Bondo - A Man's Best Friend Or A Car's Worst Enemy [Archive] - El Camino Central Forum : Chevrolet El Camino Forums

: Bondo - A Man's Best Friend Or A Car's Worst Enemy

01-14-2005, 05:13 PM
How does everyone feel about bondo?

01-14-2005, 05:29 PM
It's Bondo, the brand name of a particular plastic body filler. Prior to plastic filler all body repair was precise hammer and dolly work and then lead fill. It was time consuming, difficult and even dangerous work. Plastic body fillers revolutionized the auto body repair industry. Done correctly a repair with quality plastic filler is superior to lead.

01-14-2005, 05:41 PM
Yes Bondo..
in my time on this earth I have spred some bondo!!!!!!! I may be a expert on this subject. Ha HA

Do you watch the chopper shows? Boyd`s Body man I forget his name.The only realy cool guy on the show I think.
covers the whole dam car with plastic ,and takes it down with 60 grit paper.

Back to your question.Poly Body filler is a very good thing.For us trying to get things flat enough to paint over.Primer will only fill very slight dents and low spots.The real trick to bondo is a serface that is as close to perfect as possable and a very ruff tooth like 36 grit. Try not to fill more than about 1/16'' to1/4'' on a flat large spot.

I like to use the catilized products. keep it thin!!!!!!!

The real cool part about bondo is that 75% to 90% of what you put on your car will end up on the floor. Have you ever seen Boyd`s body man CLEAN......

Wow I love knowing about bondo!!!! Rock on

01-14-2005, 06:45 PM
Charley would be that body man, but I think he currently works for Chip Foose now (who I think is better than Boyd) but because of film to airing lag you dont know if he left BC yet.

01-14-2005, 07:39 PM
If you are a weekend hobbyist w/ regular tools in your garage (shop), plastic filler is your friend. I try my best to get my panels squared away, but I almost always need to use some filler. I am also a proponent of glass as an economical way to repair rust damage. Not everyone can weld patch panels or afford a pro to do it for you.

01-14-2005, 08:29 PM
I watched American Hot Rod tonight and Charlie was talking about leaving to go to work for Foose.He said there was some bad blood between Boyd and Chip.Chip seems like a real nice guy and Boyd seems like a jerk.I wonder what the problem is between them,other than Boyds attitude.I think Boyd pushes his crew way too hard with rediculous deadlines and that idiot Dwayne constantly berating them.Putty is my buddy.

01-14-2005, 10:12 PM
Come on, do people really believe that BS on those auto-reality shows? They try to create tension, and they are really bad at it. Boyd Coddington---before I watched him on TV I though he was a real guy, he's a whoosh, blow on him hard enough and he'll fall over. If I worked for him I'd make him wear Aloha muu-muus not Aloha shirts.

01-14-2005, 11:49 PM
Chip is the man...the cat can sketch one of his radical rides upside down no less! As seen on overhaulin this week.

01-18-2005, 05:30 AM
The part of the problems between Boyd and Chip are thet Chip use to work for Boyd

01-18-2005, 07:40 AM
I think a lot of what happened with Chip and Boyd is the student became the master. Chip's talents far exceeds Boyd's comprehension of design. Therefore, Chip prob wanted to push the envelope with his cre8iveness and Boyd was stuck on his own thing and limiting Chip. You notice how almost every vehicle Boyd does looks about the same? Chip's vehicle are one off. You KNOW when you are looking at a Chip Foose vehicle because it's just that good. :cool:

I don't have any experience with bondo, but, from what I can tell, it's some pretty good stuff if used properly. I'm sure my Elky will have some on it one day...if I ever get to do the body. :roll:

01-18-2005, 06:14 PM
Bondo is for sissies who don't know how to form metal and melt lead correctly. Bondo is meant for cars like hondas with ground effects, body kits, and lights all over the place. It's good when your car sucks, and I'm pretty sure your El Camino doesn't suck. Try Eastwood, and get a basic leading kit.

01-18-2005, 06:27 PM
Bondo is for sissies who don't know how to form metal and melt lead correctly.

Bondo is used by most of the professional hot rod builders nowadays, the guys who build $100,000+ cars, just not the old stubborn horses that think they are old school. Lead is old school, sure, but just because it is old school does that mean it's good? They used lead because they had to, Bondo wasn't even a twinkling in somone's eye at the time. Technology has moved on beyond lead, and so have 99% of the builders and general public.

You never said, so why is lead so much better? It's harder to fill in, harder to shape, harder to prep, more expensive, and takes much more time.

