The Art Beyond the Pour & #WWBGD

In this episode of The Concrete Podcast, we explore the world of concrete casting, uncovering the nuances and little tricks that can elevate your work from good to great. We share invaluable techniques and insights that we use to create top-notch concrete pieces. Whether it's the intricacies of design or the specifics like ring drains, we've got you covered. And to wrap it all up, we air our grievances in true, candid style. Tune in for an engaging blend of expertise and design discussion that will take your concrete game to the next level.


#ConcreteCraftsmanship #ConcreteDesign #CastingTechniques #DesignDetails #RingDrains #ConcreteTips #CreativeConcrete #WWBGD #CraftingConcrete #ConcreteArtistry


Hello, Jon Schuler.

Hello, Brandon Gore.

Taking a drink, what are you doing?

I am taking a drink, because I was just talking to you.

All wound up right now.

You're like, are we ready to do this?

It's 10 in the morning, it's 8.30, where you are, what are you drinking?

I know, coffee.

Irish coffee?

No, actually we're getting ready to work out, Jay and I, so no, it's just coffee.

Coffee, a little bit of milk.

Today's actually a low calorie day.

Gotcha, gotcha, cool.

Yeah, you and I were having a little bit of a bitchfest here about numerous things.

Yeah, it's kind of a weird week, and it all goes back to setting expectations and lack of customer service.

And when people fail in that role as a company, how frustrating that is as the customer.

So we'll get to that later.

Let's get into the podcast.

We can bitch later.

Let's save the bitching and whining for the end.

I guess I'm ready to go.

Yeah, I don't know.


I have a list here.

One of the first things I want to hit.

Oh, before I go down this, let me do my sales pitch.

Fabric forming class, two days from today.

Today's Wednesday, it starts on Friday.


And it's gonna be a lot of fun.

I'm gonna talk about a little design detail we're doing in the class that I've been working on the last week.

We'll talk about that later in the podcast.

But if you want to make the class, I don't know, I'll release this today.

So you have a day to get here, essentially.

And I think Brett Pope, he's driving from Canada last second, 25 hour drive.

If Brett Pope can do it, you can do it.

So YOLO, You Only Live Once, this only fabric forming class I'm doing this year.

It's the first one I've done in, I don't know, three years, probably.

It's been a long time.

So don't miss out.

It's gonna be a really good class.

I'm excited about it.

I'm actually, while we were chatting a minute ago, I was sitting there doing sketches.

I have a bunch of different ideas for the sink I want to do.

And it's gonna be for the shop, showroom, bathroom, up here in the front of the shop.

So that's what we're gonna be building.

So it's gonna be fun class, but.

Well, before you go that direction, I'm just gonna take a second, and this is like a shout out to Brett Pope.

You know what I love?

I mean, I really thoroughly enjoy the people that come to pinnacle-based or concrete design school-based trainings, whatever it is.

It's so awesome working both with beginners, but of a lot of advanced people.

And so using Brett Pope as that, to see what he's doing with the training and the directions and how much he's invested in himself into new creations and new inspirations moving forward, you know, it's just, again, a plug for CDS.

That's what I really enjoy.

I truly still believe that's what sets Concrete Design School apart.

I don't know, not solely just because, oh, who the trainers are.

No, man, I mean, look at what people do with this training and the directions they go.

I hate to say comparatively speaking, but in a way, comparatively speaking, you know, I still show that, you know, getting, you know, training from experienced individuals compared to people, you know, and nothing against it.

As we say, I always feel like I have to put my guard up, right, when we really shouldn't have to.

You know, product training and so forth, nothing against that, nothing about training being done by salesmen or people with lack of experience, blah, blah, blah.

But I love seeing specifically, Brett's been posting some pictures and directions he's going, you know, just Warren, oh my God, blowing up Instagram.

I mean, obviously, the stuff that Joe Bates continues to escalate with, and I could keep going down the list of names, you know, Kyle, anyway.

Yeah, Josh.

It's just, man, I'm telling you, man, it's just, it's so inspiring, even though I'm on this side of the fence, it's so inspiring to continue to see, you know, where people take these trainings.

So again, so there's my little shout out, Concrete Design School.

I'm glad to be a part of it.

It's really cool.

All right, you're ready to go?

I'm ready to go.

Okay, so one of the things you and I talk about, and I just, it's not that I assumed people knew about this, but I kind of did assume people knew about this, I don't know why, was using a bucket to pour from with a valve on it.

What I mean by that is I'll take a 30 gallon, or what are those 25 gallon, 30 gallon buckets, and I drilled a hole and I put a fitting on it, and these fittings you can get at Home Depot or Lowe's, but it's like a barbed fitting, it's made of plastic, and it's designed for tubing to go over.

And I think I got the inch and a half diameter barbed fitting.

But you know, you kind of have to finagle it, a lot of silicone or epoxy or whatever to attach it, but whatever, you get it attached to your bucket at the bottom of the bucket.

And then I attach one of the flat pool hoses I use for filling a pool.

Typically, it's going to be like in the section where they have pool supplies.

And it's like blue and it rolls up and it's flat, but it opens up to be like an inch and a half or two inch diameter hose.

And I just attach that to that fitting with a little pipe clamp.

And what I do is I elevate the bucket above my form and I put that tube down to the bottom of my form and I pour concrete into the bucket and I let it run down into the form to the bottom and I lift the bucket and I do that with a skid steer or with a hydraulic table.

There's different ways to do it, but I lift the bucket as it fills up and this is bottom up filling, pumping.

This is what I used to do with a pump.

This is what I used to have to do with my old mix.

Now we just use gravity.

We use SCC and we use gravity.

And the reason I use that pool tubing, that hose, is because it'll conform to whatever shape.

So if it's only one inch thick wall thickness, it'll become an oval in there.

It's not like rigid.

So it'll just conform to that thickness and I'll just pull it up as I go.

And it does a few things.

One, it lets the air degas in the bucket.

So the mix coming out is at the bottom of the bucket that doesn't have a whole lot of air in it.

So you're getting mix in your form that's not from the top of the bucket.

If you do it the other way, if you just dump, I mean, that's where all the air rose up to.

So you got like air bubbles and you're just dumping it in.

And then, you know, so that's-

Yeah, the easy way to explain it, as I was talking to somebody is, and I interrupted you, man.

