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Thread: Temerature for using filler

  1. #1
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    Default Temerature for using filler

    I planned to get the car ready for paint this winter and shoot it when the weather warms up in the spring. I was reading the directions on the filler and it states to use at 70-80 degrees. Unfortunatly my garage is not heated. Can I get away with using the filler and giving it a much longer cure time before I sand it? or will using it in the cold weather cause more problems? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngc414
    I planned to get the car ready for paint this winter and shoot it when the weather warms up in the spring. I was reading the directions on the filler and it states to use at 70-80 degrees. Unfortunatly my garage is not heated. Can I get away with using the filler and giving it a much longer cure time before I sand it? or will using it in the cold weather cause more problems? Thanks
    If you're talking about body filler (bondo) you can use localized heat so that it cures properly. A small heater or heat lamp can keep you going all Winter as long as you're doing one or two panels at a time. Of course you could NOT use the propane heaters when spraying paint but they work quite well on filler or to cure paint after it's sprayed.


  3. #3
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    I have the little propane heater on the left in my garage and it works pretty well at getting the place up to a "workable" temp.

    The med wave heat lamp on the right is VERY good money spent if you plan on doing any amount of this stuff, I have two and have used them to death.

    I don't look at the thermometer much so I don't know exactly the temp but when it gets down a little "chilly" (around here that is in the 50's) that filler just doesn't want to cure. It will take a LONG time to kick. You really do need to get these products warmed up to the manufacturers recommendations to have them perform.

    Brian
    Last edited by MARTINSR; 12-02-2006 at 10:08 AM.

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    It took me breaking a couple of those medium wave heat lamp bulbs before I realized I should lower the head of the lamp when not in use. Since I've been lowering it (and the center of gravity) I haven't knocked over the lamp or broken a bulb in years.

  5. #5
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    I have them at home now and I keep the stands outside and I made a rack for the heads on the wall. I have also seen where guys will put a cars steel rim over the stand down to the bottom to give it stability. I just used to lower it like you do.

    Brian

  6. #6
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    In answer to the guys original question - I have applied bondo in temperatures so cold that I could see my breath. It takes a LOT longer for the filler to harden but I noticed no long term negative effects. ( I worked at a bodyshop in Marquette (upper Michigan) about 30 years ago. it was in a long building where the mechanics worked on one side of the building and the bodymen on the other side with the whole building open inside, no partitians.
    Being the new guy I got the two stalls near the large overhead door, which was constantly being opened by the mechanics bringing cars in and taking them back out. Sometimes the temps dropped below zero oustside so my two stalls by the door got really cold. It was not the most pleasant place to work, in my long list of places I did work at).

    If you're looking for a reasonable temperature to work filler then stay above 50 deg.F. The warmer the filler gets the quicker it will harden and be sandable. If you have relatively small areas to work the filler and you're on a really tight budget then go to a hardware store and buy one of those round aluminum shield clip on lights with the regular screw in bulb type socket. then pick up a heat lamp bulb that will screw into that aluminum clip on light. Its not ideal and its good for bondo patches of around a foot or less but it WILL work.

  7. #7
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    The garage is fairly new, I havnt had a chance to get it insulated so the heat escapes quickly. My torpedo heater works great, but the heat escapes too quick and I dont want to leave it on all the time. I just picked up a propaine heater like mentioned and I think it will do the trick. I can leave it on the area I am working and it will warm it up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V
    In answer to the guys original question - I have applied bondo in temperatures so cold that I could see my breath. It takes a LOT longer for the filler to harden but I noticed no long term negative effects. ( I worked at a bodyshop in Marquette (upper Michigan) about 30 years ago. it was in a long building where the mechanics worked on one side of the building and the bodymen on the other side with the whole building open inside, no partitians.
    Being the new guy I got the two stalls near the large overhead door, which was constantly being opened by the mechanics bringing cars in and taking them back out. Sometimes the temps dropped below zero oustside so my two stalls by the door got really cold. It was not the most pleasant place to work, in my long list of places I did work at).

