Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bondo? Good Luck, Idiot.

Wow, so I decided to fill in the rotten parts of the storm windows I took down and stripped the other day. Turned out to be a little harder than I'd imagined. I used Bondo's wood filler, which is an experience all its own.

First, I tried it on the salvaged door that was installed in the NorthWest bedroom. The door originally had the old mortise lock and the rest of the house has your conventional style doorknob, so the old holes needed to be filled. I grabbed a couple chunks of scrap wood to fill the majority of the hole, then smeared in the wood filler.
Let me explain the process of the wood filler.
Step 1: Mix stinky chemical A with nasty chemical B to form noxious fume putty.
Step 2: Don't puke from the smell
Step 3: Fill necessary areas of wood
Step 4: Sand down to flat and prepare for paining

Doesn't seem to hard? Well, first off, Step 1 should have been take everything outside so your house doesn't smell terrible all day. Step 3 is considerably harder than it sounds. This product sets in 3-5 minutes. Take note that these 3-5 minutes are not all totally functional. The first two minutes are a little runny, so anything you apply on a vertical surface will slide down. The third minute? Primo. The 4th and 5th minutes are when the putty turns from snot to boogers (sorry Mom) and begins to become impossible. It starts to stick to itself and pull up the stuff you aready laid down well. Enjoy.

I kind of got the hang of it once I got going on the window frame out in the front yard (yay ventilation) which turned out surprisingly well considering how much of the frame was rotten in the corner. (this is the best photo I have of the before showing rot)

I still need to sand down the results of my putty-day, but I'm feeling pretty confident about the whole project right now.

In other news,

I'll be going down to Minneapolis this weekend for an American Institute of Architecture Students conference. Between the seminars and architecture firm tours (cool!) I'm going to run out to an architectural salvage place or two. I have a pretty short list (and budget) so I hope to get 1. a floor grate for the dining room 2. heat registers for the second floor 3. 1920's medicine cabinet and 4. vintage mailbox. Anything else I should look into that I'm forgetting? Let me know. I'm going to compile some measurements tomorrow so I don't have to call home to my roommates and make them run all over the house with a tapemeasure. This weekend is going to rock. Very exciting!


Muskego Jeff said...

If the Bondo for wood is like the Bondo for cars, the usable work-time will depend on temperature and how much of the hardener you put in. You may get more work time out of it by using less hardener.

Ranty said...

When are you coming to Mpls? Friday or Saturday? Email me and let me know!

Anonymous said...

Here's a recent ep of Ask This Old
House where Tom Silva shows how
to use epoxy filler for wood rot...

Now if I could just get the TOH guys to fix up my house !!!,,20111866,00.html

See you've heard from Ranty...
Architectural Salvage places in
the Twin Cities tend to be hope you'll get
something authentically old and
also something some guy hasn't
ripped off...

I'd start with the Re-Use Center
which I think you can get to
easily from where you'll be...
it's possible salvage place outside
of the Twin Cities might be
more reasonable

Frank Plumbing...also not far from
the U is good for plumbing and heating but very expensive

North Minneapolis!

Northwest Architectural Salvage
981 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104
651-644-9270 / Email:
Antique Lights, House and Furniture Hardware, Doors, Sinks, Toilets, Tubs, and more.
Lights restored and rewired. Hardware cleaned, polished and lacquered. Shop hours: 12:00 to 6:00 Weekdays 11:00 to 4:00 on Saturdays. We buy and sell.

Good Luck!

Nate said...

Wow, thanks. Good to know!

Nate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StuccoHouse said...

One stop...make it Bauer Bros. Hands down.

You might want to check your local postal regs before buying a vintage mailbox. I'm all about vintage, but the old ones are very small and some carriers won't deliver to them unless they were grandfathered in.

Maybe you did it, but you might want to hit any wood you are repairing with a consolidator before the epoxy. If you decide you don't like Bondo, you might give WoodEpox a whirl. thats what I use and have been very pleased (although its more expensive).

Nate said...

I'll definatelly be hitting Bauer Bros next time I'm headed south. I didn't find anything at the ReUse Center, and that was the only one I had time for.

Consolidator you say, maybe I should have done more research first! I'll pick some up for next time. Thanks for the advice!

StuccoHouse said...

IMO, the ReUse center is pretty much useless unless you have the time & energy to visit it regularily and dig through the crap....and even then only for some items (doors, plumbing fixtures, flooring). Don't get me wrong, I've found some good stuff there....but I go almost weekly and 99% of the time I leave empty handed.

Consolidator...if there is any rot, it's a good thing :-)