View Full Version : Buck building seminar

Randy Ferguson
02-01-2005, 05:07 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm planning a buck building seminar for March 25-26, 2005. This is Easter week-end, so if that causes problems for too many of you, we can try for another week-end, but my schedule is pretty full except for these dates. I figure most guys will be able to get Good Friday off fairly easily.

I have lots of wireform/bondo bucks to build from a '40 Willys and I'm already swamped. I could use the help and there seems to be lots of interest in building bucks, so perhaps we can all benefit from it.


James Kirk
02-01-2005, 05:11 PM
I would love to learn how, but I have to work nights that weekend.


anders nørgaard
02-01-2005, 05:15 PM
Darn Randy,

Sure would love to join that seminar. :!: How bout moving Robinson to Denmark :?: :lol:

Anders DK

Randy Ferguson
02-01-2005, 05:20 PM
We plan on working days, so that shouldn't be a problem. You should be accustomed to very little sleep by now. How's the kid doin'???

Randy Ferguson
02-01-2005, 05:23 PM
Jump the pond. We'd be glad to have you.

02-01-2005, 06:08 PM

Pretty sure I can make that seminar! I get Good Friday off as a paid holiday anyhow :lol: .

Sounds like fun!

Tim D.

02-01-2005, 08:31 PM
That's a great idea Randy! :D (Getting other people to work for free.) Just kidding. Wish I could make a trip that far North. I bought a few "woodworking" tools today. ;)

I may be making some Model T fenders and panels shortly. I'd like to be able to make and save the bucks for reuse. These will be more fab than form (again) but the bucks will give repeatable reference points.

02-02-2005, 05:44 AM
Hi Randy
Would love to attend, but I'll be in Puerto Vallarta Mexico that week end. Now if you want to bring it to Mexico............

James Kirk
02-02-2005, 03:15 PM
She's doing great. I'll bring a pict. up Friday. Thanks for asking.

Korey Wood
02-02-2005, 03:32 PM
Sounds wonderful 8) ,

It happens to be my birthday on easter sunday this year and so I hope the Easter bunny leaves me a basket full of sheetmetal :lol: :lol:

02-06-2005, 05:41 PM
Hi Randy
Can you put me down for the buck building. Please forward hotel info and anything I could bring or do to help.
Thanks Dave

Randy Ferguson
02-06-2005, 09:40 PM
Hi Dave,
Hope you can make it!
Here's your info.

Best Western
(618) 544-8448

Quail Creek Country Club & Resort
(618) 544-8674

Arvin Motel
(618) 544-2143

There is new place in Oblong that I know nothing about. I've heard it's nice.

Union Suites
(618) 592-6126

02-07-2005, 05:28 PM
Hi Randy, will try to attend. Already got the OK from work now comes the difficult part, the wife.


Renee n Jerry Conrad
02-07-2005, 09:55 PM
Great idea Randy!

I'd love to come, got it on the calander and will bring hand tools, protective gear and all that. Sorry to miss out on the Feb 5th. Got air sanders, 'henrob' take-off gas torch, maybe a 5hp brigs gasoline powered air compressor (it's LOUD...)? Don't want to pile your place up with things not needed, but be glad to bring whatever will help?

Steve will likely come if they don't make him work again this time, (he's a vw fan, loves to tear them down and rebuild them from the ground up) if not Dad may be able to get away. (I'd be surprised, the way it's running us right now, but you never know.)

Sounds like a fun project. Thanks for letting us help and learn! Michelle, we appreciate you too. Need any grass seed?



02-08-2005, 12:57 PM
Dunno about grass seed, but they sure could use an extra large lawn roller!

Tim D.

Van Orin Customs
02-09-2005, 05:15 AM
Im gonna try really hard to get there in March. I shouldn't be too busy at work then. We'll see.

Randy, I ordered my shrinking disk!