01-18-2005, 06:50 PM
Bondo is for sissies who don't know how to form metal and melt lead correctly. Bondo is meant for cars like hondas with ground effects, body kits, and lights all over the place. It's good when your car sucks, and I'm pretty sure your El Camino doesn't suck.

Jeez, I guess your just a little opinionated there Bubba? Lead was the standard 50 years ago, but plastics are the standard now. Of course lead is still fine filler, so what if it the fumes are a little dangerous, you only live once with those brain cells. One of the old guys in the Early V-8 Club I belong to taught us how to lead a panel at a club body work workshop. It was pretty cool, but certainly not as easy to apply and work with or as economical as plastic filler.

01-18-2005, 08:28 PM
I agree with the sentiment that welding and leads are better than bondo. I use bondo when repairing plastic pieces, front headlight assembly and such. But I'd never put it anywhere one that sexy steel body. It breaks easier, plastic is more difficult to repair then metal, and well bondo doesn't tend to bondo so well with metal. It'd be just fine for show cars and such which do nothing more than look pretty, but for real vehicles which get wear and tear it just doesn't seem like an option.

01-19-2005, 11:01 AM
the problem with bondo is that the hardenerd used in them absorbs water if left unfinished. Absorbing water can lead to some wicked rotting under the bondo.

01-19-2005, 12:07 PM
daily driver wear and tear is a good point Mindlesspuppet. in a hostile climate and driving all the time, I'd try and avoid Bondo if I could. save up for the price of metal and keep that body strong.

01-19-2005, 12:31 PM
I think there is quite a bit of confusion as to how plastic body filler is properly used. Certainly all rust repair should be done with patch panels and collision repair has to be done with sheetmetal replacement and/or good hammer and dolly work. Plastic filler should never be used more than 1/16"-1/8" thick and is used to smooth the sheetmetal repair, not to take the place of metal. Even the best most meticulous bodymen use plastic body filler.

01-19-2005, 01:19 PM
You're kinda right, I forgot to say why it was far superior. When building an awesome car, you should pour your heart and soul into it, especially if you are doing the work. When you mix a plastic and hardener, slop it on, and sand, that takes no effort, and therefore there is no value to it. When you use lead, it takes time, allows you to focus more because of techniques involved, and can provide for a superior job, and it does not rust nor does it allow water to get under it, if you have a clean surface tinned properly. As for being cheaper, not really. The lead itself is about $8 per pound. Bondo is about $25 for a gallon. Then you also need hardener for it, about $7 for a tube smaller than most toothpaste tubes. For lead, you need tallow, about $10 per pound, and tinning butter, about $16 per pound. For both of these, tools needed to apply them run around $6. And they both use files and sandpaper. So for being way cheaper, no. For being a little cheaper, yes.

01-19-2005, 02:34 PM
So pinstripebob,in a nutshell what you are saying is basically any body man who uses plastic filler is no skill havin hack that slops filler onto now worthless soon to be piles of rust.

01-19-2005, 04:54 PM
I've been around long enough to remember when Bondo was just a gleam in Mr. Bondo's eye. Lead repairs were not perfect, I've seen lead fall off of cars when not done correctly and I see everyday plastic filler used just as skillfully as any lead job. The level of perfecftion is more a matter of the skill of the bodyman than the nature of the repair materials.

01-19-2005, 06:09 PM
It's a matter of actually putting forth effort. Bondo is easy, and anyone can do it. Lead takes skill, and not everyone can do it. Plus you get to use a torch.

01-19-2005, 06:19 PM
It's a matter of actually putting forth effort. Bondo is easy, and anyone can do it. Lead takes skill, and not everyone can do it. Plus you get to use a torch.

To do bondo properly takes just as much skill, not just anyone can do it and have it done properly and last. I also prefer not to play with fire around my vehicles when it can be avoided, and I like my brain cells.

01-19-2005, 06:47 PM
When it's used as a finishing tool it's quite nice. But only when applied very VERY THIN. When it's used to cover rust and rebuilt a corner or place that has rusted away it's bad news.

Moneypit 68
01-20-2005, 05:32 AM
I'm down with bondo...but not to fill rust long as it's kept thin,sanded smooth, and covered with a GOOD glazing compound, bondo is good. 'Glass mat fixes for body panels will work, has for years, but welding new steel in is a better way to go. I don't do lead....never have,never will....lead is like the crank handle you'd use to start the old cars.....bondo (the electric starter) took it's place.

01-20-2005, 06:06 AM
Bondo is a tool, just like anything else in body work if you use it wrong the results will be bad. Most of the manufacturers recommend that you seal the filler in-between two layers of sealing primer or some other sealing finish.

