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.

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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.