, which I'm in the business, you're in the business.

Dusty's in the business.

Martin Duckett's in the business.

Joe Bates is in the business.

If you're in the business of doing the best you can do at all levels, then curing becomes part of that.


Yeah, I agree with that and.

But I was actually chuckling for a minute when you said landscaping pavers and it just dawned on me.

So years ago, you remember Murray Clark?

Was in a factory.

Me, yeah, my son, myself, Sean and Murray.

We were down in Orlando, FL and this is when anyway, Blue Concrete was doing a thing with pigments with a paver company, you know the pavers, little pavers.


And we went to the factory and it was very, very interesting to see how they made pavers.

I've never seen it before, but it's like this huge stamping mechanism.

Yeah, I've seen it.

It like vibrates as it's pushing it in.

It stamps them and it kind of shakes them, but even they figured it out, those they ended up stacked on a pallet and basically took a forklift and they drove them into a huge steam chamber that sat in there at 99% humidity at 120 degrees.


So I mean, yeah, so your big manufacturers has figured it out too, if they want.

To I'm talking about them.

I'm talking, I'm talking about there's a lot of guys that or small scale that make wall caps, pavers.

Coping things like that.


And those people may not be interested in getting the densest concrete possible, the strongest concrete possible, because it's not important to them, it's not important to the customer.

For them, what matters is something that's acceptable to the buyer and at the best price to the buyer.


That's that's their criteria.

And if that's your criteria, then you're not going to waste the time.

To cover it and put a packing blanket and a heat blanket and another blanket for something like that.

And I get that.

I'm not saying that's wrong because that's just a different business, but I'm in the business and you're in the business and a lot of people that are listening are in the business of making one off extremely high end pieces, whether it's a sink or a countertop or a piece of furniture or whatever it is you're in the business of.


You're working for a clientele that demands the best and it's your your job and it's your reputation to deliver.

And if that's your goal, and I I honestly do think that's probably a lot of people listen to school.

If that's your goal, then A you want to use the best products you can get, but B you want to follow the best practices possible, Whether that's how you batch your mixed temperature, your curing techniques, your sealing protocol, whatever those best practices are, you're going to be doing those things.


You're not going to just wing it.

You're not going to cast one day at 30 degrees in your shop and next day at 200 degrees in your shop and think it's going to turn out the same.

You know that's not true.

So you're doing what you can to to do everything at the most optimal.

You know, whatever it is.



I don't know, I I kind of went on a tangent there, but no, I get what you're saying.

But you know, again I was trying to translate this like how does that translate other than this is me with a with a beam breaker and you know clearly translated into you know the moment of rupture, you know how many pounds blah blah blah blah blah.


You know one thing we, we we talk but we've never really hit hard is that to me is one of the things that would translate as as why what I create now and get paid for by a client looks so much better in quality, I mean color, richness etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.


You know why does it end up looking so much better?

Is it just because I used a better mix or a better sealer or whatever the case may be or as I'm showing here that that's where another place where this 31% difference would have considerable impact on that piece.


Let's say that vanity or whatever that I'm delivering to a client, it's gonna look that much better.

And you know, so I was having this conversation today maybe I'm gonna get, I'm gonna get pretty long winded and I was talking to this guy, he was he was telling me how he's been.


It's really been a hobby.

He wants to, he wants to move things into making it more his full time business.

But the reason the concrete into things has been a hobby is because all the things we talked about.

He's got two young children, a three-year old and an 8 month year old.


He's working out of his garage, you know these kind of things.

And I walked through a scenario with him and I know we've talked about in the podcast and I know you, you and I have talked about it because this is kind of where you're at right now too.


Is there was a moment when I was doing all this and a little, not a little, a lot concerned moving myself down into a one man show, right.

And in so doing, I had to decide somewhere around that, do I just raise my price, you know, because I still I I'd still like to make the money that I'm making without having the mouths to feed.


And I'm going to scale down so I'm not carrying around 500 pound pieces.

And so the conversation I had to him was like if you and I walked into a jewelry shop to buy watches and at one end of the scale was Timex watches and on the other end of the scale was the Rolex watches.


And you know we have to decide what kind of product do we want to make that's going to cater to the clientele that we're looking for.

So that our business is a resounding, you know, with the kind of clientele we're looking for brings in the premium that we need to pay our bills and stay profitable.


Well, are we going to make a bunch of Timex's that, you know, I don't know.

They seem to tell the time just as well as the Rolex or we're hoping to make a Rolex, which still sales the same time as the Timex but caters to a very different crowd.


And that was the epiphany, as you realize, as when I was talking to him, is what brought this whole maker mix, mix, design, density, color, saturation, blah, blah, blah blah blah, is moving myself so that instead of demanding a higher price, what I'm making actually commands a higher price.


