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Two Rivers's Avatar
 
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Body plastic hardeners

Are body plastic hardeners all the same? The reason I ask is I grabbed some harder from some 3M short strand and used it in some standard plastic.
It might of just been me but it seemed harder to sand.
The plastic cured OK but thought I would ask.
An old timer told me they where all the same but that might have been in his time.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:11 AM
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Hi...Yes, in general they are.

Most fillers are polyester resin based so most cream hardners will work.

Some companies fillers and hardners are designed specifically for their product to be used on say galvanized steel, aluminum. E.G.- Evercoats 'MetalWorks" honors an OEM corrosion

There is no difference in the hardners colours.... The reason for the two colours is it just changes the color of the hardened filler so when sanding to see the layer of filler for proper leveling.

As for your product being' hard'- That may be due to the filler you are using. "Premium' fillers will sand easier with few to no pin holes. ect. If using fiberglass filler such as Evercoats 'Kitty Hair' with resin hardner - as a comparison only - it is hard and of course sands hard.

They have fiberglass fillers that come with epoxy-enriched BPO catalyst which within itself enhances sandability and reduces shrinkage. Some catalyst are available in two speeds- Fast or slow for different weather conditions,
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:05 PM
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Thank You for that information.
Ask and you will receive. Thats what makes Pelican Parts a great place.

When I was a Young lad I had a problem with pin holes until I got educated by a good friend. It only hurt for a few minutes.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:27 PM
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are all cream hardeners the same well no .
what they all do shire is the same main components but it's the amount of the components that will differ from one manufacture to another .
will one work with another makers body filler yes many times they will and do .
evercoat , usc , 3m , roderlo , all have there cream hardeners made for there products .
the reason is for the things like the isobenzofurandione , lime , magnesium carbonates and others that are used in the products that change just what has to be changed for the cream hardeners to give you the work times and dry time along with how it sands and if it's still going to be a tack free plastic body filler .

so with all that it will kick the body filler and it will dry but it's the performance of the filler you could and will change some times .

what makes a product ez to sand is the lime they add to it . the more lime the easier it makes your sanding go but the down side is it also tends to like to shrink in later on down the road .
so to combat this and to help stop shrinking in they will tend to add deferent polymers or plastics to the products . but if you have ever sanded plastic it tends to load up the sand paper very quick making it not so tack free .
pin holes are from the most part caused by the product but also by the user them selfs .

to prove my point to a intern that loved his rage gold and thought it was the best product out there we did a little test .
i told him to mix up a fist size blob of his rage gold and i will go get the cheappest body filler i could find it ended up with bondo brand with red cream hardener .
i got him a new 46 dollar gal of his loved rage gold body filler and i had a new 17 dollar gal of bondo body filler .
so we were both starting out with new gal cans of filler .
he like so many did the same old things many do wrong when mixxing body fillers .
he 1st slapped it onto a piece of cardboard and mixxed it up with a wood paint stick .
the 1st thing wrong is the use of cardboard , then he did not use the right amount of hardener , then he just stired it like it was paint in a can .
when we were all finished he had just 6 more pin holes in his 1'x1' area of body work than i did using a cheap body filler .
i used two more sheets of 80 grit paper to sand off the tack coat from the cheap ass bondo body filler .

now here why he ended up with no better results than me using a body filler thats twice the price .

1st he mixxed it on cardboard . cardboard will soak up the resins you should nix your filler on a piece of plastic or onion paper .

then he did not mix the right amount of cream hardener in to the amount of filler he had . like so many he added way to much cream hardener .
one tube is more than enough hardener for a gal of filler .

then he stirred it up . by doing this you are adding more air to the filler than you want to .
you need to fold it over on it's self . just as you would when your say kneading dread dough
you want to fold it over in it's self to help push the air out of the product .

then there is how thick he spread his coats on . he tried to get the shape with the 1st coat of filler were i tend not to do that . the reason is the thicker you spread your filler the more air you will have in your filler .
he told me that it's ok because he's going to sand it down to were it should be with a piece of 36 grit .
ok but now by doing so you have now added extra deap sanding scratches from the 36 grit paper you wil have to deal with . again down the road shrinking in and added pin holes .

so now the panel is been sitting out side with primer on it for about a year now and you can see his body work shrinking in and some other ugly crap going on .

so you see it's not just the filler or cream hardeners but also the way you use them .

now red cream hardeners . many say they will blead thru to the top coats .
this is true to a point . this tends to happen to heavy solvent based products that you wil spray over the top of the fillers with red hardeners in them . it has to do with the red oxide in the hardener that will tend to blead thru .
the reason some CO's still use the red oxide in there herdeners is because of the added DTM benefits .
it's not a bad thing they still offer red crean hardeners they do work and with a product like bondo brand fillers it does help it to bite into the bare metal a little better than if you went to use the blue crean hardeners .

so are all hardeners the same well no but you can use just about any hardener with any filler .
Old 01-23-2013, 08:24 AM
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I just did an experiment with hardeners.
I used the 3M short strand hardener in some Dynatron {dynalite} filler.
Then the hardener for the Dynatron. Using the same amount of both.