02-12-2005, 04:47 PM
Hi Randy, Got the OK from the Mrs. I will be there and probably my son Josh too, SOMEBODY'S got to mix all that bondo!


P.S. Will bring a bunch of new
putty cards.

roger n cindy
02-20-2005, 09:44 PM
i guess if there's going to be a new Gilmore there to harass :twisted: i had better work it into my busy schedule to be there for the fun ! really sound like an educational experience, the buck building not the harassing which i would try not to do anyway :roll: uncle johnny probably has to work again :cry:. randy thanks for the opportunity to learn . phil tell josh not to worry because i probably won't harass him :wink: .

02-24-2005, 01:09 PM
Hi Roger, he's a good kid. He can handle it!


03-25-2005, 06:08 PM
The Buck Building Seminar is underway in Robinson, IL. We are all having a great time. Will have some pictures to post of how metalshapers use Bondo to shape metal by building "Bondo Bucks" with wire reinforcement

03-25-2005, 06:35 PM
Jerry, I bet you guys are having big fun, wish I could be there.....tell everyone hello..............john

dancing bear
03-26-2005, 12:00 PM
The Buck Building Seminar is underway in Robinson, IL. We are all having a great time. Will have some pictures to post of how metalshapers use Bondo to shape metal by building "Bondo Bucks" with wire reinforcement
Thank you Mr. Murphy" ie law" now that Buck meet is about over I`m feeling better. I`m going to mm05 even if in an ambulance LOL.I`ve never been this enthused about something.Ready for good weather and a big shot of ambition. I`ll be pickin Roger`s brain about bucks if he will agree to the labotomy. Jerry

Neal Nicholson
03-28-2005, 02:45 PM

Thank you for hosting another great mini meet.
Even though I missed day one I learned a lot and had a great time as usual.
I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with those bucks and also to the next get together.


Randy Ferguson
03-30-2005, 11:03 PM
Hi Guys and Gals,

I want to thank everyone who made it out this past week-end for the buck building seminar. I'd like to do it again in about a month, so anyone willing to make another trip to Robinson, please let me know. We have lots more bondo to play with!!!!

Kerry Pinkerton
03-31-2005, 04:41 AM
Pictures. PICTURES! We want Pictures!

roger n cindy
03-31-2005, 08:49 AM
randy thank you for hosting the meet and putting up with all of us, thank machelle too for letting you. i had a great time and learned a few things, got to see old friends and meet new ones. the car show season has started but i am up for another event if our schedule permits. $2.25+ gas will probably have us close to home this summer. post the date and they will come ! roger

Neal Nicholson
03-31-2005, 10:03 AM
Sounds great Randy.
I will try to make it at least on Saturday.
Maybe this time I can get more bondo on the buck than on the floor.

Where do you purchase Dyna Glass at?


03-31-2005, 05:58 PM
hi randy

they told us at work we would be hoisting every other sat. so just maybe it will be on a day they dont make me work .


dancing bear
03-31-2005, 07:20 PM
Randy, I`m going to keep trying untill I get there. Just tell me when.

Doug Hawkins
03-31-2005, 08:17 PM

It was a good session to learn buck building and to practice the shaping skills. I had never seen bondo dust in Randy's shop before.

Thanks to Renee for providing me guidance on the piece I was shrinking, then stretching, then shrinking some more. Finally got there.

Thanks to Duck for his guidance and TIGging.

Thanks to Josh and Mike and Steve and Renee for their tireless efforts in running the shrinker / stretcher.

Thanks to Roger for bringing the Island Suburban then freely sharing it. Cindy and I considered detouring and not coming back for awhile when we took it for a drive. Very Cool!

And if we were to look up patience or perseverance in the dictionary there would be pictures of Tim Doty and Phil Gilmore. Very nice work on the pieces for the roof guys.

And if were not busy doing something we can always talk with someone about projects.

Had a great time

Look forward to seeing you all again.