But I can do it in a time frame that allows me to live a lifestyle, like tonight, going to my son's football game instead of having to work a late night at the shop. 100% people that buy Rolex value quality.


You know, I I get what you're saying about time and I think that's an important point.

But I also want to point out that even though they tell the same time they watch still the same time the Rolex is made to a higher standard, the craftsmanship to quality the materials.

Everything about it is made at a higher standard.

That's going to be a watch you pass down to your child.

He passes it down to his child.


The time X might last a few years before it's junk, right.

So yeah, that's.


And so the quality aspect of what we do, I think is important as well.

There was a I've always, I've always made it a point that wherever I'm at in the timeline of my career, I'm doing the best I can do at that point in time.


I've always felt that way.

You know, back when I first started Quikrete, 5000 was the best, right?

That was the best.

That's, that's what you get.

And then when Buddy Rhodes had his mix, that was the best you get.

And then when Blue Concrete and Jon Schuler came out with their next generation of mixes, that was the best he could get.


And you know, and now where we're at is maker mix and RAD mix, and that's the best you can get.

And so I've always made quality.

The focus of what I've done, and I think, I think if you focus on quality, if you focus on doing the best from materials, sealer, your your shop, your space, your tooling, the quality of your molds, the quality of your packaging, when you ship a piece to a client, the quality of your website, the quality of your print collateral, you do everything at the best.


Quality things have a way of working out.

Things have a way of of being successful.

You know where people get in trouble in this industry is they try to cut corners, They they step over dollars, pick up Dimes, they try to save money or they try to make more money by saving money, if that makes sense.


This conversation has like a million tentacles that can go out in all different directions.

And I think, I think the time part of it is, I'm sorry, well, I'll say the time part of the you had on is also super, super, super important because I am a one man show now, which I love.

It's the first time in a long time that I don't have.


To be here at this exact time because I'm an employee showing up at this exact time.

And I love it.

I love it.

But time is important because I don't.

If I was doing what I used to do, the way I used to do it, Oh my, I can't imagine being a one man show.

I can't imagine mixing up, spraying a face coat, brushing it out, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting.


You know, doing the whole thing by myself in my shop till seven, 8:00 PM at night.

Think about the classes you and I were teaching.

Five years ago, where we were doing that, you know, Yeah, jeez.

Well, that's why I started laughing.

And I told him I wasn't laughing at him when I was having this conversation today because in the background, I don't know, my mindset has just changed so much today.


So in the background, he was home.

In the background, you could hear his kids.

He's like, oh, sorry about that.

You know, I I said no, no, man, that's awesome.

You know, I went through it myself.

And now my son's 15, my daughter's 17, but I've been there and as we started talking about again where he wants to go and this is, yes, he was calling me about Maker Mix products and Kodiak and so forth and so on.


But I, you know anybody who knows me or talks to me, I I'll put that on the side first because there's a lot of qualifying criteria that I believe any of us can discuss before we even start talking about materials.


And that was this.

So when he told me that like like some of the other guys we know that, you know, he's transitioned his garage into a shop so that he could spend more time with his kids, you know, his eight-month year old and growing and and so forth and so on.


And And then he told me where he was coming from on his, let's say, concrete educational journey.

And you know, what he was been taught to believe.

Like did he, you know, needed to spray it and do these kind of things?

I'm like I said, no, man.


Like I'm not telling you not to.

You know, there's, I think there's still plenty of situations where you know, spraying a face coat and you know, laminating your back coats and etcetera, etcetera.

But that's not a countertop.


I don't understand people still going through that process versus a casting technique other than, again, mixed designs and that that brings up a whole other part of the conversation.

But so this is what he was looking for, to transition his hobby business to a real business, to a real income and balance home life, business life, you know, you know, father, husband life and etcetera, etcetera.


And the first thing is when he talked about the wait a minute, you're Jon, so you guys just cast this.

I've watched a lot of your videos.

It seems like you guys are just casting it.

I'm like, Oh yeah, no, that's exactly what we're doing now.

The focus was on SCC at the time.


So we didn't talk about you know ECC consistency and clay mix consistencies and so forth and so on.

But yes, you know this is, this is a mix if you want to spray it, you can spray it and he's like Oh no, no, if you guys if that's what you guys are doing, this is what I want to do.


And I not going to name whose projects he specifically sold saw, but like those were just beautiful and I want to be doing something like that.

And anyway, it was a, again, it was a very enlightening conversation only because it's a conversation for us who have run businesses and you know, let's say played hopscotch through all this stuff for the last 20 plus years and balancing everything.


It's great to be where I'm at right now and then look back and then help others start where we're at instead of start where we were 20 years ago, you know what I mean?

You make a good point, Jon.

What I want to say is, you know, we're getting close to Halloween.


People are looking at costumes.

