Alternatives to Automotive Epoxy for Wood Filling

      Woodworkers discuss hard, sandable wood-filling compounds. March 25, 2007

I saw this Bondo like stuff on American Chopper/Hot Rod don't remember which one. It seemed thinner and easier to work with. Kind of spreads easier. Anyone know of the product I'm thinking of? Or at least a product for filling larger holes in veneer? Bondo can be a pain and it would be nice to find an alternative. Everything touched by it is to be painted, so no worries on colors.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
In the automotive industry they have two styles of Bondo, one for filling and the other for feathering. The filler is red in color and the feathering is blue-green in color. I don't know what its real name is, but it may give you a start on locating something similar.

From contributor E:
Some of that auto body filler is way expensive and overkill for filling voids in plywood for painting. You may want to consider better plywood over better filler.

From contributor C:
The thinner stuff is glazing compound, available in two part mix, or single part in a tube. Both are kind of expensive, but the two part dries very fast and sands okay. Another option is Durarock or Durabond(?) - the brown bag stuff, for drywall. Hard, dries quick, but dusty. Rock hard, the stuff in a can, mix with water, okay too.

From contributor S:
I touch up lacquer paint chips and dings with white Kampel Seam-Fil (designed for laminate seams). Spreads easy and dries quick. I use lacquer thinner on a rag to "sand" it flat once it cures. Shoot a topcoat of lacquer to touch up that spot and done! Not quite what you are looking for, but a neat trick nonetheless.

From contributor G:
We use Evercoat glazing compound which is pretty thin, sticks amazingly well and sands so thin you can read through it. They hold a patent on the formula, which improves its adhesion. The glazing is pourable, so you can't fill big holes on vertical surfaces. Color is neutral beige... makes a great wood filler and we use a lot of it. It's sold through auto body supply dealers.

From contributor A:
Contributor G rang the bell. We buy it from NAPA. Their bondo (Microlight) is the best and most cost effective product. At $12 a gallon, it sands very well, unlike the typical Bondo products.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the info. I will probably try some of everything. I just picked up some Microlight bondo from Napa, but mine was $24 for a gallon. That's a steep jump up from yours. We probably want something like Microlight for larger stuff, and then some of the pre-mix in a tube stuff for smaller fixes.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor L:
I use Bondo as filler on plywood under laminates. The trick is to apply the Bondo slightly (1/16") above the level of the repaired surface. When the bono has dried to where your thumbnail can just leave a mark, use a "cheese grater" type file to level the filled area. I prefer the Shureform "open" type files to the older "body lead" type files with the circular, wood-rasp type cutting teeth. Then sand at once with 100-grit or so no-fill sandpaper, and you are done in maybe 10 minutes, start-to-finish.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: General

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article