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Thread: Bondo won't Dry! Just Stays tacky!

  1. #1
    Clover Grayscale's Avatar
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    Bondo won't Dry! Just Stays tacky!

    Yeah, I've been working on a console piece for my car thats gonna have a touchpad for a laptop and some buttons and various other things. I've molded my touchscreen into my dash before and have done that for a few friends too, so I know how to use bondo fairly well.

    But my problem: This time around the last couple of nights I've worked on this the bondo remains really tacky, or it will be weak and I can sink my fingernail into it and pull out a chunk. I am pretty sure I've got the consistency of the hardener/bondo right. I even tried putting extra hardener in and putting less than I was supposed to. This still didn't help. I've tried putting the bondo'd console right under a halogen lamp and putting a blow dryer on it to see if that would help. It did dry a bit faster, but still not quickly and it still didn't get untacky. The only thing I can think of now is maybe it's the weather? It is a bit chilly and I've noticed the tackyness being pretty bad now, which may correlate with the humidity, which is terrible right now.

    Current Weather conditions:
    57F
    Cloudy Feels Like
    57F

    UV Index: 0 Low
    Dew Point: 54F
    Humidity: 89%
    Visibility: 10.0 miles
    Pressure: 30.18 inches and steady
    Wind: From the East at 7 mph

    I think it was only 40% humidity the other day and it was still tacky >.< Any suggestions on how I can get this project done? This is driving me crazy! I keep having to peel/sand all the bondo off and redo it!
    CarPC install is starting to come along again...

  2. #2
    FLAC IntellaWorks's Avatar
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    .

    It needs to be warmer, can you do this in a heated basement or something.. it needs to be like 70 (at least) for it to harden correctly... :-\


    I'm not sure if you know what the finished product should feel like.. but it should feel like "plastic" remember those plastic army men ?? It should feel like that...


    Addition:
    If your bondo was stored outside.. and was cold before it was hardened that also might have ruined it, maybe try gettin a new canister of bondo (if you can afford it)
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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    Cold weather makes for REALLY slow drying times. As long as you put hardener in there, it will dry eventually assuming that the bondo and hardener did not go bad for some reason. Keep it in heat, and just give it more time.

    In the summer, the bondo can get VERY hott to the touch when it is drying. It is the actual heat in the air and that the chemical reaction generates that allows it to cure properly.

  4. #4
    Clover Grayscale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntellaWorks
    It needs to be warmer, can you do this in a heated basement or something.. it needs to be like 70 (at least) for it to harden correctly... :-\
    Ahhh, nah I don't have a basement and I can't do it inside >.< Maybe I can go to my uncles shop, he has one of those oldschool stoves you put wood in...

    Quote Originally Posted by IntellaWorks
    I'm not sure if you know what the finished product should feel like.. but it should feel like "plastic" remember those plastic army men ?? It should feel like that...
    Yeah, I know what it feels like. I did a lot of bondo work during the summer that turned out great

    Quote Originally Posted by IntellaWorks
    Addition:
    If your bondo was stored outside.. and was cold before it was hardened that also might have ruined it, maybe try gettin a new canister of bondo (if you can afford it)
    Really? It could actually ruin the bondo? Well damn I just bought a brand new can, and there's no way i'll be able to convince my parents to let me store it where its warm Well I did notice that the surface of the bondo had a really really thin film of a clear liquid, maybe not even noticible hardly. I wonder if it "seperated" or something? Because yeah this stuff is definately not hardening right. I just added almost double the amount of bondo you're suppose to add and put this thing under a halogen lamp and hair dryer again. I'm hoping it'll be warm enough to make it harden.

    So in short I should go buy another can and go to a place where it's warm?
    CarPC install is starting to come along again...

  5. #5
    My Village Called 0l33l's Avatar
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    Ummmm.... if you keep all the receits like me then you'd go and exchange that can

  6. #6
    Clover Grayscale's Avatar
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    thats half used and with bondo dripping all down the sides? rofl that would be funny but they would be like uhh no. the guys at my autozone are assholes, and its only $5 so i wont ***** anymore
    CarPC install is starting to come along again...

  7. #7
    Clover Grayscale's Avatar
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    strange thing happened guys...i've been going out and checking on the bondo and getting bummed that even tho i have heat on it its not getting any harder. so i went out there just a sec ago once more and pressed my fingernail into it, still soft. so i take the halogen lamp and turn the hairdryer that was pointed at it and on off. read the bondo can looking for a place where it says it will get ruined in the cold and the temps and stuff (which btw it says best results if its above 45degrees farenheit). Then after readnig that the console had time to cool down. and now its hard. pretty hard, not perfect, but a much better improvement. If i really push down and hard i can dig off a piece of the surface. any comments?
    CarPC install is starting to come along again...

  8. #8
    Clover Grayscale's Avatar
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    damn. i thought all was well. after the last post i went out and felt it again and it was hard as a rock, i couldn't scratch it off or dig into it or anything. i started sanding and been sanding for a while with my electric palm sander for like 5 mins, got down to where i started shaping it nicely and i decided to feel the surface and guess what? I'm able to dig into it again and i can peel it off. it's tacky like before! WTF?! is it because it got cold since it was off the lamp that it got soft again? surely not! maybe the layer beneath didn't cure because the heat only hit the surface? I put the lamp and hair dryer back on it. Oh I should note that the thickness of the bondo was about 1/8" to 1/4"
    CarPC install is starting to come along again...

  9. #9
    My Village Called 0l33l's Avatar
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    What kind of bondo is this? The fibre reinforced or just filler?

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate
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    Well, thats cause when you dried it, you only dried the outside layer and never gave the inside a chance to dry. But to tell you the truth Grayscale, if it was me, i'd remove all that bondo work. For strange reason, and I had it happen to me once before with Fiberglass. If it just doesn't harden, and isn't getting harder after like 15-20 minutes, then its no good. On that bad batch, even 1 month later it was 'ok' but never hardened like what your explaining.

    Get new bondo, new hardner and see what happens. I just did some bondoing work today in NY, the garage temp was 57deg with 100% humidity, kind drizzling today, worked fine.

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