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In this issue...
News from
The Decorative Concrete Institute

May 2008
Dear Bob,

Are you looking to break into the decorative concrete world? Or, perhaps, are you a seasoned
veteran of the business looking for new ideas and to sharpen your skills? We have training opportunities available for everyone! We've just added several new classes.

Be sure to
check out the training available on our website:
Decorative Concrete Institute

Bob Harris
Tips for the Busy Season

Well it's hard to believe we are already here in the busy construction schedule. Hopefully all of you made it through the winter and were able to keep yourself busy.  Remember as the season starts to get busy, it's easy to overlook a few very important considerations.  Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind for you concrete heads and staining junkies. 
As the temperatures increase, certainly this means that the concrete can set faster.  Many of you will retard the concrete to help adjust the setting time, but keep in mind, when you add 2 or more admixtures to the concrete, it can make the concrete spongy and almost like jello.  This was the case for a recent friend/contractor in which the Ready-Mix producer overdosed the chemical admixtures.  The first load of concrete he stamped had no admixtures and it came out beautiful.  The second load of concrete had a high dose of retarder to control the setting time in addition to high air which made for unworkable concrete.  The following day once the powder release was washed off, the first load had a perfectly clean imprint while the second load had thousands of plastic shrinkage cracks or tears all over the pattern.  The end result is he has to scarify and overlay this unfortunate situation. 
The bottom line is as the temperatures increase; please have good working knowledge of your concrete.
If you are staining in an exterior application, make certain that you are staining in the coolest part of the day since acid stains react much faster under heat.  It is a good idea in warm conditions to pre-wet the concrete, commonly known as SSD (saturated surface dry) to slow down the absorption and the reaction.  If you stain in excessive heat, you stand the chance of getting unwanted spray lines or brush marks from your broom.  One last tip, try to conduct a job site sample for your client to choose from.  This inexpensive test can save your rear especially if you have a picky client that claims that your stain job is too orange or too dark.  Have them sign off on their approved sample.

Chemical Staining & Specialty Techniques

April 17-18, 2008
Our class consisted of some very creative and motivated students.  We broke our students into four groups and I've got to tell you, each group produced some beautiful work and all of the groups were unique.  After some training on using the grinding and engraving tools, the class was well on their way to produce their own masterpieces. 
During this class, the students had the opportunity to learn 4 different ways in which Modello stencils can be used to compliment their stained project.  In addition, LesCoat resist was demonstrated if the intention is to not have any saw cuts, but yet a clean define line.  Not only did the students have the ability to create and work on their own panels, they actually got some hands-on staining experience on stamped concrete. 

The class was capped off with demonstrations of sealers ranging from water and solvent-based acrylics, epoxies and urethanes.  And of course in attendance were both Barb and Sarge of Kemiko.

Great job gang and remember to send us pictures of your excellent work!

Preitech Training DVD
April 21-22, 2008

As many of you have seen in the past, we have started a relationship with a company called Preitech who is a manufacturer of unbelievable reusable and one-time use countertop forms as well as a host of accessory items.  You may have seen our custom Harley Davidson sinks in past newsletters or magazine articles using this system.  In April the company's owner, Mike Eastergard, asked me to help him produce a training DVD and Overview of Preitech's product line.  This DVD covers from A-Z proper sub-base, edge forming, sink knockouts as well as a variety of other topics such as mix designs for the precast professional.  Keep an eye out for the release of this instructional DVD in midsummer and also for our upcoming Preitech workshop scheduled for July 17-18.

Click Here for More Information on the Preitech Workshop!
Consulting Gig

April 24-25, 2008

Bob flies to Arkansas for a two-day consulting for a large box store retailer.  The goal during this time frame was to come up with a formula not only for color, but for the proper polishing sequence to best facilitate the client's needs. 

Keep an eye out for this National specification and who knows, one of you could potentially be working on one or more of these huge installs.
Ride to Panama City

Bob and Lee Ann join friends for a roundtrip ride of close to 700 miles to Panama City for a much needed weekend away from work. 

We figured this would be a great opportunity to warm up for our big ride in June across the United States benefiting Breast Cancer. 

I must say other than a sore tailbone for Lee Ann she did great and I have full confidence that we will have a great ride! 
Vertical Artisans

The Decorative Concrete Institute has built a business on education and continually strives to stay on the cutting edge of education.  Having said that, we came across an individual by the name of Nathan Giffin who is the owner of Vertical Artisans.  Nathan contacted us and invited us on a tour of his educational website with the focused topic being amazing vertical stamped concrete applications.  His website offers a range of instructional movies from featured, well-respected artisans that have been in the business for a long time.  If you thinking about getting into this aspect of decorative concrete or you are currently installing vertical, you may want to consider logging on to his website at:

www.verticalartisans.com or our website

www.decorativeconcreteinstitute.com and sign up for his on-line training. 

The annual fee gives you unlimited access to some of the most cutting edge applications in the industry. 

If you are interested be sure to use discount code DCI to save $195 off your subscription!

Upcoming ride for Breast Cancer, "Decorative Concrete Institute Ride for the Cure 2008"

We here at Decorative Concrete Institute would personally like to thank many of you for your contributions to this very important cause.  We will start our ride on Saturday, June 7.

The goal we set was $10,000.00 and we have currently raised $4,620 thus far.  For those of you wanting contribute, please visit our website for more information.

Please visit our website for a list of exciting classes we have coming up as well as some courses being held on the West Coast in California.  Like always, we have other exciting news to talk about in future newsletters, so stay tuned.
About Us

The Decorative Concrete Institute continues to provide consulting, education, installation and training to marketplaces across the United States and Internationally. DCI places its focus on Architects, Artists, Concrete Finishers, Faux Finishers, General Contractors, Interior Designers, Ready Mix Producers, etc. to bring them knowledge and offer advice on the demands of Interior and Exterior Architectural Design.

DCI has worked with and continues to work with a diverse range of industry professionals catering to the individual needs of each project focusing on products and designs that are conducive to the particular environment they are working in. DCI consults with on-the-job applications and installations and provides the technical expertise to complete jobs successfully.

phone: 770-562-1441