I'm sorry, I should have waited.

That's typical of me.

Now I'm owning it.

Well, just the concept, as I've explained to people, and you know, we've done these in pinnacles and stuff, but you know, I don't know if it's necessarily a total trick, but we have, you know, done training related to this.

And then the more people that I'm finding, I don't know, the light bulb moment when they're like, aha, is, yeah, pour from the bottom of the bucket.

And what does that mean?

Well, when any of us mix concrete, we know what happens, right?

I mean, some people, we call it, they call it burping or whatever the case may be.

So the simple way to explain it is, the foam rises to the top, meaning the air, right?

And if you start immediately pouring the foamy part, then, you know, then like, yeah, that's so, you're gonna get it.

Or let's say, higher potential for getting it, because you're pouring the air, which is trying to release to the top of the bucket.

And yet, that's what you're introducing into your form first.

With this method, whether you're creating a chute, or as you just say, you know, installing a hole or a tube or something at the bottom of the bucket, you're letting the material out gas.

And then once you open the chute or whatever you decided to come up with, yeah, you're getting the material from the bottom of the bucket.

It just makes, I don't know, I shouldn't say it makes sense, because I guess someone need to be introduced to it to like, oh, I hadn't thought about that.

But yeah, from that concept, it just, it makes sense.

It's just a way to take the quality up just a little bit more.

It's these little tiny, a thousand little steps that you do that all ultimately lead to big improvements.

Whether that's how you batch, how you mix the ice, letting the bucket set for two or three minutes before you start casting, let the air out gas from it.

And then how you cast, like we're saying, if you pour from the bottom.

So yeah, what you're saying, Jon, which I totally agree with, the mix coming out of the bottom of the bucket is gonna be a lot more free of any air bubbles.

Correct, yeah.

So that's great.

What I'm talking about is the same idea, but it's also about placement of the concrete because one of the issues that I've found is if I'm pouring down a wall, so I have like a one inch thick wall, but it's 24 inches tall, and I'm pouring down, the concrete's running down the form, and it's creating streaks in a way.

And if I have to stop for a minute to go get more mix or something that really thin, because it's like paper thin residue on the form will dry.

And so when I add more mix, a lot of times that'll leave like streaks in my final casting.

When I de-mold it, I can see the streaks where I stopped.

But the other thing it does is as it runs down, it creates a texture that air wants to get trapped to as you fill it up.

And so, and it's also trapping air because it's running down the form and air is getting stuck.

And so, if you can place the concrete in the bottom to begin with and let it fill from the bottom up.

This is called bottom up pumping or bottom up casting.

They use this.

I've told this story before, but when I was a kid, I thought I invented peanut butter and chocolate ice cream and my dad like kicked me in the teeth and said, no dummy, that already exists.

Same thing with bottom up pumping.

I thought I invented this method of casting concrete where I was going to inject it using a pump into the bottom of a form and push the concrete from the bottom up to get the air out.

My dad is like, no dummy, that already exists.

They do that for big walls with tons of rebar in it that they can't pour the concrete from the top because rebar would make it stop halfway down.

So they have these fittings and they inject the concrete in the bottom and they fill it from the bottom up.

I'm like, oh my God, of course, somebody's already thought of this.

It's a good idea.

So this is the thought concept behind that where we used to have to use equipment.

And when I say used to, not that many years ago, like five years ago, when I was using the old style GFRC that a lot of people still use, it wasn't the same flow.

It wasn't the same flowable mix.

It just didn't flow the same way.

And so I really did have to more or less inject it into the form and let it push up from the bottom.

With this new generation of mix that we have, we don't need to do that.

We can let gravity do it.

So way less equipment cost.

I mean, there's no equipment cost.

It's a bucket, a fitting and a hose.

I mean, it costs you 30 bucks in materials.

And then as far as cleanup, the pump would take an hour to clean and you hope you got it clean.

You run these little sponges through 100 times in water and you keep changing the water and you keep running sponges.

It takes forever.

This, you rinse it with a hose, you let it run out, you're done.

And if for whatever reason, the hose has concrete dried in it, you take it off and you put another section.

You buy like a 50 foot roll of that hose.

So there's no loss.

So this is like such a low, it's like an analog method, a very low tech, low cost way to do the same thing, get incredibly high results, super high quality finishes.

And there's not much to it, but it's just really about the concept of it.

But yeah, pouring too, just pouring a countertop.

If you have a bucket that has a fitting, whether it's a gate valve or what I'm talking about, or some people, Joe Bates, he calls it the coffin.

He welded this coffin looking metal bucket essentially that has a gate valve on one end and he fills it up and he holds, he uses his forklift, but he places it over the form and opens the gate valve and let it pour out.

Was it Phil Courtney that did a similar one?

Yeah, similar.

He's more of a, what would you call that?

I'm gonna call it a gate valve.

He installed this kind of pull gate valve at the bottom of a bucket.



So there's a lot of ways to do it.

My way, well, I was gonna just say, well, no.

I'm not talking about my method.

I'm gonna tell you something though.

So the gate valve, I like the gate valve, but the gate valve with fibers and stuff can be a little tricky.

You know, you gotta close it and the fibers are stuck.

It's just something more to clean.

With what I'm doing, you can just, there's two things.

You can either fold it back on itself to stop the flow.

You can just hold it with your hand.

If you wanna stop the flow, you just fold the hose back.

Or you can take some pliers and essentially like a tourniquet, you just, and it cuts it off and then it stops the flow.

So anyways, mine's just a low tech method, but there's really no moving parts.

There's nothing for fibers to get stuck into.

And anyways, go ahead.

Okay, well, I just wanted to give, let's say, you know, the Brandon Gore lovers out there, right, the people who wanna blow Brandon Gore.

We'll talk about that at the end.

I told you, Jon, we're gonna do the bitching at the end.

But here, so what you did invent is the flat water discharge hose casting technique.

That's a technical term.

Yes, it's either called a backwash hose, but other does, it's called the flat water discharge hose.

So see, now you could say, you know, or should, you wouldn't say it, but we could introduce it as Brandon Gore came up with the flat water discharge hose casting technique.

That way, the people were like, no, he did it.

The Romans, the Romans were doing this.

We might as well have fun with it, right?

