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Tech tip for body filler users.

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  • Body / Glass: Tech tip for body filler users.

    Been working a fair bit with body filler lately, both the green glass-filled stuff, and the gray (bondo) filler. Came across a great way to keep the mixing board and tools clean. I have been using small sheets of scrap Plexiglass as mixing boards. Nice slick non-absorbent surface. I had been letting the residue harden on the board, and then grind it off with an angle grinder, but that's tedious. Now what I do is wet a paper towel with lacquer thinners, in this case dirty thinners that have already been used to clean paint brushes, and sponge the still-soft filler off the mixing board, putty knife, and spreaders. It takes it all off in a jiffy, and leaves the board and tools clean and shiny. Wipe dry with a clean paper towel. This is way quicker than any other method I have tried, and takes very little effort. And not much thinners, either. Acetone would also work, and is the recommended clean-up solvent for polyester resin. But I already had the pickle jar of dirty thinners on the bench. And every time I mix a batch of filler, it's like starting out with a brand new mixing board.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  • #2
    I use a poly pallet , avalable at any auto body supplier and cheap! Easy to clean with acetone or to flex and snap off dry filler if thick enuf.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bensherb View Post
      I use a poly pallet , avalable at any auto body supplier and cheap! Easy to clean with acetone or to flex and snap off dry filler if thick enuf.
      But if the residue is thick enough, it means you wasted filler. I have used the poly. I like the scrap plexiglass better. Warms my CASO heart.
      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gordr View Post

        But if the residue is thick enough, it means you wasted filler. I have used the poly. I like the scrap plexiglass better. Warms my CASO heart.
        True, I very very rarely have dry filler on my board , so usually clean it with acetone. I also never have "scrap" plexiglass. Plexi costs around $15 a square foot here, so everything gets used, the only plexi that gets scrapped at my place is the sawdust and chips.

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        • #5
          Scrap cardboard. I hang onto small card scraps, have a small box full.
          Toss the whole thing in the trash. No muss, no fuss.
          Just a little cleaning of the spreader.

          I've been using a marine based filler on some things lately (fixing welded Studebaker intake manifolds, among other things). Again, mixed on cardboard. My "wet" finger is the spreader, so a quick wipe, and done.

          Mike

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          • #6
            all are decent options.

            Thanks Gordr Ill give it a try when the time comes. If the plexi is thin enough then you can bend the plexi to break the contact of the bondo after it hardens.

            In auto body school we were always taught not to use cardboard, dont remember why cause guys use it all the time. I use to work in a body shop and work see guys use it also. But the preferred method, and this only makes sense if your doing body work for a job, is Clean Sheets. They are like a giant post it note pad. You rip of a sheet off when you are done and then you have a fresh mixing board.

            https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/pro...IaAvfaEALw_wcB
            Charles

            1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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            • #7
              Originally posted by what huh View Post
              all are decent options.

              Thanks Gordr Ill give it a try when the time comes. If the plexi is thin enough then you can bend the plexi to break the contact of the bondo after it hardens.

              In auto body school we were always taught not to use cardboard, dont remember why cause guys use it all the time. I use to work in a body shop and work see guys use it also. But the preferred method, and this only makes sense if your doing body work for a job, is Clean Sheets. They are like a giant post it note pad. You rip of a sheet off when you are done and then you have a fresh mixing board.

              https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/pro...IaAvfaEALw_wcB
              I believe that the thinking is that cardboard absorbs some of the chemicals or the hardener.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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              • #8
                Sorry...
                Seems that no one told the cardboard that I've used (most anything available..!) that it isn't supposed to work..!

                Never had any filler falling out or cracking problems.
                My first bout at using a filler, I owned the car just over 13 years after filling some trim holes (another supposid bad thing to do)... Never fell out, never cracked, lasted the whole 13 years..!
                Used cardboard to mix on back then too.

                Mike

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                • #9
                  Well, I had a big sheet of scrap plexiglass because I bought a Suburban that was an ex-Police rig, and they had in to protect the headliner. It was all scuffed, and not really usable for window purposes, and had holes drilled in it, too. So it was no big deal to make it into mixing boards.

                  Coroplast, the stuff they make signs from, is another good choice.
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                  • #10
                    I just use scraps from my woodshop. Use the a few time and toss them.

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                    • #11
                      Back in the day, we just used scrap pieces of Masonite. Never had any issues.
                      78 Avanti RQB 2792
                      64 Avanti R1 R5408
                      63 Avanti R1 R4551
                      63 Avanti R1 R2281
                      62 GT Hawk V15949
                      56 GH 6032504
                      56 GH 6032588
                      55 Speedster 7160047
                      55 Speedster 7165279

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                      • #12
                        This whole discussion has reminded me of my younger days when painting oils on canvas. Pads of disposable palettes are available at art supply dealers.
                        In my friend's shop, I, at his direction, always used a thin grade of aluminum, easily cleaned with the aforementioned lacquer thinner.
                        But a tear-off disposable palette may be just the ticket. Available in multiple sizes of non-absorbent parchment; usually two or three dozen sheets to a pad.

                        Click image for larger version  Name:	pallette.jpg Views:	0 Size:	11.0 KB ID:	1857251
                        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                        '33 Rockne 10,
                        '51 Commander Starlight,
                        '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                        '56 Sky Hawk

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                        • #13
                          When I was a kid, and didn't know any better way to repair rust out, I'd use the vent window glass from a 63 Chevrolet pick up. I still have that ole vent window glass some where in the bottom of the old tool box. Bondo, an intoxicating remembrance of youthful exuberance in having a set of nice looking wheels to entice the girls onto the tail gate.

                          Thanks fellas the memory catcher.

                          Bo

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                          • #14
                            I use the flexible poly board that is made specifically for body filler. If the remaining body filler is too thin to peal away from the board, then I see no harm in leaving it on there until it is thick enough to peal off. I use the board over and over again, meaning that there is no waste.
                            sigpic
                            In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by what huh View Post
                              all are decent options.

                              Thanks Gordr Ill give it a try when the time comes. If the plexi is thin enough then you can bend the plexi to break the contact of the bondo after it hardens.

                              In auto body school we were always taught not to use cardboard, dont remember why cause guys use it all the time. I use to work in a body shop and work see guys use it also. But the preferred method, and this only makes sense if your doing body work for a job, is Clean Sheets. They are like a giant post it note pad. You rip of a sheet off when you are done and then you have a fresh mixing board.

                              https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/pro...IaAvfaEALw_wcB
                              I think that the theory was that the wax used for cardboard would reduce adhesion of the mud. When I began my backyard projects more the five decades ago, I hadn't gotten the word about cardboard, so that's what I used. In fact "Bondo" still wasn't a known quantity. There wasn't any long term data on how it would hold up. Lead had been the go to process, but was mostly consigned to professional use. Plastic filler made it possible for us amateurs to at least have a shot at making a panel look straight. I took a deep breath and winged it, thinking that if it failed I could always redo it later. Almost sixty years later I still own many of the cars that I did back then. While I have redone the paint on some of them, I left the old plastic in place and I've had absolutely no failure because of what I used, or how I used it. I honestly couldn't tell you if it was plain dumb luck, or unsubstantiated cautionary considerations (guess work) that turned out to be untrue. I guess at my age my chances of seeing any failure in my work is pretty small.

                              Bill
                              Last edited by Hallabutt; 09-20-2020, 01:37 AM.

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