My kids, we go to the store where they want to be a ghost, they want to be a witch, they want to be that.

And then there's some people out there that want to wear the costume, being professional, concrete business owner, successful.

They've been doing this for a long time, whether whether they're projecting this costume to sell classes or some new product they're working on.


You know, at the end of the day, it's just cosplay as as the kids like to say.

But it got me thinking.

What you're saying is the relevance of information.

The importance of of information from people to actually do what they say.

And there was this conversation going on on one of the Facebook forums that was really interesting.


Somebody asked about a scale, What kind of scale should I get?

And you know, I have in my shop right now, I have a couple OO house scales that I bought years ago and they're, I don't know, 300 bucks, 400 bucks each.

And they're precise down to like one one thousandth of a gram.


And they're great and and all but I don't use them that often for a few reasons but one of the one of the reasons is they're plug in.

I have to plug them in with a with a charger and.

But secondly I just need that level of precision.

When I'm batching a mix for a countertop or a sink or a chair I'm weighing things in grams not fractions of a gram.


So if I'm weighing out you know 174 grams of TBP, I don't need a thousandth of a gram precision for 174 grams.

If I'm 175 or 173 it's not going to change anything.

And same thing with pigment.

If I'm batching pigment, I need, you know, whatever 2000 grams.


I don't need a thousandth of a gram precision.

And so for me personally, I bought some cheap Amazon scales.

And you know what's funny is I'll do a project like I'll, I'll, I'll go someplace to help somebody and bring a scale.

So I'll just hop on Amazon and overnight a kitchen scale.


It's like 10 bucks.

And I have some that I've had for years now and those are my go to scales.

Now they're 10 bucks.

You know it's it's not something I'd use to batch out anesthesia for surgery, you know, but it for PvP or pigment, it's gonna be more than sufficient.


And so anyways my point with this long winded thing is I I made a comment and I'm like, hey man, I, you know, I have these old house scales.

Here's where you can buy those.

You want those.

But honestly a $10 kitchen scale that's, you know gram increments up to 5000 grams is gonna be more than sufficient for weighing out plasticizer and pigment.


Dude, you know Martin made a comment that it was scale gate, which was funny.

It's a funny term, but the hobbyist that came out of the woodwork to to essentially pound their chest and say my scale goes to one billionth of a gram and I need that accuracy.


And you're like, no, you don't, you idiot.

You don't need that.

But this is, again, you don't know what you don't know.

And when I bought my skills, I didn't know what I didn't know, honestly when I bought those, oh, how skills in 2004 And I spent 405 hundred bucks on a scale.

Now listen, some people, they sit in their shops and make little cubes all day because they want to paint sealer on them or or do whatever they do.


So they just sit in their shop.

They don't make anything for a client.

And if you're making little two by two cubes, little little baby pieces of concrete, then yeah, you need a scale that will do something where you can cast A2 by two cube accurately.

But people that do this for a living, actual professional concrete artisans that are weighing out 2000 grams of this, 500 grams of that you don't need thousandth of a gram accuracy.


Sorry, I'm interrupting you, but it's good to interrupt me.

I I know the post you're talking about and yeah, right.

You gotta break it up.

I know the one you're talking about.

And yeah, I I'm gonna say, see, there's lots of ways and lots of situations in life where and you mentioned, you know, Halloween.


Where just people in general, we wear masks, right?

Maybe you act a certain way or you present yourself a certain way and you really tried.

You've practiced and practiced and practices.

But there's always going to be situations where the real you comes through.


And in that particular post, there was a few things that that say made it very obvious.

On who's on what end of what?

And here's my perfect example.

I even made this comment when I'm working in the lab.


Now this is in the lab setting, meaning lab scale.

Then yes, I need that kind of accuracy.

You know, where I'm there's times where we're talking to either small concrete batches or sealer batches where I may be mixing up no more than 100 grams, you know what I mean?


And in that 100 grams of total batch.

As I called it earlier, you know, pass the sniff test, you know, I only want to mix up 100 grams 'cause I don't want to waste £10 of material, you know.

So I get it, I get it.

But under that situation, if someone's recommendations continue to be based on your lat, then it's obvious what you do or.


More clearly what you don't do because you take from my lab and go down to the shop where even with the current beam breaks, I'm doing 27 pound batches.

I don't need an accuracy of point OO 1 grams.


Yeah, you don't need it.

And if, if that's what somebody's continuing to say, Nope, that's what you need, that's what you need, well.

Again all and I'm not saying you're wrong, but what that it it's clearly shows what that person does or doesn't do.


And I don't mean that in a bad way.

It just so Jon Schuler in the lab, which there is a Jon Schuler, there is a Doctor Schuler in the lab, There's no question about it is a very different experience than Jon Schuler in the shop.



And that's just the way.

That's my point, Jon.