04-02-2005, 09:40 AM
Thanks, Doug! Hi Randy, post a date and will try to attend. Will you need my welder again?


04-11-2005, 07:12 PM
Hello all, sorry about the feedback delay on the Buck building seminar, arrived home to find that my computer had crashed and the one at work is to slow to use. ANYWAY, I found out that buck building is a HECK of a lot of work! Randy had a pretty good turn out, Spanky and Carryallman (?) which is Mike Sr. and Jr. from Iowa, Duck, Paul Monds, Neal Nicholson, Tim Doty and Lori, Jerry, Doug, Roger, Allen,Renee and Steve, my son Josh and myself, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few, sorry.
Randy started out taping all the joints where he didn't want bondo then had the guys bend pencil rod to the shape of the trunk lid and added crossbars in roughly a 6x6 pattern and welding them in. They then built an angle iron frame work for support and welded that in. THEN, a whole lot of bondo was mixed and smoozed in around the entire pencil rod framework. Since the trunk lid was coated with Minwax the whole thing was lifted off after it had dried.
This produced a negative copy off the lid. Then another buck was built off of this negative buck producing an exact copy of the trunk contour (positive buck). As this was going on a few guys were building sheetmetal runners in the shape of the trunk drip rail and the roof contours, these had to be built in duplicate in order to unbolt it allowing the buck to be remove as the body shape will not allow it once the bondo would dry.
My son Josh took a bunch of pictures but cut just about every one heads off. Will try to post some once I figure out how. He also took AT LEAST 15 pictures of Roger's 49 Suburban (The Island Bus), he LOVED that thing Roger! I think half of the fun was just shooting tha bull during meal breaks. Thank you Randy and Michelle for having as all over, It's always been enjoyable.

All the best, Phil Gilmore (rookie)

Randy Ferguson
04-11-2005, 10:37 PM
Hey Folks!
Phil, thanks for the write up.
I've been trying to figure out when the best time to have a follow up to this seminar would be, but we're so busy I'm almost afraid to post a date. I was hoping for the last part of April, but not sure that's going to work out. The '38 Willys has to ship out of here in no more than two weeks and the one we're taking bucks from has to be finished by the first week of June. It's crunch time!!!! Urgh!!! I hate deadlines!!!!!!!
Perhaps the first week-end in May would work????
I'll check my schedule. It'll be another Friday-Saturday deal.

04-11-2005, 11:12 PM
Hey Folks!
The '38 Willys has to ship out of here in no more than two weeks and the one we're taking bucks from has to be finished by the first week of June. It's crunch time!!!! Urgh!!! I hate deadlines!!!!!!!


Sounds like one of them TV shows.

04-12-2005, 01:42 PM
Let us know the dates once they firm up, Randy.

Keith, I was talking to one of the MetalMeet members and he said that one of these days we will be seeing Randy in his new 60K foot shop, on 'Rides'! I don't doubt that a bit.

All the best, Phil

Tin Head
04-12-2005, 02:18 PM

Reading about your bondo bucks brought to mind a much cheaper alternative than bondo. I use plaster of paris, putting down a base coat, then adding hemp or a similar fiber to the plaster and building up the buck in thickness. I add wooden stiffeners held in place with cheese cloth, dipped in plaster, wrapped around the wood. It sets up pretty quick, cleans up easily, plus you can mix up quite a bit at a time as I think the time in the bucket is 20 or so minutes. The hemp I use comes from some type of filter. The hemp acts like a binder and along with well placed wooden stiffeners you can make them quite large.

I use this as a negative, then build a fiberglass positive from that, but another plaster buck could be made as well.

Might save a few buck if a guy does it a lot.


Wray Schelin
04-12-2005, 02:40 PM
Hi Bob,

I'm the originator of the molded bondo/wireform copy buck technique ( I developed it 15 years ago) and before I settled on using bondo I tried plaster because of the cost factor. The plaster was a disaster compared to bondo. Plaster rusts the metal while it is setting which takes sometimes 48 hours when you have a lot of thickeness. It has very little strength even if you use rope and wire. One drop and it will break and forget about the potential of hammerforming details right on the buck.