    If you're looking for a reasonable temperature to work filler then stay above 50 deg.F. The warmer the filler gets the quicker it will harden and be sandable. If you have relatively small areas to work the filler and you're on a really tight budget then go to a hardware store and buy one of those round aluminum shield clip on lights with the regular screw in bulb type socket. then pick up a heat lamp bulb that will screw into that aluminum clip on light. Its not ideal and its good for bondo patches of around a foot or less but it WILL work.
    I too have had no negative effects of cold temps using fillers, as long as they are allowed a full cure. Im in Texas and it doesnt get extremely cold, (30 degrees at times) but it does get fairly warm in the summer. There are (in my opinion) advantages to both hot and cold climates, and I try to take advantage of each condition. In the cooler temps, you get a much longer working time with it, but it does take longer to cure. In warmer temps you can block it much sooner. So in winter I can cover a much larger area in one application. Usually the entire area I need to cover. In the summer it tends to kick too fast and have to apply in 2 halves using less filler for each half. (on a large area)
    What I would not recommed is to adjust the amount of hardner to the filler to compensate for temp by more than about 1/2% (General rule being 2% hardner for most fillers)

  9. #9
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    I agree that there are advantages to both hot and cold filler applications however filler tends to shrink slightly as it hardens and filler that is leveled during cooler temps can shrink more after it is finished.

    I've been using low cost filler for years and recently switched to high priced filler and haven't had enough time with it to see if it shrinks the same as the low-end filler but my guess is that it probably doesn't.

    When we apply filler during cold weather the longer cure time allows us to tweak the soft filler for a longer period of time. A good filler application greatly helps shorten the time needed for leveling. It's a lot easier to work the filler while it's being applied than after it's hard. After we do our initial cheese grating we use a heat lamp to speed the curing so that we can sand it level and help the filler to do it's shrinking before it's leveled. The use of a heat lamp saves a lot of time during the cure process and saves a lot of money because we don't need to heat the entire building to make the chemicals work properly.

  10. #10
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    in sept I purchased thru Lens online store the infra heat lamp + find it to be very valuable in my shop warming a panel or area up to apply filler. Over the years I have warmed panels with Clamp lites using drop light bulbs + red heat lamp bulbs .I have a heavy brake rotor for a base with a length of square tubing welded to it with 3 clamp lites attached that I also use to warm panels + a couple of portable propane heaters that I also aim in the general direction of my work area. Up here in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains it can get very cold here in the winter months. in my shop I maintain + keep my pair of Wreckers + my old Roll back looking good + am always working on a vintage car or truck in between tow calls

  11. #11
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    One thing that has not been discussed about filler and warm/cold temperatures. The cooler filler gets the thicker it gets and it can be very difficult to spread correctly if its cold. I have used a heat gun to warm the filler up on my mixing board before I add hardener but then it usually gets too warm and kicks too fast once the hardener is added.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V
    One thing that has not been discussed about filler and warm/cold temperatures. The cooler filler gets the thicker it gets and it can be very difficult to spread correctly if its cold. I have used a heat gun to warm the filler up on my mixing board before I add hardener but then it usually gets too warm and kicks too fast once the hardener is added.
    Excellent point and absolutely true. I do that as well, but I only warm it up just enough to get it to spread well. (Only when it gets unmanageably cold)
    I'll use my heater though. If it's not cold enough to bother with a heater, the filler is fairly manageable.

  13. #13

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    I have recently did a patch about 5 x 18 inches on my 48 coupe. Anyway it was about 0 outside that morning, my shop was about 34, I turned on both 220 volt heaters and in about an hour it was 60 or so, the shop is well insulated but concrete floors get cold here as the ground freezes all winter. I applied the filler in 3 thin layers getttinfg progresively wider each time, but I also had a heat lamp near the panel, it was warm but not hot, it was workable in about 20 minutes each time.After the final coat and sanding I let the shop gradually go back to about 40 overnight.
    The last few days it has been down to -35 overnight and only warmed up to -20 in the day, I could probabl;y get the shop upt to 50, but at this temp I will wait till it warms up to 0 at least.
    I did read an article froma bodyman from ND lately, he writes that if the metal and work area is cold the patch will develop moisture bubbles later, because the cool meatl will sweat, when the filler is curing on it's first coat. Not sure about this, could be but as in all things it could vary well be something along with it that causes moisture.

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