I like the way that rolls off the tongue too, the flat water discharge hose casting method.

It just has a ring to it.


It goes right with it.

So I was sitting on this side giggling.

I'm like, oh, there's gotta be a name for this thing.

I wanna come up with something to get those people all riled up or whoever those people are.

But yeah, I'm actually looking at that thing right now.

You know what riles people up, Jon?

Being successful and living a happy life, it drives people nuts.

They can't stand it.

They're so miserable.

They're so sad.

And they just wanna interject their miserable sadness into other people's lives.

That's what it is at the end of the day.

But what I love about this, let's say this method, meaning again, I'm gonna call it the bottom of the bucket method, right?

Whatever you're calling it, whatever Brandon Gore figured out for all of us.

Thank you, Brandon Gore.

You're welcome, Jon Schuler.

Is that, see, cause now you've heard it.

I'm just gonna tell us.

I actually went to Amazon and looked at various gate valves and what are other industries using things that might apply to these kinds of things or can be something be 3D printed or whatever the case may be.

And I actually found these neat little, they're like two inch little gate valves that it turns out people who do honey with honeybees.

Well, they're made for five gallon buckets too.

That's what it's designed for.

Yeah, they're made for five gallon buckets.

So I guess, you know, that the, let's say the, I don't know, the beauty of these kinds of methods that maybe haven't been discussed with people is per what you're just saying.

So if you have a vertical or something, and then I'm, you know, now I'm outwardly thinking of, you know, people who like do, why am I brain farting?

Who did we get calls for?

Because she's got some lines in some of her vertical line in the vertical.

Alicia Dietz.

Alicia, yeah.

And so, you know, it didn't even dawn on me to ask that.

Alicia, I always mess up her name, Alicia Dietz.

Yeah, Alicia.

Is like, well, you know, hey, Alicia, what's this?

I don't, you know, I guess what I didn't, as again, I always say, if you don't ask the right questions, you're not going to get the right answers.

So, you know, we went through everything from her blending, TBP, water, blah.

But, you know, it didn't even dawn on me like, whoa, hey, how are you casting this thing?

And, you know, do you have a little, some valve of some sort or, you know, something on the bottom of your bucket and attaching to some collapsible hose, like Brandon's flat water discharge hose casting technique, you know, that would drop it right in the bottom and then lift it up.

In other words, what I'm saying, what her lines, air bubbles leaving the system.

You know what I'm saying?

As the mix is consolidating, and yet she's, again, I'm gonna say, pouring from the foamy side, top of the bucket, is that one of the issues.

So that's the beauty of it, is it allows for much cleaner casts, especially with MakerMix.

As we know, we saw Phil, he actually posted something recently where he showed two different products he was using where he casts similar techniques.

And so other materials probably would still give you voids if that's what you're looking for.

But this is a style that could, I think, and that's why we're talking about it openly now rather than just in the training, help people a lot with their casting methods.

You know, pour from the bottom of the bucket like Brandon Gore showed you.

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, just do it.

What would BG do?

What would Brandon Gore do?

We should make bracelets, these rubber bracelets.

Remember the silicone bracelets WWJD?

Everybody used to wear those.

And then there was the Lance Armstrong ones.

And it was a whole trend for a while, those bracelets.

People had like 20 of them on.

Yeah, I wonder how many of Lance's all got broken after that.

I don't know.

What would Lance Armstrong do?

Well, he would inject something.

He would.

But that being said, I feel bad for the guy because everybody knows everybody was doing it.

He just got caught.


Well, and of all things, yeah, it was a, you know, okay, I get it.

He was actually using an anti-inflammatory.

I'm like, give me a break.


Yeah, but I think what did him in was he denied it.

Like, it's one thing to do it and get caught and be like, yep, you got me.

But it was like he doubled down, tripled down.

It was like that liver king.

You know that guy is liver king?

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

And he was like, he's all natural.

He's all yoked and shredded.

He's like, I'm all natural.

I'd never do steroids.

And then somehow it got leaked his pharmaceutical receipt or something.

And it's like all these different steroids he was buying.

And then he had to come out at that point.

But what did him in was he'd spent so long denying it.

He just denied it, denied it, denied it.

And that's what people couldn't forgive him for.

It's like people can forgive you for doing something that you shouldn't be doing if you just come clean when it comes to light.

When you had Lance Armstrong just come clean, people would be a lot more quick to forgive him.

It was the doubling down, the tripling down.

That's what did him in.

Well, he's making a pretty big comeback, not to get on the whole Lance Armstrong side, but I see he's got some, I know, a series or something coming out.

I got no issues with Lance Armstrong.

Me neither.

I think it's a bummer what happened to his career.

I think it's, you know, it just unfortunately all happened kind of at a wrong time, during that time of cancel culture, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, but per every, in which I don't know when we're going to get to this subject, it's funny how, because what we're talking about right this second, the idea of just coming clean, and it's a bummer to get caught later when you've been lying the whole time, is exactly one of the issues I've been dealing with the last couple of days, which had me all heated up when you called me.

And it's a really good story, Jon, and I love your story about your solar panels.

I don't think that people listening want to hear your story about the solar panels.

Yes, they do.

Everybody wants to hear it.

They don't want to hear your solar panel saga.

But this has been a recurring theme in this industry.

There was a time when there was a certain person that was selling a sealer to the industry that he was cutting with a solvent and continued to cut it further and further and further with solvent, but continued selling it to the industry as if it was full strength sealer.

And ultimately, it put a lot of people out of business.

It did a lot of damage to people's businesses, including mine.

But I know several people personally that had to close their business due to the financial repercussions of sealer failures on such a large scale they can never recover.

But my point is, the person that was doing this denied it, denied it, denied it, completely denied it.

The sealer manufacturer that actually made the sealer, I called them, as did other people, and they confirmed, no, our formula hasn't changed.

It's exactly the same.

It's white.

It's viscous.

If it's being diluted...

It's thick like honey?


If it's being diluted anywhere, it's happening downstream from us.

We have not changed anything.

But when you get it from the distributor, the repackager, this is probably repackagers, they repackage things and they do things to them, like cut them with solvent.

But when we got it from the repackager, the middleman, it was clear.

It wasn't white.

It was thinner than water, like alcohol.

