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View Full Version : Suggestions for wood bed and sealer


TonkaToy
04-08-2013, 08:37 PM
I'm building a 64 Chevy 4x4 short bed, step side pick up. I am doing a full frame off resto-mod and I am now working towards the bed part of the project. I won't be using the bed for anything that should damage it, that's what the $19 truck rental at Home Depot is for. At the same time, I am not building a show truck either, it will be my daily and occasional tow rig for the 40. I want something that has a deep wood grain and I will be using polished 'rub strips' and the inside/front of the bed sides will be clad in bright (polished) aluminum diamond plate....so lots of shine/reflection going on back there.
First question, southern yellow pine or oak floor? All the bed kits available are one or the other. The pine is substantially less in cost than the oak. When I think pine, I think of a pretty soft wood that could be easily damaged/marred. When I think oak, I think furniture and not really suited for exterior use....so there's my quandary.
Next question, no matter which wood I use, what is the best product to seal it with? I want something that will last, be Colorado uv protected and will be ok parked outside. There's lots of products out there but I don't want any regrets by cutting corners here.
There maybe other forums to ask this but I keep recalling what Nakman said at a meeting earlier this year about utilizing the knowledge and expertise within our club....so here I am!:thumb:
Thanks for any input!

baja1d
04-08-2013, 08:58 PM
Oak without question. You're right regarding the pine being soft. In addition oak has more grain. Unfortunately there isn't a product out there that will hold up to the CO environment. You & I will be refinishing our California beds every two years. Stripping & refinishing wood slats isn't really that big of a deal. Personally I wouldn't buy the wood kit but rather rip the slats myself for 1/3 the cost.

Telly
04-08-2013, 09:06 PM
Yep, Oak for durability. If your ripping, Teak would be ideal IMO.

Corbet
04-08-2013, 09:34 PM
Oak if your buying a kit. Pine will dent/scratch just looking at it.

Teak or any hardwood for that matter if your doing it yourself.

Not much is going to hold up here long term but I'd probably start with some sort of marine product.

TonkaToy
04-08-2013, 09:37 PM
If I were up to and capeable of ripping/drilling/countersinking my own deck, there are a lot of very pretty woods out there to pick from but doing some research and that is beyond my abilities and patience level. I did consider doing a pine/oak floor now and using it as a template for an upscale option in the future. I just think a precut kit is my best option at this point.
Disappointing news on the wood finish though. What about rubbing in some oil every year or something? Not so much worried about warping or cupping, the rub strips hold it down pretty good.

baja1d
04-08-2013, 09:57 PM
How soon are you wanting this done? I'll be doing mine (1969 GMC) in a year or so. Back in the day i did custom woodworking & I've got everything to put in a bed. I honestly believe that it will be the easiest part of your build, especially if you're doing a frame off. I'd be glad to help you out after Cruise Moab or sometime this summer. 72o-987-42o2 Travis

nattybumppo
04-08-2013, 09:59 PM
Oak. Spar varnish. Reapply every year as needed. If it works for a sailboat, it should work for you! You could also use several coats of epoxy with a uv inhibitor to reduce discoloration.

SteveH
04-08-2013, 10:36 PM
If there's any way you could store the truck indoors or a least tarp the bed (with a tarp suspended above the slats), the varnish will last much longer.

TonkaToy
04-08-2013, 10:42 PM
Travis, I don't think I can wait a year but let's talk about it over a cold one in Moab. I'm still working on the rear fenders but may have it in paint by then. This is just after I shaved the door handles a few months ago.
Sasha, I think a yearly maintenance plan is unavoidable!

L43dean
04-08-2013, 10:43 PM
Quarter sawn salvaged oak from a British ship in the Jamestown river would be ideal. Brush on linseed oil to all surfaces and sides. Re-apply regularly. Seriously, just buy the tightest grain oak you can, white oak is traditional when water and weather are factors. It holds up better than red oak. I wouldn't baby the bed, a little wear shows honest use and gives character to your hard working truck. Just like back in the day. I'll be on the lookout for a vintage metal cooler and tackle box.

nakman
04-08-2013, 10:57 PM
Wow, sweet! So silly question, but without door handles how to you get in?