With the 3M hardener it was harder to sand and the sand paper would last half if that long because it would clog up. With the Dynatron hardener the sanding was easier and the sand paper did not clog up.
White 80 grit sand paper from the roll used by hand on a long block.

Thanks for your help.

So in the end I will be removing the filler I mixed up the hardeners on just for piece of mind. Would hate to have a problem down the road after painting.

Also the mixed up hardener seemed to set up faster.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:32 PM
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Hi...You may already know this, but in case you don't; prior to using a filler use #80 paper so as to take paint or whatever off down to the metal. Grind the metal with the #80 so that your filler has a rough base to adhere to.

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:23 PM
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Yes Thanks

I also use 98% ethanol to clean the surface before application. Over kill I know but I figure clean makes a good base. Also the ethanol drys fast and will not soften the first fill coat of plastic.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:02 AM
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when it comes to your plastic work many people tend to do the same things .
they will spread a heavy 1st coat then knock it down to a basic shape with some 36 grit .
now you may think it's ok to do that ?
but heres what happends from doing that . the 1st is you are trapping air in your body filler .
if you have ever done a heavy coat of filler and sanded it you will see as you sand your getting a lot of air holes or pin holes as your sanding down all the extra filler to get your basic shape .
well think about all the air pockets that are still in you filler you still have left on your repair area . your trapping many of them under your next coats of filler right to your top coats .
now your all finished with your car it's in paint and put back together you have been driving it for a year or two then one day you see a little spot that was never there before right were you did some body work .
well over time the little air pockets finely shrunk in .

now with the 36 grit paper . it's ok to us it but it's on what and when your using it that could be the bad thing .
the only time you can get away with using it is when your panel is in bare metal . thats with no primers or any top coats ( paint ) on the panel .
what happends many times and i see it with many body men also is you will prep up the area were the repair needs to be but you left some paint around the area .
you then mix up some filler and spread it then you will grab a piece of 36 grit to knock it down to shape . but as your sanding with the 36 grit your sanding a little of the paint or primer as well to feather edge the filler out .
so now it's time for your next coat of filler you now just spread right over the 36 grit scratch and now spread a little farther out on the repair area . you think it's ok you just spread over and filled in the 36 grit scratchs with more filler .
this is wrong ! you did not fill in the 36 grit scratch with more filler . all you really did was skim over the tops of the scratches . this too will shrink in later on down the road .
the reason why is you never really did fill the 36 grit scratch . a 36 grit scratch is a heavy cut to fill so in fact you still have just a little air trapped under the filler in the scratch of the 36 grit . this too after your cars all finished and you have been driving it for a year or two you will end up seeing .

in my shops we tend to use 40 or most of the time 60 grit as our heavy cut paper .
the recoat or next coat of filler will fill a 60 grit cut ez it will fill a 40 grit cut too but not as good and the same thing could happen as it does with the 36 grit and that's shrink in later on down the road .

the same can be said for acryic enamels and there hardeners and reducers as what many think when it comes to cream hardeners for body fillers .
the main components are the same and yes you can inter mix from one brand to another but many times it will change the performance of the product .
will it still make it setup and dry well yes but that's because all the main components are the same . but it's the amounts of each component that may differ .
Old 01-25-2013, 06:54 AM
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A abundance of knowledge...thank you!

I'm getting ready to spread some filler tonight so this is perfect timing.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:16 AM
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cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Rivers View Post
Yes Thanks

I also use 98% ethanol to clean the surface before application. Over kill I know but I figure clean makes a good base. Also the ethanol drys fast and will not soften the first fill coat of plastic.

Thorough cleaning is a 'must'...Try "Silicon and Wax Remover "...It's the standard and can be purchased at any automotive paint store...or Napa ect. ...Some brands just say Silicon Cleaners.

Wash your project well to begin with, then clean with this product prior to sanding, filling, including your top coat.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:27 PM
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