Well, that's weird.

Hmm, this smells a lot like solvent.

What's going on here, right?

My point is, there's been several instances of that type of thing going on in this industry of people denying things that they were knowingly doing and continued.

And that's where there's some things that have happened in this industry that are unforgivable to me.

That's one of them.

And that person has gone on to start another company and has done very well.

And so many people come to my workshops and be like, hey, have you heard of So-and-So?

I'm like, yes, I have.

Oh, he's such a nice guy.

And I'm like, oh, the best con men are.

They always are, you know.

For me, it's unforgivable.

And it has to do with they never came clean.

They never admitted what they did.

They lied about it.

And they gaslighted people.

And they said, it's a you problem.

You're the only person having problems.

When it came out that hundreds of people are having problems.

And it was systemic through the industry because everybody was using that sealer at that point in time.

And what was so wrong about this is this is such a small industry.

These aren't big companies.

These are husbands and wives.

These are mom and pop shops.

These are people that are doing this to support their families, to pay their mortgages.

Nobody's rich in this industry.

I'm not rich.

You're not rich.

Nobody's rich.

We're all working people, and we're all doing the best we can.

And what this person was doing was stealing, literally stealing from these people from a point of greed.

He could have just sold them the sealer that they bought.

He made a good margin on it.

But instead, he wanted more, and he wanted more by ultimately hurting them and putting them out of business from stealing from them.

So that's what's unforgivable to me.

Anyways, I didn't even have this on my list of things to talk about, but you talking about, we started going up Lance Armstrong and never just coming clean.

That was the thing that did them in.

Well, kind of, except where we're going with this is, which I don't have to go into the saga about what I'm doing right now, is that as consumers, and all of us are a consumer in one way or another, and it's funny, I hate to say it, while I was talking to you, I literally just got an email from the company I'm having issues with, which once again tells me like, oh, hey, yeah, we know this is happening.

So anyway, where I'm going with it is, as consumers, we purchase things from people under a certain set of information.

And that information is what gets us to go, oh, yeah, well, this is why I want to get it.

Thank you very much.

And it turns out that all along, you're being told one story, right?

The story, I guess, that they obviously know you want to hear.

But the reality is, they know the real story.

And it's not until you finally have enough quota and quote issues, and then finally ask the right questions to get the right answers.

And like in my case, now here I am three years down the road, having this problem and get the right lingo to find out.

They knew all along that this was going to happen.

I mean, I guess that's where I'm going.

So whether we're talking Lance Armstrong or whatever the case may be is, yeah, man, I mean, like I said all along, I really just wish people would come out with the right information for people.

Don't blow up what things can or can't do.

Let people know.

Let people make educated decisions with your product, your sealer, your ad mixture, whatever the case may be.

Because ultimately, the frustrating part is as the consumer, my business suffers, or like in my case, I just had a bunch of food spoil.

It's just frustrating.

So that's kind of where I was correlating to what we'll talk about closer to the end.

And again, I didn't want to turn into a bitch.

Is there more to talk about?

Well, only because...

I say that in jest.

No, we're not going to keep talking about it.

Yeah, there actually is.

Alright, so that's done on that.

So the drain detail.

I want to talk about that a little bit because this is the importance of design.

And it's something I'm kind of excited about.

Alright, well, I'm going to hit mute and step away for a minute because I need to pee.

Alright, you go pee and I'll start talking about this.

Alright, go.

So for me, design is everything.

And I have a saying where I break that into two words.

Design is everything.

It's not just the overall part of it, but it's every little tiny detail.

We need to focus on design.

And years ago, I had a customer approach me for an erosion sink, but she didn't want to see the drain.

And I came up with the idea of taking a stone, making a mold of it, casting it in the same color concrete, which was white, and placing it so it was floating over the drain to hide the drain hardware.

And so I did this.

This was probably 2009 or 2010.

I made the sink.

And it logistically turned into more complex problem to solve than just doing that, because I had to A, find the right stone, then I had to make the mold that would be the right clearance around the stone, which is an abnormal shape.

And then I had to elevate the stone on these little nubs, these half-round nubs, in such a way that the water could get underneath.

And I had to register those nubs into the underside of the stone so it would sit properly, wouldn't be off-center or askew.

So there's a lot that went into it.

But I made the sink with this drain detail.

I published it.

I showed photos of it with the stone over the drain, as well as it off to kind of show the mechanism of how it was working.

And then about two years later, I went to IKEA, and I'm walking through IKEA, and there is a sink with a...

It's like a quarian sink at solid surface, quarian sink with a quarian stone hiding the drain.

It wasn't round.

It was like a stone shape, hiding the drain.

Oh, you're back.

I'm back.

I was just telling the story to Podcastland out there.

But it was hiding the drain, and I was like, son of a bitch.

Some Scandinavian guy with Scouring Dwell or Design Milk or Architize or some blog that published that erosion sink that I did, saw my detail of that stone and then ripped it off.

Now, maybe it did, maybe it didn't.

I don't know.

But the fact was, I'd done it a couple of years before this guy did it, and that's what I saw at IKEA.

Almost verbatim what I had done.


Not a big deal.

Since then, people have really kind of gone on to do what I'd call ring drains.

And a ring drain essentially is just a hidden drain.

It's like a round slot drain, and the drain is recessed and there's a cover.

And again, this has kind of become more commonplace.

I've seen some concrete people doing it.

I've seen it done.

And again, like it's all surface industries and things.

People are doing it.

I'm working on doing something like that for this class, but I approached it from the stone idea of the three nubs, the half round domes, registering into the underside of the cover, and creating that whole thing.

So I designed, I just drew it actually on paper, but I designed it, and I tried to model it in Fusion 360.

I'm a Luddite when it comes to Fusion 360, so I ended up getting Caleb Lawson.

He helped me.

I also hired another guy.

Let me just air my grievance real quick on this other guy I hired.

So I put a post up on Facebook in a Fusion group.

I'm like, hey, I'm looking for some help with Fusion 360 modeling.

Somebody local to Wichita would be great, so we could meet up and I could show sketches and what I need.

And the guy responded, and he actually came out to my shop on the weekend, and I showed him everything.

He's like, great, great, great.

And he gave me his hourly rate.

Okay, great.

And he's like, I have a three-hour minimum.


