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Discussion Starter #1
Man I've having a heck of a time doing bodywork. I've used some of Halloweenking's tips (Thanks man!) and the bodylines are easier to do now, but I'm still having a heck of a time making sure everything is straight. I've got a DA and a bodyfile, but I'm not sure if I'm using them right. Anyone have a technique I can use to use them properly and speed up finishing the bodywork?
 

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The bodyfile is pretty simple. When using it on any panel always move forward or backward at an angle. To do this you would hold the file straight with both hands, applying equal pressure to both ends, Then as you start to sand; sand at a 45 degree angle while keeping the file straight. Usually a few repetitions one way, then a few the oposite way (left to right then right to left) By doing this you will cut down the filler faster because as you sand one direction the grit of the paper with create hatching or small ridges and valeys matching the grit of the paper, by changing direction you will cross hatch the previous hatching and cut down the thin wall of the ridges. It takes a bit of getting used to and is a pretty good workout, but its faster than a one way attack. Never use the side of any sanding tool!

DA's are just as simple. Never let the sander rest in one spot, always keep it on the move. If you let it rest it will create a crator and could warp the steel if left long enough. Also the speed setting is another one, never use it on full speed with an apropriatly powerd air compressor. You'll ware out the sander, potetially scar the metal or filler and not get done any faster then if it was on half speed. Also as stated before never use the side/edge of a sanding tool, always use the flat surface.

Other than that its just alot of hard work. I may have forgotten a tip or two, but if I have I'm sure one of these gentlman will add it. Have fun.

HK
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok so basically you use an air file the same way you use a regular block then right? That sounds like what I was assuming but I wasn't sure.

Here's another q -- I have had several people suggest to skim over the entire door and then block it down. That way I find more dents than I would usually. It'll be a ton of work, but it will look great when done. Sound ok?
 

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NFS, I suggest a cheaper and easier way. Spray the door/panel with a good coat of easy sanding primer then block sand the entire surface. Lows and highs will show up very quickly and easy. Then you can possibly tap out some of the lows, tap in the highs, repeat, and then start working with your filler. This way, you use less filler and a lot less sanding time!! When you think you have the surface finished, fog the panel/door with either contrasting primer or cheap rattle paint that will be compatable with your final primer/surfacer, block again to make sure you are ready to go to next step.

Trees

Trees
 

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NFSTRA... Trees is right on- some guys fill the WHOLE panel and block, block, block to get it smooth, but the less you fill, the happier you'll be, (especially if you get thumped in a parking lot!!!) Prime and block, do your body bumping,then use a good primer/surfacer that fills well (means it is thick!) and you'll use less putty!! Good Luck! :cool: p.s.(HK knows his stuff so keep checking his articles!)

[ April 30, 2003: Message edited by: Dragon J ]</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok but it seems to me that priming it would be a waste too. I mean you're not supposed to use filler over primer right? Well if thats the case then you'd see the low spots after blocking, then just have to get the paint off of that and fill away.
 

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After light guide coat of primer, you can sand and more readily see the low spots ( where the primer won't sand off) Then you can work these spots with hammer/dolly technique to remove more of the dent so all that is left is fine imperfections. The guide coat then will be gone and you'll have a pretty level panel. Then spray a primer/surfacer and sand smooth. If it is so dented you need body filler and you can't get it out- yes; fill, block, prime, block and then finish with primer or primer/surfacer. Just wanted you to have the smoothest panel with the least fill. Hope it helps! :)
 
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Nations.... You have gotten answers from mostlikely the 3 best on this board. The thing that they are trying to do is save you some work and have you end up with a better job. Yes you can skim coat the whole door. But then you have to sand most of it off. Then you also won't really know what you have. You'll also probably want to wear a face shield when you drive it, in case someone runs into it, to protect yourself from flying filler. The proceedures given will let you know where the small dents and high spots are so you can fix them and go on.
 

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Another thing to keep in mind is when you are doing a large area like a door for example , and you are getting highs and lows in your filler , don't add little bits of filler in the low areas , put a coat on the whole area again because if you add into low areas your good area around that will get undercut and you'll chase it on and on , always re-coat the whole area makes life simpler .
 