I'm telling you as somebody that does this day in, day out and has for 20 years a $10 kitchen scale off Amazon is going to get you there.

You're going to be way more accurate than 99% of the guys doing this if you're weighing stuff out to the gram.

Yeah, that was one of the comments too.


I thought was a little bit condescending by somebody because there's this perception that somehow if you're doing DIY, that a DIY is not looking for quality.

And I'm going to tell you, I don't know a DIY or yet.

And I I thought I said that in a previous podcast where I have them come to the shop sometimes.


You know, they they're still trying to make the best of what they're going to make.


You know, recommending a $400.00 scale to somebody, or I, I even, you know, a $200.00 scale to somebody because they just wanted to make their vanity and make something cool that they put their own hands in and their own uniqueness too.


And you know that's it's a little condescending.

Use what works again, I mean.

The the way go ahead.

Well, say I bought those things when I didn't know what I didn't know.

I bought those things when I thought this is what I need, right?



No, I I did the same thing as you know.

And to date my you call them, oh, I call them ohas, ohas Ohas.

I don't know.

I don't know.

Who cares?

I'm just saying to date, those are the ones that failed me.

They ended up not lasting.

Yeah, I don't care if you buy an expensive scale, it doesn't change my life one bit.


And I don't care if you buy a cheap scale.

But I have a duty to share my experience with our listeners on where you can save money, in my opinion, and where you should spend money.

And I don't make any money any way you decide to go.


So if you decide to just do all Ryobi tools, knock yourself out.

But if you choose to want to buy better tools and I'm happy to share which ones, I think our money will spend because I've gone through a ton of tools over the years and some have lasted and some have failed.

But I can tell you that somebody uses a scale every single day to cast client projects.


Not little tiny baby cubes, but actual client projects.

I can tell you the kitchen scales from Amazon for 10 bucks haven't filled me yet.

I haven't had to recast one piece because of some inaccuracy with a kitchen scale.

And I think that has to do also with the with the variance you have in a mix.


So like I'm saying, if you're batching out three bags of Maker mix and you need 190 grams of TBP, if it's 191, OK, it was 100 and. 89 OK yeah, like, OK, so so you don't need a thousandth of a gram accuracy.


That's just where I think people are, are missing a forest from the trees.

You know, they they just are wasting their money on the wrong things.

I'm trying to save them from doing that.

But if you want to do it, do it.

But I'm telling you it's a waste of money.

That's my opinion.

Well, it's funny.

While you were talking about that, I'm like actually what would that translate to if you're doing a 1% pigment load?


And, you know, 340 grams of pigment.

So sorry, I'm willing to say whether you were 345 or even 335.

That's if if you're off by 5 grams, that's not the difference of something turning out Gray or white.


Yeah, yeah.

You're never going to know the difference, dude.

I'm telling you, I I've cast thousands.

No joke.

Thousands of projects with the Amazon $10 scale and have not had one piece.

Now maybe I've been lucky and there's a good chance I have.


Maybe I've been lucky that all these years it's been fine, but I'm telling you I've had phenomenal success with it.

Well, that's what I'll say.

I mean, based on the experience of the person making those recommendations, they're making the recommendations based on what they need.


Per their experience, that's all.

And I I don't mean that badly.

I just mean, you know, for what they do, like legitimately do what their experience level, that's where it's coming from.


OK, Jon, I got to get to work.


It's Friday and I got.

I'm actually casting some concrete this afternoon.

So I'm going to I'm going to get to mixing.

Right on, man.

All right, Well, hey, hold down, hold down next week.

Oh, that.

Hold down, slow down, hold down, slow down.

I'm leaving next week to go to the hoedown.

You're leaving next week too, so.

Yeah, Wednesday.


I'm looking forward to it.

Yeah, I'm gonna send an e-mail to everybody this weekend just with details on on the Hoedown, but it's gonna be a good time for anybody else interested in workshops.

The Fundamentals Workshop is coming up December, December 7th and 8th.


I think I'm going off memory right now and my shop here in Wichita, but I had a few more registrations this week, so that class is is doing good.

So if you're wanting to come, learn the fundamentals.

If you're wanting to start at the very first step of concrete, go to and you can read about what we're going to be doing and register if you want to come.


Oh, you know what?

That's not a bad idea.

I might call that guy back that I was speaking to today and tell him to hit your place.

Yeah, you should for the.

For the first one, yeah, for a fundamentals class, I think that would get him up to speed very, very quickly.



Well, I hope he, I hope he's able to make it and I hope you're able to make it, Jon.


It all depends if I have surgery or not.

Yeah, well, you might be Jane after that surgery.

We'll see.

Well, I'm just saying that they're going the wrong way because I paid for the extra extra large this is.


Something's not right.


That's funny.

All right, buddy, I'll talk to you later.





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