So I do the drawing.

I send it to him.

He models it and sends it to me.

And in his email, he said, hey, just so you know, I'm not even close to three hours.

If you need me to make any changes or any alterations, let me know.

And I said, yeah, dude.

I was like, well, you know, I want to do some other shapes, square, triangle, whatever, of these types of drains.

Why don't we do one that's square?

Now, again, it's the same concept.

Instead of just being a round cover, it's a square cover.

And so, you know, it's not like, let's design a concrete planter.

We're still doing a drain.

He's like, well, that's a whole new project.

So the three-hour time clock is going to start over again, my three-hour minimum.

That doesn't make sense to me.

I know.

So stupid.

And this is a kid.

Works by himself.

You know, he's not working for some huge corporation.

And he says I have to open a new ticket.

A new ticket?



With a new three-hour minimum.

A new ticket, though.

I mean, it's the terminology that drives me nuts.

And I said, really, dude?

Like, you can't just keep track of your hours and bill me like if it takes seven hours, you bill me seven hours, or it takes 10 hours, whatever, you know?

Like, every time we do anything, it's a new three-hour minimum?

Like, if I give you a stack of designs I need done to render, you're going to charge me three hours minimum for every one, even if it only takes you six hours to do, right?

You're going to charge me 30 hours instead of six hours.

Yeah, it's my policy.

Okay, so just like that, I'll never do business with this guy again.

Like, he lost the...

Before we even got started, it's over.

And it's just stupidity.

People are just idiotic when it comes to business decisions and like relationships and doing the right thing and treating people who want to be treated.

And, you know, the whole ticket thing, just terminal, things bug me.

There used to be this guy in the industry that used to sell plans on tables that would flip countertops.

And he would refer to his shop as a plant, as a concrete countertop plant.

And, dude, when I think of plant, I think of like whistles blowing, booooo, time for lunch!

And there's like a hundred guys with their metal lunchboxes falling outside, you know?

And there's big smoke stacks in the huge building, kind of like what Solomon looks like, like a huge brick building built in the early 1900s with big windows and skylights.

And then booooo!

And everybody's like, oh, back to work, Bill!

All right, Bob, see you later, Sam!

And everybody heads back.

That's the plant, right?

It's not one guy working in his little garage.

That's not a plant.

So this guy's like, oh, I need to open a new ticket.

A new ticket?

You're not tech support at AOL.

Like, a new ticket?

A ticket for what?

Ah, anyways.

No, that's too bad, because, well, there you go.

But anyways, hold on.

I digress.

Well, hang on.

Let's move that to our business.

Here's the reality.

I mean, to correlate that, that would be like if I went out to a project, right?

And whatever, you know, came out, put it all together.

We sat down.

Hey, by the way, it's a blankety blank non-refundable project, you know, deposit on this particular project.

And then like, okay, yep, that sounds great.

And then later a cabinet got moved or whatever the case may be.

And they're like, well, hey, can you know, come back out.

So instead of me just charging the time to go out and re-template or whatever the case may be, oh, no, no, well, that's an entirely new project.

And so I need a whole new non-refundable deposit to continue with this new project.

Now, all of us would say that doesn't make sense.

And that doesn't make sense.

You just, you know, just add it in, add it in, make a modification.

It's too bad because again, if someone, if we did our business that way, I'd say the same thing.

You just lost a job.

You just lost a client, a contractor.

They're not going to use you again if that's what you did.

I know.

I'm going to write them a message and just say, listen, dude, I'm just going to explain to you, like, why I'm not going to use you again.

And, you know, don't take this personal because it's not personal.

It's not personal.

This is just, you know, this is not a way to develop long-term relationships with customers by doing this.

By Nicola and Diamond, oh, oh, oh, that's another three hours, bro.

Just let me give you, like, a list of things to do.

You spend 10 hours, you spend 20, whatever.

You can raise your hourly rate if that's what you need to do.

But yeah, that's, I mean, that's crazy.

Oh, that's our policy.

You know, there was a...

Our policy.

Hold on, hold on, Jon, because we hear so much from other customers in this concrete industry.

There was a guy that was selling sealer at a discount to people that came to his workshop, right?

So people come to his workshop, he'd sell them sealer.

And he had like a two week window of when he would give you the 30% discount or something.

And the guy came to his class, he left, he went back to his shop.

On like the 15th day, he called and said, hey, I need to place an order for sealer.

And he's like, well, you missed the 14 day window, so I can't do the discount.

That's my policy.

Shut up, shut up.

But he lost a customer.

The guy came to us and was like, yeah, I'm not going to use them.

That same company, a guy bought sealer, he shipped the guy the sealer, the guy got it, and on the expiration date, it expired like in two weeks.

And he called him up and said, hey, dude, I just got this sealer.

You just shipped it and it expires in two weeks.

He's like, yeah.

He's like, it's supposed to have like a six month shelf life.

He's like, well, if you want more sealer, buy some more.

He's like, but I just bought it.

It expires in two weeks.

He's like, yeah, I don't have to tell you, buy more.

And again, he lost a customer.

That guy came to us and has been a phenomenal customer.

But just treat people the way you want to be treated.

That's what it comes down to.

The golden rule.

We talked about it last week.

Treat people the way to be treated.

Nobody wants to be nickel and dimed on anything.

Nobody wants to be told, well, that's our policy.

So, hey, we're just going to screw you because that's my policy to screw people.

I like this one.

I wonder what he meant by our policy because didn't you say he works for himself?


So, what's our policy?


He's standing in front of the mirror going, yeah, man, we're not going to let him get away with this.

No, I mean, I could go on and on.

When I meet with a photographer, which I've done over the years, I don't know how many times, a new photographer, I'm like, hey, here's what I need.

I need you to come in, I need you to shoot a sink and a countertop.

What's that going to run me?

Well, how are you going to use the photos?

I don't know, bro.

My Instagram, Facebook, you know, put on my website.

Well, my policy is, they're not your photos, they're my photos, and I'll license them to you.

So, you know, we'll figure out a rate that's fair for both parties.

I'm like, no.

These are my photos.

That's my sink, that's my countertop.

I'm paying you to come in to do a service, which is take a photo.

Now, you're a skilled craftsman in that trade.

You have the equipment, you have the skill set, but you don't have access to that sink or that countertop.

