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View Poll Results: Bondo or Lead?!
Bondo cause I suck and don't realize the superiority of leading. 21 70.00%
Lead, cause I rock and know what's up! 9 30.00%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2005, 07:40 PM
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Huh??? Somebody saying something???
Randy, Is that you??? OH, Let me take these ear plugs out......

I agree with you but the fine art of metal is a hard mistress to master and as long as short cut's are available, That will be the norm.

I work in an old school sheet metal shop and our work has steadily regressed into old school clients and custom copper fab work. Nobody has the skill necessary to build the fittings or desire for that matter like it used to be. Saddens me to no end. The art of fabricating is being lost and I for one long for the day's of a custom sheet metal job that makes you stare in wonder at the skill involved to produce it. Time is money and money is,well,spent on other things more important.Or so they think.

And they look at me rolling a scrap piece of metal,"What are you doing?"

"Practicing".



"Why"........


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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2005, 11:53 PM
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Brian,
I don't use filler, except for the rare instances where it's absolutely impossible to access the backside of the panel to work it properly. In this case, I will use lead.

So, to answer your question regarding the Camaro, I'd either metalfinish it, or some shop down the road could do it, makes me no difference. I'm not about to compromise my standards to get a job......I don't have to.....fortunately.

Judging by the fact that you always throw this same scenario back in my face proves to me that you have no desire to hone your skills any further.
If you would spend just a little time each day working a dent to perfection, you would find that in just a few months you would no longer have a need for filler either. In most cases, I can metalfinish dents and weld seams faster than I ever could using filler.

If you're happy doing things the way you are, then go for it. Why you feel the need to make me the bad guy is beyond me.

I've posted a lot of info on this forum to try to help others with the learning curve. Some are appreciative and have gone out and put it to use, whereas others, like you, seem to find it necessary to insinuate that I'm putting you guys down for using filler. I'm not trying to be demeaning, here, just trying to push you guys to the next level. Not long ago, I thought it was black magic too, but fortunately, I have some great friends who introduced me to some great techniques that work wonders!!

By the way, my previous message was meant as more of a joke than anything.

Randy
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2005, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Ferguson
Brian,
I don't use filler, except for the rare instances where it's absolutely impossible to access the backside of the panel to work it properly. In this case, I will use lead.

So, to answer your question regarding the Camaro, I'd either metalfinish it, or some shop down the road could do it, makes me no difference. I'm not about to compromise my standards to get a job......I don't have to.....fortunately.

Judging by the fact that you always throw this same scenario back in my face proves to me that you have no desire to hone your skills any further.
If you would spend just a little time each day working a dent to perfection, you would find that in just a few months you would no longer have a need for filler either. In most cases, I can metalfinish dents and weld seams faster than I ever could using filler.

If you're happy doing things the way you are, then go for it. Why you feel the need to make me the bad guy is beyond me.

I've posted a lot of info on this forum to try to help others with the learning curve. Some are appreciative and have gone out and put it to use, whereas others, like you, seem to find it necessary to insinuate that I'm putting you guys down for using filler. I'm not trying to be demeaning, here, just trying to push you guys to the next level. Not long ago, I thought it was black magic too, but fortunately, I have some great friends who introduced me to some great techniques that work wonders!!

By the way, my previous message was meant as more of a joke than anything.

Randy
Randy! You're back! Very seldom do I read a new post from you anymore, but maybe I'm looking at the wrong threads.

I think what you have said is perhaps the "holy grail" of where most builders would like to be but aren't for one reason or another, be it a lack of time, a misplaced assumption that they need to be a metalworking god, or even just a lack of help and encoragement at the start.

Even though I said that I would use bondo, and if I'm realistic I know I will probably use it somewhere on my project, I haven't yet. I am one example that someone with no metalworking experience at all can pick up a set of body hammers and dollys with a bit of instruction and encouragement (thanks Randy!) and find that after ten minutes of work on my first panel even I can make dents dissapear.

My roof was a real mess, but after easing out the third or fourth dent I discovered that with each well placed light hit I could move the metal almost exactly where I wanted it to go.

As far as the back half of my roof is concerned, I can close my eyes and run my hand across the metal and all I feel is one smooth panel, no dips or low spots, no high spots, and I haven't touched filler yet.

I wouldn't come down on filler too hard though, but I can say that what Randy was saying is possible!

I think it also comes down to how badly you want to learn the skill. I know that because I am in South Africa, and can't just order a new this or that online and have it on my doorstep the next day, I will have to fabricate from scratch every patch panel for my car, no matter how many compound curves are in it, or how tight or deeply those curves run. So I have to learn to shape metal or my car doesn't get built.

However, even though I haven't had reason to use filler yet, and have managed to metal finish my roof so far, there are a lot more challenging jobs ahead where I may have to be realistic about my current abilities and use some filler. I'll try to metal finish first though and use filler if I really can't win with the hammers and body files.