Bondo needs that seal to be good and last. Any part of Bondo that is exposed will absorb moisture no maybe, no ifs, it will so count on it! I've seen people punch holes in the metal, pull the body out and without filling the holes back in with a welder they apply bondo and claim that the "Holes" help it hold on. BS! That is not how to use Bondo! Visit some body work sites and visit the manufacturer of the finish your going to use and talk to representatives about any cautions and special instruction needed with filler and their products. Its important to know everything to consider before you start or you could end up doing it over and at the worst case you could end up actually causing it to rust under the painted surface. You won't even know it until the paint starts to bubble and peel or flake off.

Bondo is a good useful tool and like some many have said use it in small amounts, as small as possible. Its to level out a repair job not to fill up big dents or holes. If you keep that in mind you should be alright. If someone tells you that you can use it to fill a big dent then they are full of it and don't have a clue. That is why they make repair panels and welders, Hammers and Dollies.

It is a skill that not everyone can do and does take a fair amount of practice at it. Simply mixing the Hardener and the filler is something you have to learn to do it is not as easy as the instructions make it sound. Too much one way or another and your work is wasted.!

Good Luck.

01-20-2005, 01:04 PM
Earlier on this topic, Boyd's shop was talked about with the body guy. This guy loves to use lead, he's said it himself on a previous episode. Another thing that's bad to use bondo on is when you use it to level out areas such as door jambs that take a lot of abuse. He specifically chose to use lead over bondo on a '32 Ford that was black (it was for Boyd's garage's anniversary or something), and he used the lead to make the doors and trunk lid level with the rest of the body.

01-20-2005, 01:43 PM
I understand what you are saying but if you noticed when he was through leading the said areas he applied a thin coat if plastic filler to the entire car.My point is that there is plenty of times lead should be used and plastic fiiler usually follows to achieve a laser straight body.Usually the car gets stripped down to bare metal,usually chemically or some sort of media blasting,degreased and wiped clean,then you stitch weld in your patch panels and do your leadwork,degrease again and apply epoxy sealer then you make it perfect with plastic filler,degrease and wipe it down again and apply primer.All i'm trying to say is it takes skill to use lead and plastic filler to achieve a show quality finish.

01-20-2005, 02:09 PM
Well, back in the olden days when they used lead, I believe they also incorporated this technique to achieve straight bodies. I've seen this a few times, and others may have too. On my 1942 Caddy, and on a mid 30's Ford pickup, both of these are totally original. On both of these, there are areas without paint, and some are complete, very large chips. I observed that both cars had a kind of putty underneath their paint. Maybe I'm wrong, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone before me did that to mine. Although my 42 has about 10 layers of different color paint (including primer), and has had the engine rebuilt before. I forgot to mention this on my last post here, but Maddening mentioned keeping his brain cells. Well Maddening, have you ever smelled bondo? Or have you ever been in a surf shop where they're repairing boards? That can't be too good for your brain cells either. You normally don't touch the lead, and you shouldn't be stupid enough to be inhaling it or drinking it.

01-20-2005, 03:13 PM
I think the major reason why Bondo has a bad reputation among some people is that it has been used improperly so often by dunderheads that many people think Bondo is only used to make improper repairs.

01-20-2005, 03:25 PM
So you mean no mixing it in a five gallon bucket and applying it with a concrete finishing trowel?

Moneypit 68
01-20-2005, 04:35 PM
Mrappi hit the nail on the head...too many short-cutters filling rust holes and un-dollied dents/body damage to ready a car for the $149.99 no-primer scuff-sand paint job....then it gets thrown out on the "buy here-pay here"sales lot before the one coat of paint cures out. Otherwise known as "bondo buggies"

01-20-2005, 06:31 PM
The guy I bought my 79 elky off of used bondo to fill holes in the floor panels... he was a real genius.

01-20-2005, 07:00 PM
That's the real problem with Bondo.Idiots can easily slop it into holes and dents and make it look decent enough to screw somebody looking to buy thier car.I look at Bondo and guns kind of the same.Just about anybody can buy em and if improperly used,do damage.

01-21-2005, 06:27 PM
One thing we have to remember here is when lead was the only fix, body metal was mostly 16ga. In the modern world you are looking at 22 ga. at the best. When using a torch on body metal the 16 ga is much more forgiving than the 22 ga.
Plastic filler is great when applied properly. But it's purpose is not to sculpture the whole corner or part. If than 1/16" of fill is required, you are not ready to start filling the area.
I did a lot of lead sled building in the 50's & 60's and enjoyed every minute of it. But things were a lot different then.


01-21-2005, 08:45 PM
Any of you old guys (you know who you are). Rember (Black knite) body filler.I think that was the first plastic filler.Now that was some real crap. Never realy got hard was kinda like hard rubber or something.

Now I bet you rember..