Those are my projects that you're photographing.

So I'm not licensing anything from you.

I'm going to pay you to come do it.

Well, my policy is, well, your policy just lost you a potential long-term client.

You know, I've had that discussion, and I've told people that numerous times.

I'm not going to use you because that is a bullshit way to do business.

Same thing with architects, bro.

I'm working on this project in Arkansas.

I interviewed several architects for this project, but also for my house as well.

In the beginning, now, the architects I dealt with on the Arkansas project actually didn't try to do this to me.

Actually, one did.

One of them did, actually.

But when I zoomed my house, they all tried to do this.

They were like, well, we charge a percentage of the construction budget.


Yeah, yeah, 15% of construction is our general fee.

So if I decide to go with triple pane windows, or if I decide to go with higher grade flooring, you make more money.



Well, that's just our policy.

Okay, but you didn't provide any more service.

You didn't bring any more value to the project.

It's just if I make a choice as the customer to upgrade certain parts of my build, you get more money?


That doesn't make sense to me.

Like, this is insane.

Well, that's just the way we do business.

Well, you're not going to do business with me.

I'm not going to do it.

And so when I was doing this most recent project I'm working on and I was interviewing people, one of them tried to do that, write it from the get-go.

Well, we charge a percentage.

I said, I don't.

I do not play it like that.

Like, I want you to give me a fee, and the fee is for your service.

If we add more to the service, then obviously there's going to be additional charges.

But if your service is you're going to provide construction documents for the construction loan, then that's your service.

And you say, well, it's going to take us 80 hours to do that, and here's our fee, and this is what's going to run.


But if you're like, oh, we want 15%, get the fuck out of here.

That's not going to happen.

That's like me saying, for my sink, well, this is a piece of art, and there's really no value I can put on my art, so I'm going to charge you 7% of your build.

And they'll be like, what?

Yes, for my sink, I want 7%.

But why?

If we put in a pool where you need to give you more money, yes, that's my policy.

If you put in a pool, if you put a helipad in, you need to write me a check.

It makes zero sense.

My point is, treat people the way you'd want to be treated.

Nobody wants to be treated that way.

It's idiotic.

That's no way to build a business.

That's no way to treat a customer.

And ultimately, you're going to lose out.

Anyways, I digress.

So back to where I was going, Jon, before I got on this whole derailment of a topic.

Yeah, you're getting me all worked up again.

I know.

I know.

I got to get in a Zen place.

I'm teaching a class in two days.

I can't get all worked up right now.

I got to chill out.

So anyways, I did this really cool design for this recessed drain with a ring drain.

That's kind of a hard thing to say, ring drain.

With a ring drain and 3D printed it.

And I'm going to be working on a rubber mold today.

It's actually going to be, it's going to be, one's a two-part rubber mold, one's one part, but it's two components.

And I'll be working on a rubber mold today, tomorrow, and then actually with the class on Friday, we'll do some rubber as well.

But I'm excited about it.

I'm excited about it.

And this is one of those things that design is everything.

We could do a fabric form sink, which is just a regular drain that's exposed, but this is going to take it to the next level.

And it's so subtle.

And when people see it, it seems so simple.

But there's so much that goes into it to make it, to execute it at a very clean, precise level.

There's a lot of steps to go into it.

And so the workshop attendees are going to see the process and how it all goes together.

Yeah, I can't wait to see it, man.

I think that's going to be cool.

All right.

Well, are we ready to do our little bitchfest?

You want to talk about our bitchfest?

Okay, I'll let you do it first.

Bitchfest 2024, BG and Jon.

Okay, go.

What are you bitching about?

Well, dude, mine, mine came from a forum I'm not even on anymore, but somebody sent me a screenshot, and it's hilarious.

Okay, so we have a guy that came to, he's been to several workshops, and he made a Ram Creek piece that's a side table.

And he's proud of it.

It's a cool table.

He's proud of it.

He posted a photo on a forum.

And the same as the first run at it, he tried something cool.

Yeah, but he posted a photo.

And some girlfriend of a guy in this industry commented, what are you doing, blowing BG?

Something like that.

Yeah, right?

You're blowing BG?

And then some other guy who was like, yeah, man, if you don't want to support Kodiak, if you don't want to patronize Kodiak, I'm like, what?

Some guy posted a photo of a table he's proud of.

And some girlfriend of a dude had something negative to say.

You know?

I don't know.

See, I'll never understand that kind of stuff.

See, I'm still one of those like, unless it's directed at me, if you don't like what's it, just scroll on, man.

Just scroll on.


Like if you didn't like his table, which, hey, look, like I said, everything's subjective, like the vanity I just said.

So if you love it, hey, man, make a post.

Help encourage this person to continue to refine what they're doing or don't, you know, maybe it's super cool as is, but I just don't understand who somebody's sitting behind their keyboard who needs it.

Not, that's what's funny.

It wasn't even a comment about the table.

It was about blowing BG.


I know.

That's weird.

That's so out of bounds to me.

It's crazy.

What's weird to me about that whole thing, though, is, you know, at night when I get home and we're having dinner, we're talking about, hey, you know, hey girls, how was school today?

Oh, yeah, it's one practice.


You went to tennis.

Tell me about that.

It's not like, this guy BG.

But they gotta be, you know, the thing is, if your girlfriend, you don't even do this, and your girlfriend feels the need to just make this spontaneous comment bashing me on a post where some guy is proud of a table he made.

Well, we're taking for granted it was a bash.

How do you know it wasn't like?

She's just jealous.

Well, hold on, because I'm finding the text of the person sent me with the screenshot.

Let me see.

I'll tell you exactly what I said.

Boy, you guys really blow BG, don't you?

Like, how much do you guys, how much do you and your boyfriend talk about me?

That you guys, this is your first, this is the first thing that pops in your head.

And then you feel the need to post this on a forum.

Like, how sad of a little person you are.

And then this other guy who doesn't even do concrete, he does plaster, he doesn't even do concrete.

It says, you can do the same thing with other mixes that are hand-packed if you don't want to patronize Kodiak.

That's one I don't understand, too.

Is there a reason why you wouldn't want to do business with Kodiak?

I mean, that one kind of loses me.

See, that's like a...

What do they call that?

You know, what?

