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Old 07-19-2004, 10:00 AM
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Talking pancakes in body filler

OK guys Im in need of help again. I am completly restoring a 1970 Chevy truck and I have run into a problem with the body filler. I had quite a few small dings that I needed to fix and couldnt get to the back side.I Grinded all of them and filled them with filler. I drew a circle around each one with a sharpie and sanded down with 80 grit almost to the marks. Then I finished it off with 220 grit on a small 4in block. My problem is that some of them came out ok but about half of them look like pancakes. What am I doing wrong or what didnt I do. I put a coat of epoxy primer over and they show up real good. HELP!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!

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Old 07-19-2004, 10:30 AM
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Did you try Aunt Jamima maple and butter?

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Some dents will swell up around the edges and have to be worked.

If your fixing a 2 inch dent, then the repair will be about a foot across. this feathers it properly.

First you have to get the contour right, then get the spots feathered so you can't feel or see the edges. Then use the primer to fill the scratches and imperfections and finish leveling with it,
probably several coats applied and sanded back off several times.

Troy

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Old 07-19-2004, 11:17 AM
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Most newcomers make the mistake of not sanding enough filler off
and so the pancake look.
Take a straight edge and lay over your filler (Ruler, yard stick etc.) If its low at the edge of filler but filler touching center than you need to take more filler off until straight.
Of course if filler is not touching ruler you need more.
Now I've never seen a 2 inch ping ding require a foot of filler but only been in this 30+ years so you never stop learning in this business, so I learned something today.
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:30 AM
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If you need a ruler to tell when you have filler right, then your in the wrong business.

There is very few cars that have flat panels, there is always some contour, sometimes compound contours.

You can't just fill a dent. the surrounding metal is distorted, so your 2 inch repair will usually be a lot bigger to feather the contour in.

Troy

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Old 07-19-2004, 02:41 PM
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I think I may have made a big mistake then. The dings were about the size of a dime and I ended up with a finished filler size about the size of a half dollar. As far as the flat edge , I did that and it looks a little low. Any more advise will be great. I am new to this but I have a great desire to learn. One more idea I was told about was to use a paint stick and wrap 220 around it to do sanding. What do you guys think?
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Old 07-19-2004, 02:51 PM
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No mistake, if low just spread another coat but overlap the old filler and paint stick works good but for filler 80 would cut better or 180-220 for a two part glazing putty.
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Old 07-19-2004, 02:55 PM
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Use a rubber block, large or small. The paint stick and any thing else that fits, is for those hard to get creases and body lines.

troy

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Old 07-19-2004, 04:35 PM
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Thanks guys , youve been a big help. Ill try it tonight and let you know how it turns out
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Old 07-19-2004, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by troy-curt
If you need a ruler to tell when you have filler right, then your in the wrong business. Troy
Honestly Troy, I use a ruler all the time. You are right, there are no flat panels on cars as a rule (if you'll pardon the pun) however I don't use it flat. I use metal yardsticks that I lay flat on the panel and allow it to bend with the panel, it will show a low spot in the middle.

In fact, I don't treat any panel any different than a flat panel. Even while doing a super curved panel like a '40 Ford fender, I look it as a "curved flat" panel. I use a short rubber block and end up with a perfectly curved fender, I could make a bowling ball in this manner with a 6" rubber block. Using a ruler!! But actually mostly my hand by feeling it. Some of us have some strange ways of doing things.
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Old 07-19-2004, 09:32 PM
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Sanding blocks, long boards, and primer, and the feel of the hand.
It's not something that can be acquired over night.

I have never seen a professional body man use a "ruler" except to measure with. But if it works for you then that is the way you should do it.

A long board used right will show the lows and highs, no guessing, no measuring, and they are marked to be seen easily.

Troy

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Old 07-20-2004, 08:17 AM
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"I have never seen a professional body man use a "ruler" except to measure with. But if it works for you then that is the way you should do it."

Really? I see rulers used everyday, there are straight parts of a car like a rocker or rear panel where the ruler is used to see if you have pulled it far enough. Now, understand, to do FILLER work it certainly isn't used but it COULD. I do however use it to assure the shape of the metal is correct BEFORE filler is applied. No, not on every repair, not even close , but once in a while I do to be sure it matches the other side. It is a very useful tool. But then for that matter I also pull them out to find damaged suspension componants. While everyone else in the shop is guessing, I am backing up my supplements with facts.
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:07 AM
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ok
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Old 07-21-2004, 05:44 PM
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get u a stud gun and a finishing hammer..body work is like a woman...work it slow and with your hands...if u have to measure then she must think u dont "measure up"
place a stud about ever half inch and place the slide hammer around it and pull just slightly and hammer around the stud lightly and that may bring it out more...
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Old 07-21-2004, 06:37 PM
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use the straight edge to spread your filler when you have a very large area, just kidding. You should be able to feel when the area is straight. You do feather the filler past the repair area, I personally don't go as much as a foot for a two inch dent, but you shouldn't sand so much that it is just filling a little area where the dent is. If you apply a few coats of a high build urethane primer and block that, it will give you a little fill too. You can maybe guide coat your filler area to help you see low areas, but after enough practice you will be able to feel any little spots that need more blocking or more fill. It takes time and practice. Beginners have a habit of sanding too much filler off. Guy I worked with told me a story of guys in a shop he was at chuckling at a newbie who spent all day on one small dent, he would put on filler and then sand all of it back off. The straighter you get your metal work before filling, the less you have to spend straightening with filler.
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Old 07-21-2004, 07:18 PM
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As I don't have a ruler to measure each 2 inch dent, I'm using the measurement of a foot to illustrate that the area will be bigger than the dent when finished, maybe 4 inches, maybe 8 inches, maybe 2 foot. What ever it takes to not have a pancake when done.

Troy

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