A Bondo Rant

I'll use Bondo again, and it'll be too soon

Bondo body repair products
Just some of Bondo's product line

Everyone should know what Bondo is, but no one should ever have to use it.

Bondo is a brand name of body repair products that is used to repair metal that has rusted, fiberglass that has cracked, and the list goes on. Basically, any exterior surface with a hole, crack, or dent can likely be "repaired" with a Bondo product.

Dented motorcycle tank
The project. Will Bondo deliver?

Absolutely amazing things can be achieved with Bondo products. But only by magicians and alchemists.

Why? Because epoxy. Whether you’re using Bondo body filler (as was used in this tank repair) or Bondo fiberglass resin jelly (often used to make structural repairs to cracks or breaks in race plastics), you have 2 ingredients:

  1. The body filler or resin/jelly
  2. The cream hardener

Ingredient number one comes from a container resembling a paint can. If you dare open it, you better be outside or wearing a respirator - it’s caustic as all get out. Scoop as much out as you believe you need to get the job done.

Ingredient number two squeezes out of a small toothpaste-like container. But ZOMG, don’t you dare squeeze it out until you’re ready. Get a tool to apply and spread the mix with. Get a separate tool to stir. Use the bathroom, get a drink of water, clear your mind. Because once you start stirring, the clock is ticking.

Bondo applied to a dented motorcycle tank
First application of Bondo. Sh*t dries fast.

Squeeze that hardener out and mix. Mix fast. Hurry! Get the 2 ingredients evenly mixed and then apply. Apply it! Now! Apply it fast! Smooth it over, but not more than you need to! Don’t stop, apply more, fill in the gaps. Smooth it out! Hurry!

The first three times you try this, the mixture is guaranteed to harden way before you’re done. You will be left with a rough, uneven finish. If you’re lucky, you’ll have added more material than you needed. This will at least allow you to grind and sand down the disaster. But if you didn’t add enough material, get ready to repeat!

Bondo twice applied to a dented motorcycle tank
Second pass with Bondo.

I’m not saying Bondo is a bad product. I’m not even saying you shouldn’t use it. All I’m saying is that I despise using it, and yet I know I will use it again.

Dented motorcycle task repaired with Bondo
Smoothed with a palm sander and painted. Its better than it started!