Aggressive, I can't even...


Yeah, this final kind of comment at the end.

Like, okay, well, I'll tell you what, partner.

I mean, you clearly had an answer from a different direction.

You know, show me how to achieve that aesthetic with something else.

With Quikrete, yeah, let's do it.

Yeah, yeah.

And you know it's not going to happen, so I don't know.

Again, that's a weird one.

That's a weird one for me of you don't want to patronize a company that's owned by two family men.

We both have children.

Two guys have been doing this for over two decades each.

Over two decades.

We're not combining experience.

We've each been doing this for two decades.

We've innovated a completely new product.

We're not repackaging.

We've innovated new products, and we do everything we can to champion the success of others in this business.

Talk to the fanboys and fangirls of this industry.

Talk to them.

We go out of our way to help them and champion them and help them be successful in any way we can.

So you don't want to patronize a company like that.

You'd rather patronize Quickrete?


Tell me about that.

Please, explain.

Anyways, so that's my little bitch fest.

What's your bitch fest?

What do you got?

Well, that actually continues to come full circle.

With the last podcast, we were talking about certain people would be like, I would never buy, you know, merch for customers.

We just don't do that.

And I'm thinking like, man, again, how did that become a bad thing?

Well, I sent you a post, so I'm looking at buying an RV right now.

Yeah, that's what I was referencing to.

And like, yeah, I mean, this person was over the top when they got a...

Hold on, let me tell them.

Let me tell them, Jon.

So I'm looking at buying an RV right now.

This company called Brinkley is what I'm looking at.

And I'm on one of these Brinkley Facebook groups.

And people post, they'll get in the mail.

So they'll...

I'm not going to buy one of these.

I'm not buying like one of the really high dollar ones, but I'll buy like, you know, $120,000 or $150,000 fifth wheel.

And they'll get in the mail a package from Brinkley that's a blanket that's embroidered and a couple of hats and a key chain.

And people go on and like, oh my God, I can't wait to wrap myself in this blanket by the fire with my Brinkley hat, blah, blah, blah.

It goes a long way to say thank you.

It goes a long way.

And that's what we try to do.

But yeah, for another concrete supplier out there, material supplier, to say we would never waste our money buying merch for our customers.


Burns, Mr.

Burns over there counting your money.

Oh, Flanders, like, well, we're not gonna spend our money, you know.

Yeah, no, it's just, it's so...

That's crazy, man, because when you send me stuff and you come up with ideas, I'll tell you what, not just me, my son, my wife, we love it.

We open them like, oh yeah, let's try it on.

I don't know.

Yes, I guess it's easy for you.

Oh, it's just because, you know, you're part of it.

Well, maybe, man, but shoot, you talked to me the other day.

I was headed out the door and that's what I had.

Let me say this, let me say this.

I'm just gonna put it out there because I think it's important, even though you probably don't, a lot of people think it's tacky, I don't care.

Aaron's doing the books right now.

And I threw out a number last time.

It is almost $30,000 that we spent last, or this last year on merch, right?

Close to $30,000 is what we spent.

That's cool.

But here's the thing.

What does that mean?

That means I, out of the profits of the company, which would be distributed to the shareholders, which is me and you, I took $15,000 of my money, I took $15,000 and you took $15,000 out of the pay.

So how many of these other vendors out there do you think would take $15,000 out of their pocket to say thank you?

That's what we're doing.

And why is that a bad thing?

That's my point.

That's what I don't understand.

But it's not a little investment.

We're not spending $30 on whatever, some free pens that we send out.

We put a substantial amount of money towards this, and I don't have any regrets for doing it.

I love doing it.

For me, it's an important part of our business.

An attitude of gratitude goes a long way.

It's fun, and it builds the culture we want to build, and it builds a culture of gratitude.

And the community.

I think it's great.


Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Anyways, so what do you got?

Well, mine comes back to what I'm dealing with right now.

We're going to talk about the solar panels?

I'm just, again, back to the whole idea of being a consumer.

So I signed up for a solar package, right, with the idea of adding in a solar backup battery and thinking, you know, sweet, if something goes sideways, power goes out, this battery is big enough to get my, as we call them, critical circuits, meaning the refrigerators and stuff, to get through the night so you don't get food spoilage, right?

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's the way you do it.

Boom, boom, boom, boom.

You add it all in.

And for the last three years, when power goes out at a certain time, in this case, let's say 6 p.m., like we just had a fire here, I don't know, 30 miles away, and in his case, we have PG&E, they shut down the grid to stop other potential fires associated with hitting power lines or whatever the case might be.

And when that happens, my backup battery is not enough to sustain my refrigerators, and I could never find out why.

It didn't make sense to me.

So over the last three years, I kept asking more and more questions.

Well, as it turns out, this particular company has known from the very start that it would never do it because during those hours, it's called discharging, they empty 80% of the battery's capacity backed into the system, meaning the grid, and so overnight, you only have 20% capacity no matter what.

And they knew it right from the get go, right?

So now I'm looking at options of coming back at this company to say, hey, you essentially sold me a bill of goods, and that's bullshit.

And as a consumer, that's so frustrating.

And so I was, as we were just saying earlier, so I'm correlating that to a lot of the things that we have dealt with in this industry, and I'm not going to say which ones they are, but I pulled up a couple of the other products that are out there.

And I just, it's so, again, eliminates pinholes, you know, eliminates curling, crazing, bowing, eliminates can be used for this, UHPC, GFRC, eliminates this, eliminates this need or that need, and I'm reading each of them with these two companies.

They say the same stuff, which we all know is bullcrap.

They don't eliminate it.

They don't.

And this is what we've been talking about as consumers.

Again, I'm not putting these two companies and their products on blast.

It's more along the lines.

I'm trying to take this from a consumer point of view, right?

They knew all along.

They knew all along it would never get me my capacity through the night.

It was never a question.

And so now here I am three years later, finally asking the right questions as I slowly gained more info to find out it was all bullshit.

And it's just so frustrating.

It's very frustrating.

It goes back to I wish these companies would not put that stuff out there as we just saw.

And, you know, just say, yeah, hey, man, with this, you're probably going to get voids.

Boy, you know, per the posting Phil Courtney just put a minute ago, he showed one product done with a certain manufacturer's product that came out flawless.