Rich
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Old 04-02-2005, 05:28 AM
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I don't know if there is a distinct line between waterproof and moistureproof but here is what Evercoat claims:

Metal-2-Metal™
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aluminum filled body repair filler for metal surfaces. Has excellent corrosion resistance and superior adhesion to galvanized steel and aluminum. Will not sag. Best known as the "nearest thing to lead." Moisture proof. Rustproof. Easily sands to a fine featheredge. Metal-2-Metal™ liquid reactor included.

Doesn't sound much like the average Bondo sponge to me.
Personally, I love to work with it. It seems to do exactly what I think it should.
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Old 04-02-2005, 05:33 AM
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Places lead never belongs.

All right guys, just to be difficult, The plastic fender on my Caddy has a crack. Can I metalfinish it and fill with lead?
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2005, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julmer
All right guys, just to be difficult, The plastic fender on my Caddy has a crack. Can I metalfinish it and fill with lead?
**************************************************

If anyone here is good enough to pull that off, I would say you can!
Let us know how it turns out!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2005, 10:29 AM
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Randy, I am not certainly not making you the "bad guy", come on. I personally wish to hell I had ran into you back a few years ago when I had my shop and was doing a lot of street rod work. I was your target audience at that time. I would have been out in the shop practicing every day with your guidence I would have those skills as well, I actually was getting close!
These days I have different prioritys, In fact I am taking a managment position in a shop doing about four million dollars a year in sales. Production training is what I am concerned with now.

I mean no disrespect, you know that. Let me explain, the guy who is where I was a few years ago is going to eat up what you have to say, he is going to be a metal master in a short while and look at my "Bondo basics" like a bad joke. He maybe will laugh at my comments on this thread. However, the zillions of closet restoration guys who will never have the money to buy the tools, never have the time to learn will stay with the "Bondo basics" and think you are a God walking on earth that they have no chance of ever being.

All I am saying is, there is a place for plastic filler. Because my Camaro scenario may be the only spot on some guys car with filler and he was able to metal finish the rest thanks to your contributions to this site, I would say that is pretty cool.

If I knew you were reaching every single person and they all were laughing behind my back I would shut up pretty quick.

Brian
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2005, 10:40 AM
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It doesn't have to be an expensive thing to get into at all. I bought a 7 piece panel beating set with a curved dolly, utility dolly, double end hand dolly, shrinking dolly, bumping hammer, pick and finish hammer and a reverse curve hammer for about $30

Body files don't have to cost a lot either, you can make your own slapper and as long as the metal is clean you are ready to go.

I don't have any books and no one has shown me technique, I read Randy's threads and started from there. It takes more time and patience than money I think.

Rich
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2005, 02:04 PM
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Different stuff

Well for myself I would doubt that I could find a car that does not have at least a smidge of some kind of filler on it somewhere..

As far as learning this stuff all it really requires is to get out to the shop and bend and beat metal and look at what it does..Now saying that it really helps to have someone to show you just where to hit and how hard..

As far as this filler deal it is a matter of making appropriate choices..If you are doing a 100% resto for Pebble Beach guys then use the lead..if you are doing a collision repair and the man and the customer is breathing down your back to get it done..then a bit of bondo in a little dent and out the door it goes..

Lets not be putting any one down because of the materials one chooses..lets just help each other to make good choices about the work..

Enough of my soapbox

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Old 04-02-2005, 02:15 PM
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Since i've only ever done one car, my car, i have to say bondo is the best i could do. I probably used too much in spots, but used fiberglass filler in most spots i thought were deep. All of it will probably crack and fall out in a couple years, but it looks good for now
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Old 04-02-2005, 02:35 PM
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if lead came in as many flavors as evercoat products, i'd use lead. but. .....

no thanks to Randy ..... i'm down to just a skim coat to make it super slick. is that acceptable?
damn it's a lot more work.
but i like the idea of being able to be hit or run into by a shopping cart or what have you, and not worrying about a chunk of plastic falling off.
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Old 04-02-2005, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy larry
if lead came in as many flavors as evercoat products, i'd use lead. but. .....

no thanks to Randy ..... i'm down to just a skim coat to make it super slick. is that acceptable?
damn it's a lot more work.
but i like the idea of being able to be hit or run into by a shopping cart or what have you, and not worrying about a chunk of plastic falling off.
I sure don't like the idea of being hit or run into by a shopping cart at all. I think that's gonna put a dent in your day whether you've used bondo, lead, or metal finished your car.

I have nightmares about supermarket parking lots, seriously, it's no joke. I'm not one for trailer queens, I wouldn't take it that far but I am definitely paranoid about having all the hard work sitting out there for jo public to back thier grocery getter into.

Speaking of nightmares, it's 11:47PM on my side of the world, and I'm going to bed. Tomorrow is another day, and believe it or not, I have some metal finishing to do on my roof. I'll post before, during and after pictures in my project journal. Show ya'll how it's done.

