Body Filler--the easy way

General Discussion. Make yourself at, ask and answer!

No Turning Back
Posts: 965
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:58 pm
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2022 10:33 am
After stripping the paint and filler off my current project, I noticed that the virgin factory undamaged areas are actually mostly straighter now in bare metal. The panels were stripped by the electroylsis method, leaving a new metal look, and slight sheen, so its easy to see what is factory virgin metal.

I'm sure inexperienced guys can easily unstraighten while working with filler, and not really knowing how to do it correctly. You put it on and sand most of it off, right, whats the big deal? Well it is a big deal, or you wouldn't be doing it.

If you listen to experienced body men talk about it, some will tell you to do the metal work and get the metal as close to perfect as your skills allow, then skim coat filler over the panel and sand until you hit a few areas of metal. Repete until you get it close then 2 or 3 coats of high build polyester sprayable primer. Sand and apply a few coats of 2k primer and sand, then do it again. Thats a lot of sanding, AND a lot of build up on the panels.

During the metal work process you will probably skip the virgin factory straight panels/areas, but that is a mistake. If you lay a 48" straight edge on it, and kind of roll it across the panel, you will certainly find a few highs or lows on the undamaged metal that could be worked before using filler. Once you learn how to use the straight edge, you will be using it a lot, even for sanded filler IMO. Most straight edges have a square 1/8" edge, but a rolled or beveled edge is what works for this, and aluminum is better, because a steel straight edge bends.

Just think about it, what if you didn't have any high spots showing during your filler sanding process, or at least less of them. When metal starts showing while sanding the filler, thats what determines how much total filler is on the car, and we all know that the less filler the better. When ready for filler, this guy has a lot of good tips, just make sure you do your sanding without a runny nose. :shocked: I don't agree with other parts of this, but a lot of good tips in general.

Settled In
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:24 am

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2022 7:20 am
I’m an amateur, and I have been working on the same car for almost 4 years now. I’m currently at the epoxy after fillerwork stage.
This is my first stripping to bare metal project, and I have learned many things so far. Some things the hard way.
The car needed som minor welding and some straightening of the body shell.
I would like to mention some of my favorite tools that probably have reduced the need for filler dramatically.
1. - 4" Shrinking disc fitted to an angle grinder. Fantastic tool for working with high spots.
2. - Steel rulers in different lenghts and a small LED flash light. Lay it with the sharp edge at the panels using the light to identify the low spots. This after slightly block sanding the first layer of epoxy primer.
3. - A feeler gauge between the steel ruler and the panel to determine the depth of the low spots.
4. - Rubber/plastic mallet
5. - Paintless dent repair tools. Plastic taps and dent pulling tools. (Glue etc.)
I kept on working the dents untill they where within 0.2 - 0.3mm measured with the feeler gauge method. Some low spots I knocked out frome behind to create a high spot in front and then used the shrinking disc.
The car was sprayed with 2 - 3 coats of Slick sand and that pretty much covered all imperfections. No body filler first. Some small spots I had to apply some glaze.

No Turning Back
Posts: 965
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:58 pm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:16 am
Good for you, sounds like you have a good ending. More time on the metal work does save time on the project.

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