And another same casting technique, except a different product, came out with a lot of holes, right?

Neither of which is good or bad.

It just depends on what your, you know, end expectation was.

So, you know, like in the one, if you're using RadMix, but you expected a whole lot of holes, well, then boom, you got it because that's what it creates.

In this case, it doesn't.

So if you do create those, then we know something was, you know, something modified in your casting technique or the way you mix or too much of this, too much of that, because we know these products, that's not their intention.

On the flip side, when you read these products that says, eliminates this, eliminates that, and turns out, no.

And they've known all along it doesn't eliminate it, then why is that information out there?


Well, another thing that strikes me about what you just said is what you did, and what we always joke about, what you and I do, is we always have to throw the caveat of, it's not good and it's not bad.

No, it is good and it is bad.

That product sucks.

It really is, yeah.

And this product, MakerMix, is way better.

Doing this long enough, you always feel like you have to put your guard up, right?

Well, you don't want to offend anybody.

So you don't want to offend anybody by saying, well, it's not good and it's not bad.

It depends on expectations.

Let's stop doing that.

That product sucks.

I use that technology of products for a long time.

From 2005 until Kodiak, really, I was using that generation of products.

They're all the same thing.

A polymer, sand, cement, plasticizer, maybe a shrinkage reducer.

There's not a whole lot to them, and they all have the exact same issues.

It doesn't matter which one you use.

It doesn't matter if you get that flavor, that flavor, that flavor.

They all have the same problems, and everybody can attest to that.

And so for you and I to sit here, like gun-shy, you know...

Yeah, I just don't want to take the heat.

I don't care about the heat.

I love the heat.

Give me the heat.

I love the heat.


I was born in the fire.

What does that Bane, what does he say?

I think his is the darkness.

I was born in the dark.

I don't know.

But anyways, I did live in Arizona for 17 years, so I do love the heat.

So bring it.

But no, those products suck, and it's okay to say it sucks.

Nobody wants air holes.

Nobody wants air holes.

Okay, let me back up.

There's going to be certain instances, very rare instances, where you'll want air holes.

And there's a way to do that with some baking soda that you sling with a brush on your form, and then you pour your concrete.

It's going to create those air voids.

If that's a look that that one in 1000 customer wants, and that will come along very rarely.

But for anybody to say, my clients like my concrete full of bug holes, no, they don't.

No, they don't.

You're telling yourself that.

You're still in denial.

You're telling yourself that, and you're selling it based on that because your client doesn't know any different.

Per what someone else said, like, yeah, I'd rather not post this because I don't want this client to know they could have gotten this.


When they got that.


If you gave the customer a choice, you put two side by side, you say, which one do you want?

They're going to want the better quality concrete.

That's what they're going to want.

That's what you would want.

Well, that's what I would want.

Yeah, that's what anybody would want.

You'd want the better quality.

And I think most people are going to associate quality with is full of air, because they have all these streaks on, all these weird color modeling from the polymer.

Well, they can associate with value.

This is what I paid.

Yeah, is this worth what I purchased this for?

And that's kind of where I'm going with right now is like, wait a minute, man, then I'm not getting my value.

I'm not.

This is not what I paid for.

What I paid for was a system, and this is what it was supposed to do.

And now you're telling me all along, it was never going to do that.

Yeah, so now I'm back to looking at my options of coming back at this company and either class action suit or something, because this is ridiculous.

This is horrible.

You went zero to 100, didn't you?

Class action lawsuit.

No, I'm going after it, man.

This is not right.

It's not right.

No, it's not right.

And the only thing I can think of...

Had they just been honest, from the get-go, had they said, Jon, here's the way the system works, then you could have made an educated decision.

Had you decided to move forward, there wouldn't be any of this going on now, because you would have known.


Yeah, this is not right.

I'm not right, and I'm very frustrated about it.

And I know if I am frustrated about it, there's untold amount of people, not just in my area, but in general, they're having the same issue.

There's no question about it.

You know, I'm not on an island by myself.

So I'm going to start putting out the information and get these people together and say, you know, how do we move forward to combat this?

Because at the moment, it doesn't seem like the company themselves.

They're just like, yeah, well, you know, it just is.

Well, that's not cool.

Well, I'm sure they've done the math.

The occasional customer like you that's upset about it, it's not worth it to them.

They'll keep with their deceptive sales practices to sell systems to people, and most people will never notice.

So they're like, yeah, whatever.

You know, same thing.

To tie it back to Concrete before we wrap this up, you know, somebody's selling you some crappy ad mix and saying it makes UHPC.

No, it doesn't.

Everybody that does this for a living knows that you're not going to take some crappy ad mix and add a few pounds to your mix and make UHPC.

That's not the way the chemistry works.

There's zero chance of that happening.

But they sell it.

And so somebody doesn't know, buys it, and they're like, well, I'm making UHPC, because that's what the guy told me at the company, the website that I bought it from.

Well, you never know, because you don't test your concrete anyway.

But go from the other direction, as I just closed those things, where it says eliminates pinholes and eliminates curl.

Well, when you cast that piece and it curled, now your frustration is you.

Okay, so what did I do wrong?

What did I do differently?

How do I fix this?

When you call that company, and then you call them and they're like, oh, yeah, we're the only one.

Nobody else.

Maybe, you know, now you just need to add more.

Oh, okay.

Or, yeah, you didn't add enough.

Or, oh, you added too much.

You know, per what I've dealt with the last three years, the first couple of times that this happened, yeah, they had all these reasons.

They sent ten technicians out.

Oh, it was a glitch.


Well, you sent technicians out, knowing all along what the issue is.


Well, right on, man.

Well, I'm going to go modify a couple buckets so they can get ready for the discharge hose technique.


And, yeah, exciting, exciting times.

I'm going to make some stickers.


I'm going to start shipping them to people.

You know what you need to do though?

Don't they make those, the wash off tattoos, you know, the temporary tattoos?


So we should get that made into a tattoo.

Yeah, yeah.

Put it on your neck.

I want to put it on my forearm.

That way I can always flash and go, yeah, good Brandon Gore, dude.

All right, homie.

Well, I'm teaching this weekend, but we might do a podcast next week, midweek.

We'll see.

We'll see how it goes.

Sounds great.

All right, man.

All right, my friend.