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Keeping two-part polyester body putty

Q: I know two-part polyester body putty is the best option for doing custom body work, but I don’t use it often enough to justify the price, even in the smaller quantity containers.

My putty of choice has been Squadron Products’ white and green putties, but even these get a little stiff in the tube before I use them up. Is there any way to extend the life of these products?

-Ben White
via e-mail

Ken: You’re correct, Ben. Two-part putties are the best, particularly Evercoat products, which are our favorite here at the workshop. You’re also correct about the price.

One-part putties like Bondo and Squadron are essentially really thick primer that can in fact be thinned once the product is out of the tube.

If it hardens too much to squeeze from the tube you’re pretty much sunk, but if you can get it out, it can be judiciously thinned with small amounts of lacquer thinner or even liquid model cement.

Squeeze some out onto your mixing surface, add a spot of thinner or liquid cement, and mix the putty to the consistency you need.

We’ve also found that even with a fresh tube, Squadron will sometimes start to setup and clump before we’ve even finished spreading it.

When this happens, brush on some liquid model cement such as Testors, with the applicator brush, and work the putty with the applicator. Good luck and thanks for the question.


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