And that wood deck should attach easy to that 2x6 frame.. I'd use hurricanes ties with the little tico nails. ;) :lmao:

TonkaToy
04-08-2013, 11:12 PM
I put big ass solenoids inside the doors that are remote controlled and keyless ignition so all you need is a remote to get in and drive. On the steering column, I replaced the ignition switch with a push button that pops the passenger door from inside.
The 2x6 frame is just to push it around the garage and keep it low enough to work on. I tried it down the hill in front of my house but the steering and brakes are **** on that frame!
When it finds its home on the chassis behind that vette motor though, should move along quite nicely!

MDH33
04-09-2013, 08:31 AM
Cool truck. :cool:

I was just turned on to this company when I was looking for wood epoxy for a guitar project. they specialize in boating materials, epoxies, varnishes, etc.

Jamestown Distributors (http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/main.do)

I'm sure they will have some kind of good weather resistant coating for your bed wood.

Beachboy
04-09-2013, 08:35 AM
Being from South Florida and just sold my 1957 Willys Pick Up truck which had a oak bed with metal strips like you are thinking about. Oak is the only way to go and go with marine spar varnish. It has good UV protection and you do not need to strip it every few years, just lightly sand and apply another coat. You will need about 4 coats to start with to make it shine like you want.

baja1d
04-09-2013, 09:39 AM
I put big ass solenoids inside the doors that are remote controlled and keyless ignition so all you need is a remote to get in and drive. On the steering column, I replaced the ignition switch with a push button that pops the passenger door from inside.
The 2x6 frame is just to push it around the garage and keep it low enough to work on. I tried it down the hill in front of my house but the steering and brakes are **** on that frame!
When it finds its home on the chassis behind that vette motor though, should move along quite nicely!

I absolutely would like to get together for a beer in Moab. I'd like to shave my doors as well. As soon as Marlin Crawler sends my axle parts I can move my 40 & get to my table saw. Should only be another month.

DaveInDenver
04-09-2013, 09:49 AM
I can second Jamestown, have used them for locally difficult to find things. I used to recommend Painter's Supply on Santa Fe for 3M but they have just about gotten completely out of stocking 3M and so I've gone to mail order out of sloth. There are several marine supplies around town plus Plasticare and ePlastic for just about everything in epoxy, resins and the like.

Woodsman
04-09-2013, 11:52 AM
Yes, as was mentioned above red oak is a poor choice as it is not weather resistant at all.

If you are using an "oak" then use white oak which is harder and much more resistant to weather and rot.

Two other great domestic choices which are even more weather and rot resistant and maybe even harder than white oak are black locust and osage orange (hedge apple). Both are a bit yellow when freshly planed but will age to a brown shade with exposure to some sun.

There are also many South American imports which are better than any of the above woods and very hard. I've used ipe many times and is is ridiculous. Heavy, hard and durable. Great stuff. You can get ipe and many others at http://www.advantagelumber.com/ and I'm sure ipe probably available through some of the better home center places.

TonkaToy
04-09-2013, 09:43 PM
I'm thinking the oak that they sell is white oak. From what I know of wood, red oak would not be appropriate, as you point out.
Travis, the easiest way to 'shave' is to have a donor door that you can cut patches from. It saves a ton of time and effort shaping new steel. So, here's my question, do you know if the 69 is significantly different than a 64 in terms of door sheet metal shape? I have several doors here, along with a ton of extra parts, that I am hauling to the crusher in a week or so. If you need anything that will fit a 69, you are welcome to it. I just don't know what carries over from 64 and what you might need. I need to make some room in the garage for the 40 hard top before the trek to Moab, so I will be hitting the scrap yard in the next couple of weeks. 3.5 car garage full of Chevy truck and no room for anything else!
Thanks for the input everyone. I hadn't thought about a marine sealer, sounds like it might be just the ticket. Im leaning toward the oak kit and when/if its time to replace it again, I can use it as a template on some other type of wood.

baja1d
04-09-2013, 11:01 PM
Seems like the little research I've done is 67-72. At this point, I'm in the same boat as you except with 2.5 forties. My garage is absolutely packed! Thanks for the offer though