The quick hardening qualities of bondo coupled with the strength of the embedded steel wires are just an unbeatable combination. With a molded bondo/wireform copy buck you can make super accurate copies of panels 100s of times . The design of the buck allows you full backside viewability plus easy clamping and you can hammerform details that are very difficult to do any other way.

The bondo wireform buck process is also very fast compared to any other buck method. The one exception is when you have a shape with undercuts which requires designing the bondo/wireform buck in sections so it can be disassembed in the middle allowing the undercut panel to be removed.


04-12-2005, 03:31 PM

He does have a point if one is going from a positive and need to make a female copy of the part to build the buck from.

And that brings me to my question.

If you pull a mold off the outside of a part, what would be the best way to build up a uniform thickess in it so you could pull an inside surface, bondo buck.

Multiple coats of paint?


Wray Schelin
04-12-2005, 03:48 PM
Hi Gene,

I tried the plaster method on panels that were inaccessable forcing the molding of the female outside of the shape. After one try at that method I switched to back to bondo.... I still have the plaster molds in my attic, someday I'll throw them out.

You can use patten wax from Freeman to build up the thickness on the female mold. Randy is currently using mulitiple layers of masking tape to simulate the thickness of the sheetmetal so a male can be molded off of the female.

Remember if you have a good panel to copy you can make the panel with just a flexible shape pattern and a few profile gages. Only if you intend to make a super accurate copy of a panel or many copies of it would you need to make a wireform/bondo copy buck.


Tin Head
04-12-2005, 07:24 PM
I agree with you Wray, rust would certainly be a problem on bare steel. I've only used it on painted or primed aluminum or steel and clay. And you certainly wouldn't want to pound on it as it is very soft. I've also used bondo with glass cloth as a reinforcement with good results. These were smaller, quickly made bucks.

From the male, made off of the female, I just made a flexible pattern, or taken section cuts from it for an MDF buck. Never used wax to account for material thickness, although I've seen it done. Seems like most of my parts are fairly flat and the material thickness don't amount to much. But again, that may be why they aren't always a perfect fit. Probably just the metal shaper though as I'm better at buck building than metal shaping.

Fiberglass bucks don't like being pounded on either.


04-12-2005, 07:42 PM
I was only noting that reinforced plaster could be used as a temporary mold between a real part and a working buck. non impact plaster molds are the standard for slip cast pottery, and all sort of other tooling.
When I was in the display business, we used a lot of figures made out of packing tape and fgr plaster. (fiber gyspum reinforced) ie a mold was covered with special high strength plaster and strand mat (could be shot with a gun) in a thin coat and then the still damp plaster was covered inside with a layer of fiber reinforced paper tape.
The part was pulled the parts of the overall piece mated and taped together with reinforced tape, finally the whole thing was covered with a thin layer of plain brown paper tape to provide a uniform surface for finish.

It would seem to me that the fgr product might be useful in pulling temporary mold/patterns.

I have no illusions of them lasting under anything other than archival reference situations and then storage dictates life.

OOPS, dead. That was cute.


Randy Ferguson
05-04-2005, 04:31 PM
Hi Guys,

I had mentioned in an earlier post that we might shoot for the first week-end in May to have another buck building seminar. If anyone took that as a definite, and was planning to attend, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to cancel this one. The '40 Willys is scheduled to be completed by June 10. If anyone wants to come by anytime between now and then and help finish this rig, you're certainly welcome. My priority is to finish the car. The bucks can be built later!!


05-05-2005, 08:10 AM
I would give almost anything to be able to come work under your supervision,(perhaps at MM05), and help you finish that Willys. Good luck. Gotta hate those deadlines,eh, Boyd, I mean Randy. John V.O.