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What do ya think about this pickup bed?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by radarsonwheels, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 194

    from Philly

    I decided to make a bed for my '54 beater dodge c-series pickup. I didn't want to put the stainless strips on like everybody else. It's not done, just mocked up. Gotta fill the corners and finish the wood.
  2. I like it. Different from the generic 'ordered this online' look. Also looks very utilitarian!
  3. cool. are the wood joints tight?
  4. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 194

    from Philly

    Yeah they're tight. It has two metal rails bolted in below the fender washers going across. I assembled them ratchet strapped tight and drilled the boards where they meet to clear the bolts. 1/2" fender washers on the top to clear the square tops of 3/8" carriage bolts, with 3/8" fender washers underneath on the ones without bars going across. The big washers on top let the carriage squares bite into the wood a little.

    I'm hoping it will last five or ten years. The ones with the rails always seem to make stuff slide around more.

  5. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,153


    I think you should have left some space between the boards. If you are using it as a daily driver, when they get wet they will swell and buckle. Just a thought I might be wrong.
  6. low-n-slo54
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,920


    weather proof the snot out of them and they should be ok. I like it. Looks like the truck works for a living.
  7. Looks cool. My 52 Dodge is similar.

    When I bought the truck, it already had the wood installed. I just cleaned it up, refinished it and changed the hardware to stainless.

    I would like to get some hardwood for the bed one day...the pine that's in there now flexes a bit when you stand on it.


    I think it gives the truck more of a 'work horse' look.
  8. I tend to agree, although it looks great!!
  9. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    from ruskin, fl

    Gonna be ugly soon with no expansion room.
  10. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,729


    if the wood is newly milled and not dried its likely that it will actually shrink..

    in a former life I built decks for a contractor in MD..
    we'd set decking boards as tight as possible on install.. when the wood dried a few months later a nice gap would form..
    I highly doubt there will be any buckling..
  11. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,531

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    What kind of wood did you use? Different woods have different expansion requirements, so they have different gaps. You will need to seal both sides and seal the ends, if you do not the sun heat will dry the one side exposed more than the unexposed causing cupping and severe warpage. The strips are used to prevent the gaps. You can use an oiled exterior cork, or an expansion strip placed between the boards, you can also machine in an overlap gap, sort of a tongue and groove. On the fasteners you will get the best result with a gasket type material in contact with the wood between the washers and the wood, tighten the bolt to near tight but not fully allowing some expansion motion in the wood. Nylock nuts work well for the fasteners on this. I used a spar urethane or a tong oil on mine, poly seems to cloud and others seem to check real bad rather quickly. If you can't find info on the gap I would go with a 1/4" per 4 inch width, should work well if you seal it properly. Most green wood wolmanized has a high moisture content, say 35 to 40 from the dunk, most kiln dried hardwoods are going to be under 20. If you used hardwood you will have zero to minimal shrink but a possibly disastrous expansion, I would also place a tar paper contact liner between the wood and any steel, to prevent squeaks and moisture rust. Have fun.
    Joined: Jul 17, 2009
    Posts: 199

    from GA.

    Thought about doing mine like that now I know I am. Looks great for a working truck.
  13. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    Id leave gaps .Over 22 years of Contracting experience .Looks good though ,You could glue together with PL and leave room for expansion on sides ,Only if you sealed the edges ............
  14. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,146


    X2, and is that treated lumber? OK on your deck, but not against any sheet metal you plan on keeping. That stuff will rust anything.
  15. Antny
    Joined: Aug 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,071

    from Noo Yawk

    Pressure treated bed wood = not traditional. :p
  16. wetatt4u
    Joined: Nov 4, 2006
    Posts: 2,146


  17. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 194

    from Philly

    Thanks for the encouragement and warnings. Unfortunately it is pressure treated, and not the older kinder gentler stuff. It should shrink a little as it dries- I just hope the bolts and washers keep it straight enough to work. I'm totally geeking out on the truck lately, getting everything working like it should as a work truck. "Job Rated"!

    The bed floor doesn't actually touch the sides of the bed and mostly only touches the two c-channels bolted to the bottom of it. Those are then bolted to the frame with some rubber inbetween. The boards are also bolted to a thick (seasoned and not pressure treated) board going across the frame in the back of the bed. All the hardware is 'hot dipped' galvanized-should last a year or three. I was going to finish the floor to the edges of the bed and replace the flanges (angle iron) that used to finish out the corners, but I think I might leave it as is. The bed sides are intact but the angle pieces are long gone.

    I wasn't looking for period correct- I do have the don bunn book which is the only resto information I have found so far. This is a 'survivor'/farm truck. My only goal is to keep it going like a small time (broke) farmer might. It will be used to haul project bikes and drive back and forth to work. Maybe a greasy old engine or two will get dropped in the bed. It's super hard to resist putting in a '67 LA 318 and 833OD manual 4spd I have laying around but the 230 flathead I6 and 3spd on the tree are super cool. It's like a time machine.

    I did put in some discs off a diplomat, courtesy of a rustyhope kit. I just couldn't drive confidently around all these idiots in their appliances with cellphones and power disc brakes.

    I'd love to hear from anybody else that put in a treated bed and find out how it lasted for them.
  18. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,085


    Are the bolts/screws in a countersunk pocket? If not everything that goe in there is going to get scratched up on them. I'd allow some expasnsion gaps on the wood.
  19. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535


    An old broke farmer would have just thrown in a piece of plywood, or a sheet of steel, unpainted. Gene
  20. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 194

    from Philly

    I'm not a farmer but I am broke. I had 3/4" plywood in there for three years and now it's beat. Anyway, my money is spent. I'll let y'all know what happens after a few months.
  21. Mr. Jean
    Joined: Dec 13, 2007
    Posts: 604

    Mr. Jean

    Not a woodworker and I'm afraid of termites.;):D
  22. dirtydixon
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 296


    I've got the same set-up in my pickup.
  23. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,766


  24. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,565


    The new AQC treatment (thanks EPA:mad:) is real hard on most everything except stainless and some proprietary coatings. As tough as HDG is it will eat through it in a year or two and the bare metal won't last long. If you happen to be in a dry place like Arizona then it will last a very long time.
    The 'run-off' from the wood will attack the surrounding metal.

    Other than that, you have a very useful bed for a working truck and the raised bolt heads will help keep some stuff from sliding around. about that v-8 swap...

  25. forty1
    Joined: Jul 7, 2006
    Posts: 355


    FYI, kinda on the same vein, I added 4 Chrome Boat Bow Eyes as tie downs in the bed of the 41.. I cut a small patch of leather was a spacer/ washer to dress it up. These have proven invaluable when needed !

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