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Thread: Body Filler Tips and Techniques and then some

  1. #1
    will work for food! phatfarmer2's Avatar
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    Body Filler Tips and Techniques and then some

    First off dont every use "BONDO" <--- you know that cheap brand u can buy at walmart or advanced auto. Trust me you want to use a quality filler.

    I reccomend any RAGE product. It sands very well, mixes easy, spreads nice, and is virtually pin hole free.

    Plastic fillers these days have come a long way since fillers of early hot rodding. They do not need to be applied to bare metal, however the paint/primer still needs to be scuffed up so it can adhear to. Scuffing the paint with anywhere between 80-180 grit will do the trick.

    When applying filler remember less is always better. Try to get your metal work as best as u can with out major dents, warping, or whatever imperfections you can avoid. u really should be useing no more then 1/4", however depending on a situation you may be needinf to use more. But dont rely on doing that, you are risking the chance of craking.

    Do Not use filler to fill holes or rust or rusted out completly areas! trust me do it right and weld the holes up and patch the rust! You only want to do the work once trust me!

    When applying filler always spread parell to the ground (left to right). why? u may ask, well if you spread filler up and down you will get lots of high and low spots. Spreading the filler left to right will make a void or low spot less noticable when it is painted, if it happens to occur.

    When mixing your filler, do not stir it! You need to kneed it, (bring the bottom to the top) and throughly mix it to a uniform color. stiring it will introduce air into the filler and cause pin holes, and they suck!

    when sanding filler you want to sand in a pattern like this ////// then go back over that spot and do this \\\\\\\\ so that it will form and XXXXX pattern... this will make your work nice and straight and will reduce sanding marks.

    I like to mix my filler on flat clean cardboard. Why? its fee, and easy to clean up, aka throw in the trash when done. Also when cleaning up your spreader dont let the filler harden on there, clean it with a solvent, it will prolong your spreaders life. Your want to use a nice clean spreader. If the spreader has an unflat edge throw it out and use a new one. Remember the flatter you put the filler on will reduce the amount of sanding (flat spreader = flat filler)

    Ever have filler get a lil dry in the container? You can rejuvinate it by mixing a small amount of fiberglass resin (minus the fiberglass hardner) into the container. Also you can do this if you want to make the filler easier to spread.

    Want to save your arms a lil from block sanding? When your filler is some what tacky take some 36 grit paper and rough out you high spots, it will sand like nothing, just dont go overboard, beacuse you can sand off to much, then let the filler dry harden completly and then sand it liek you normally would.

    When sanding i usually start wit 36 to rough it out on the first coat. Apply the second coat then form there on i stick with 80 untill i have it near perfect, then i switch to 100 or 180 depending on how much more needs to be sanded off. Finally i finish with 220, but that really depends on your primer.

    Want to see if you have high and low spots in your work? Dust some some flat black rattle can paint on the filler (known as a guide coat), and then block it, where u see the black paint means you have a low spot, so that either means you need to sand more off or apply more filler, you be the judge on that. 3M also make a poweder form of a guide coat


    Hope that helps any of you guys out, it takes practice to get this down pat, but with a little time you can get it. And remember where a dust mask when sanding, SAVE YOUR LUNGS! Enjoy i will add more if i think of it!
    Last edited by phatfarmer2; 01-30-2006 at 10:50 PM.
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  2. #2
    lowered member mpeace's Avatar
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    http://www.autotoolmart.com/cgi-bin/...886&p_catid=63

    is this what you are talking about?
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  3. #3
    bagged member banginjimmy's Avatar
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    nice tutorial

    I know I am doing my first body work now and I learned all that the hard way.

  4. #4
    will work for food! phatfarmer2's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mpeace
    http://www.autotoolmart.com/cgi-bin/...886&p_catid=63

    is this what you are talking about?
    yeah that stuff is good, i prefer rage gold tho.. it sands like nothing
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    Senior Member HaVoC's Avatar
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    martin, I think I love you, and not in a gay way, thanks for the tips :bigthumb:
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    Originally posted by lowblazin94
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    It's all about to change winditup57's Avatar
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    very nice...I vote for a sticky on this!!!
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    Registered User toals's Avatar
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    Sounds like good tips from experience.

    Thank You.

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    i was told to never use cardboard as a mixing platform because it will suck some of the chemicals out of the filler. always use plastic or metal or something like that. wicked tutorial though. also have you ever used one of those "cheese graters" to knock down your high spots? i've never tried the heavy grit meathod. i'll have to give it a try

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    nice, i wish i knew about the pinhole thing when i did my bodywork, i didnt know what was causing it.


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  10. #10
    will work for food! phatfarmer2's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 87blazincanada
    i was told to never use cardboard as a mixing platform because it will suck some of the chemicals out of the filler. always use plastic or metal or something like that. wicked tutorial though. also have you ever used one of those "cheese graters" to knock down your high spots? i've never tried the heavy grit meathod. i'll have to give it a try
    cardboard is fine, it really wont suck out enough chemical to worry. cheese grater i have heard of, dont like it to much.. i prefer using a heavy grit paper, doesnt dig in as much as the grater.
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  11. #11
    Under Construction 98low4x4blazer's Avatar
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    good, tips. body work is always fun!
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  12. #12
    . SlimJimmy's Avatar
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    Ill add a couple tips ive learned. If you are using the plastic spreaders, it may infact be easier to take whatever filler you have left and glob it on the end of the spreader and let it dry, when it is dry it will peel off in a large chunk leaving your spreader clean and good to go. Also, if you are a cheapass, and your spreader edge for whatever reason gets rough, you can use some high grit sandpaper, put it on flat ground, and run the spreader back and forth across it a few times. Also, when knocking down the high spots with the low grit paper, i like to use a penumatic long board sander. Then finish off with a hand block.

  13. #13
    Fiberglass Fabrication EpicenterDesigns's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SlimJimmy
    it may infact be easier to take whatever filler you have left and glob it on the end of the spreader and let it dry, when it is dry it will peel off in a large chunk leaving your spreader clean and good to go.



    Thats what I do.
    When it starts to get useless, scoop it all up and let it dry. Then you can just pop it off and it cleans it for you.

    And I like using the grate over rough grit, mucho faster.

    But other than that......
    :bigthumb: Martin.


    The bitter after-taste of a poor quality job will last far longer than the sweetness of that cheap price!

  14. #14
    Registered User toals's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 87blazincanada
    i was told to never use cardboard as a mixing platform because it will suck some of the chemicals out of the filler. always use plastic or metal or something like that.
    I use an oblong tupperware bowl I got at the dollar store. It is not very deep and a little wider than a wide plastic spreader. Its easier to use than the cardboard as the filler isn't dripping off the edge. Plus the filler doesn't stick to it very well, so clean up is a snap.

    Keep the suggestions coming - this is what its all about.

  15. #15
    It's all about to change winditup57's Avatar
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    Originally posted by toals
    I use an oblong tupperware bowl I got at the dollar store. It is not very deep and a little wider than a wide plastic spreader. Its easier to use than the cardboard as the filler isn't dripping off the edge. Plus the filler doesn't stick to it very well, so clean up is a snap.

    Keep the suggestions coming - this is what its all about.
    interesting...but doesnt the corners fill up with filler? Not that it matters..but interesting none the least..I will have to try that :bigthumb:
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