Everyone’s heard of Bondo, but were you aware that they make a range of other materials, many of which are useful for purposes other than lowering the resale value of your car?
We ran into one of those, um, other uses this week when we were modifying some interior console panels in a GMC Denali pickup. While we were able to create some of the surfaces with wood, we used Bondo’s Bondo-Glass fiber-reinforced filler material to create some of the more complex curves.
Bondo-Glass works a lot like traditional Bondo in that it’s a two-part substance: the core material and a “hardener” agent that activates it. Once mixed, the material is workable for about five minutes, quickly solidifying into a hard shape that’s sandable and paintable. The major difference from the classic filler, of course, is the inclusion of fiberglass filler material which drastically increases its strength.
In our experience, the surface created by Bondo-Glass is far from finished and required a bit of Bondo surface glaze to smooth it out. This is largely caused by the difficulty in applying the ‘Glass smoothly without creating significant bubbles and cavities.
However, we were blown away with the strength of the hardened ‘Glass. We were able to use significant amounts of it without fear of cracking or splitting — a prime concern with the original filler. For our project, it worked perfectly.
You can find Bondo-Glass in most auto-parts stores in pint containers priced around $13-$15 per pint. We recommend picking up some extra Bondo Cream Hardener which sells for around $2.50 a tube as we discovered that it was handy to adjust the material’s work time by adding a bit of hardener sometimes.