Goodnight all!

Rich
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Old 04-02-2005, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubz
Since i've only ever done one car, my car, i have to say bondo is the best i could do. I probably used too much in spots, but used fiberglass filler in most spots i thought were deep. All of it will probably crack and fall out in a couple years, but it looks good for now

This is exactly the thoughts I wanted to avoid. Dubz, there is no reason what so ever that you should feel that you did a sub-par job. As I said earlier, if that plastic filler is applied even remotely correct it will be there after you and I are dead and gone. If it is applied any where right, it WILL NOT "crack and fall out" not in a couple of years, not in a couple of dozen.

If you take into account the percentage of lead on cars compared to lead I have removed failed lead a heck of a lot more than plastic filler.

The art of metal finishing has had a resurgence of huge proportions in the last decade or so. Just twenty years ago there were a small handful of guys around the country who would do this work on a regular basis. There were next to zero tools available to your "normal" human, no english wheel, no planishing hammer, anvils, no bead rollers, nothing. IF you could find an old tool like this it was very valuable (well, that is after the early resurgence, prior to that it was worthless). Now, there are tons of very affordable tools available, tons of videos, CDs, classes, and the like. I have to admit, it is very exciting to see this lost art being practiced by so many.



However, even with this HUGE resurgence, at a 3500 car Goodguys event I would say that a tiny percentage, maybe under 10 of these cars are totally metal finished with no plastic filler what so ever. The top cars for many years, had filler all over them, still today, most top cars do.

99.9% of the body shops in America don't have a person in them that has ever done lead in their life. They may have a few guys who can metal finish some simple dings, only a tiny fraction could do anything like Randy is teaching here on the forum. That is why what he has to say is so valuable. If you want to learn this stuff, if you have the drive, you have an opportunity here with Randy and John Kelly to do so. If you have any interest at all, I HIGHLY recommend you take advantage of their expertise willingness to share.

As Rich pointed out, you don't need all the tools I mention for simple "repair", you can make slappers out of a leaf spring, a shrinking disc out of a lid from a pot, you can do just about any repair with simple hand tools. If you have the desire, DO IT.

But don't think for a second that using a quality polyester body filler is "hack" or anything like that. It is a "standard in the industry" practiced by 99.9% of the shops in the country.

Brian
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Old 04-02-2005, 03:49 PM
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While fillers are vastly overused, they indeed have a place even in the hands of the most skilled metal finishers. I see fillers misused every day. We have guys who'd rather "cave it and pave it" than pick up a dolly block. I metal finished some late model F350 fenders the other day. I had time, felt in the zone and tapped em out to near perfect. A lil primer/surfacer brought em home for paint. Way, WAY quicker and cleaner than fillers.

Lead has rare use in todays craft. Old car seams, or just plain practicing is about where it lies. Plastics are superior, period. The "art" of lead is in the tinning process anyway. It's easy to paddle the stuff...at least I think so. But like was said above, screw up the tinning even a lil bit yer screwed. I've seen real pretty lead work laying over a rusty mess of acid eaten sheet metal.

I'm not one to admonish anyone, but given a realistic choice of product, using lead today is more self agrandizing than it is practical. A metal-finished car or truck always, always looks better and lasts longer. The down side of plastics are their ability to soak up solvents and cause refinish problems. That's one of those "a lil is better than a lot" things. Anyways, that's my .02
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Old 04-02-2005, 06:08 PM
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I think where Brian I disagree on this subject is that he places repair procedures based on "collision repair industry standards" such as I-CAR or ASE, whereas I look at things from the standpoint of the highest possible standards for true automobile restoration. Perhaps I go overboard, but to me 'restoration' means to completely dis-assemble the vehicle and totally go through every square inch of it, making it as it was when it rolled off the assembly line. Now I realize this isn't a restoration forum, so ya got me there, but I think if we're going to put thousands of $$$$ into our hot rods, we should place a bit of craftsmanship deeper than a shiny paint job!! I've been putting cars together as a hobby, and a career for nearly twenty years. I first metalfinished an entire car two years ago, so what's that tell ya. I'll be the first to admit I've helped to keep the body filler companies in business. Am I proud of it???
If I was, I'd chime in with Brian!!!
I believe polyester fillers to be the number one cause of early paint failure and can no longer stand to breathe the dust from it, so I found a way to continue what I love without using it.

Rich has this metalshaping thing figured out already. He just came on the list not long ago and asked where to find a roof for his '54 Chevy. In only 4 months or less, he's figured out how to fix it rather than finding a replacement or having to spend a fortune having one built.

Ferrari built entire bodies for years with very minimal tools. Mallets and tree stumps were what those old panel beaters used for the most part. It's not about fancy tools. As Rich pointed out, practice and knowledge is the key to success. If I can figure this crap out, I KNOW you all can!!

Randy
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