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I always like finding all the small dents, beating them back into shape the best you can, and before you are ready to apply filler, I always apply a factory style sealer, the kind that is super tough to sand off and the kind that bondo likes to stick to. It is pretty expensive compared to most primers, but is excellent corrosion protectant.
 

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My suggestion for you is to put the DA away. Those are time savers at best but self defeating for the beginner. The DA is fine for knocking down heavy plastic but dangerous for skim coats. When trying to get a smoothe pre painted surface use 320 wet paper wrapped around a wooden mixing stick. Use even pressure and lots of water. Sand diagonally and don't concentrate on one area. Use a straightedge as a detection guage to point out obvious lows or dimples. As you are sanding the area, run the straightedge ( try a metal paint guage ) on its edge along the sanded area. If you sight along the area of the straightedge that contacts the flat surface, you will see air gaps where the dimples and lows are. Once you think you have the surface error free, spray a scratch coat ( non lacquer ) of some odd ball color on the area. Let it dry and then lightly wet sand with 320 , again using the wooden stir stick as a paddle sander, removing much of the scratch coat. The residue that is left will point out obvious lows and dimples. At this point, you can use a heavy build primer on those areas. Layer it on the affected area, with lots of setup time between layers.Omni makes a really good 2 part build primer that is inexpensive, dries quick and builds areas big time. This can be used like liquid filler. If you have a jamb gun, this works great. It is like air brushing. I have filled dings and lows as deep as 1/16th inch using this technique. After drying, wet sand again using the stick and 320 wet paper technique. The imperfections will eventually disappear. Lots of work, but that is why big buck paint jobs are big bucks. Patience and perseverance. Make sure you use 320 paper for wet sanding. It will hatch the surface adequately for adhesion. Remember that Evercoat or similar products have a shrinkage factor and will not hide dimples and dings completely. The build primer will. Good luck pilgrim.

P.S. If you use a sealer coat before you finish paint the car, you will see what the job will look like before you paint it. Try a PPG DP product.Once you seal the car, what you see is what you get. Keep in mind sealer should not be sanded, before final paint.

Walt in SoFlo
 

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I`ve used every kind of primer,sealer and filler there is and have never seen a sealer you could use under bondo.

I use a air powered longboard to rough in filled areas, then go to a hand powered longboard to finish the repaired area.I would never use a da on filler. :nono:

HTH
Troy.
 

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PATIENCE!!!!!! If it was easy. then everyone would be doing it. All of the replies are correct and each bodyman has his way of doing things. If the panel you are working is "ruff". I would put a full coat of good body filler over the entire panel. Then use the file or straightline sander to knock off the rough filler and then start using a long block [rubber,wood or whatever works for you] to form the panel. Take a can of spray paint or primer and spray a light mist over the filler for a guide coat. As you work the panel, the mist will show the low spots. Keep working and misting until you are satisfied. REMEMBER, TAKE YOUR TIME AND HAVE PATIENCE. You can do it!!!!!!.
 

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Yep:D :D :D
 

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If there is somebody local that can teach you the art of using a long board this will help you out termendously... Again Patience is a virture.....

Rags......
 

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what's the best method where you HAVE to lay the filler on a bit thick? i mean, i've been using a 3 foot straight edge to help me get my panels as close to straight as possible, but there are areas where i just can't get behind th panel to bump it up.

if you DO have to use like 1/4 inch of filler, is it strongest to drop it all in one blob and let dry, or lots of thin coats with heaps of drying time?

i REALLY don't want paint cracking off my ride in six months time!!!
 
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If it is going to take 1/4 inch of filler, you need to do more work. That thick is too likely to crack. If you can't get behind it, and have a mig welder, weld something to the low spot and pull it out. You can even do it with a stick welder, if need be. Just stick the rod to the panel and use it to pull.
 

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Experience is the best teacher. There should be vocational schools in your area that teaches auto body repair. If there isn't go to a body shop and ask some one if they will allow you to watch one if their bodymen work.
circlehill
 
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