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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-17-2004 06:55 PM
cboy Here's the "work in progress". Click on my avatar to see the entire series of shots and to read descriptions of each step.

02-16-2004 06:47 AM
cboy horvath et al,

Progress IS being made but not quite to the point where pics would be much help yet. Polyurethane applications and drying times have slowed down my schedule...and watching paint dry doesn't make for a very interesting picture.

I'm hoping by tonight (Monday) I'll have something worthwhile in terms of the mechanicals.

02-14-2004 05:27 PM
horvath I'll be watching to see when you post 'em, Dewey!

54 Chevy Pickup
02-13-2004 12:14 PM
cboy horvath,

If you can wait a couple more days I should have some pics to post. I've finished the liner itself, stained and polyurethaned it, and just finished installing the carpet on the outside of it this morning. Tomorrow I'll start on the "lids" and maybe by the end of the weekend I'll have it far enough along to post some "work in progress" shots.

02-12-2004 09:12 AM
horvath Interesting. I was thinking along similar lines, only left and right halves instead of front and back ... maybe with a slight pitch so water doesn't pool. My concern is how to hinge them and also how to keep water from entering the seam where they meet.

I'm not sure I understand your tabs (rail) design idea, Dewey ... it sounds like something I need to add to my ideas, so further explanation might be helpful to me.

54 Chevy Pickup
02-09-2004 07:22 AM
cboy horvath,

Good question. After a lot of mulling and drawing I finally decided to make the lid in two halves - no hinges. Hopefully by making it in two parts it will be a little easier to access when you want to just quick toss something in the back. You don't have to lift up a huge, bulky lid.

While at Menards (this is like a Home Depot for those not in the midwest) I stumbled on a box of Stanley Garage Door parts they had set out on "deep clearance". So I got four chromed garage door handles (the "T" type - WITH KEYED LOCKS) and four inside latch mechanisms - all for $20. My thought at the moment is to use two of these handles on each lid - one on each side near the mid point. To open the back half or front half of the box, just twist the handles and lift off the lid. (Each lid is about 30" x 40")

I'm a little concerned about warpage on the plywood lids so I have a backup plan of putting metal (probably aluminum) tabs along the front and back plywood pieces of the liner near the top edge and then but similar tabs along the front and back underside of the lids. The tabs of the lid would fit just under the tabs on the liner - thus holding the very front edge of the front lid and the very back edge of the back lid in a flat position - and keeping them from flopping up and down. I would then put the "T" handles much closer to each other - very near the center meeting point of the two lids. This design would secure each lid near all four corners rather than just two points near the center.

A third option is to hold the front lid totally in place with just metal rails (like the tab system but along the sides of the bed rather than the front). To install the front lid you would lay it where the back lid normally sits and then slide it forward - so the tabs (rail) on the lid slide just under the tabs (rail) on the side board. The rear lid would then be put in place in the normal fashion using the "T" handle idea. The back lid would then hold the front lid from sliding back and forth. That might be a little cleaner look (fewer handles sticking up in the air.)

Hope this is understandable. I don't have any nice drawings like Willys. But I'll be glad to try to explain it further if need be.

Also, any thoughts on how to improve on this design? I'm going to start making the box today - but still have time to improve on the lid idea.

02-09-2004 03:08 AM
horvath LOL! Looking forward t the pics, Dewey!

How do you plan on locking down the cover???

54 Chevy Pickup
02-08-2004 02:47 PM
cboy I decided on a solid, non-fold down, bed - stained and polyurethaned on the inside and padded on the outside with outdoor carpeting. I went out and got all the parts this morning.

One interesting thing I found at the carpet store was rubber edging to cover the butt ends of the carpet cuts. I think it will not only prevent an unsightly joint where the carpet pieces meet on the corners but it will also provide very nice "bumpers" to prevent any nicks or scratches to the paint on the bed.

I ended up using oak veneer plywood - 1/2" on the bottom and 3/4" for the sides and the lid/tonneau cover. I'm going to upholster the lid with Naugahyde over 1/4" or 1/2" foam.

If it turns out I'll post some pics of the construction. If it doesn't turn out...I'll bury it in the back yard and pretend I never wrote this.

02-07-2004 12:12 PM
NDtruck ABS might be a little better for guys like me with a fleetside truck. Since the wheel tubs are inside the box and all, ABS would work to mould(mold?) a form to the tubs rather than trying to figure out a plywood alternative.
02-07-2004 07:08 AM
cboy Kevin,

Thanks for the heads up on Pendaliner. I checked over their site but it appears all the liners are mass produced specifically to fit existing late models - nothing custom or oddball sized.

Regarding the ABS idea, it might work for some applications and ought to be much lighter weight than plywood. But it seems to me if you are going to go to all the trouble of making up the plywood form anyhow, why not just cover the plywood with a release gel and then glass it yourself? Once dry, I would think upholstery or outdoor carpet could be glued to whatever surfaces you wanted.

Then again, maybe this is a good place to apply the KISS theory - just build a simple plywood box and glue on a fairly nice felt outdoor carpet. Heavy - but simple.
02-07-2004 03:43 AM
What about using a type of ABS plastic or something along those lines
ND's got a point. Awhile back on one of the so many car shows on TV the guys went to a p[lace that makes truck bed-liners and had a custom made ABS type liner. The forms are made of plywood and a sheet of plastic is put over it and vacuum formed. Just takes a matter of minutes. I would imagine that you could contact some of the bed-liner manufacturers, explain what you have and see if you could build the form, dismantle it, and ship it to them, or if demand seemed high enough they may be able to do a custom liner. It would be worth a shot at least. Also with an ABS type of liner you could possible make it a little more rigid and then have it upholstered. You could have any design formed right it when the vacuum was pulled. It is a thought.

HEY CBOY....check this out. Right in your own state. Might be worth shooting them an e-mail. No postage necessary!!


02-07-2004 01:04 AM
horvath Hmmmm ... ideas, dreams, meanderings and pontifications -- what fun it is to daydream about the possibilities of what we can do next with our rides.

I was thinking about ABS plastic ... but as a cover, it would probably sag without some kind of support. And for the interior parts of the bed, it just isn't necessary.

In my case, since I'm not looking to remove the interior-design parts, like cboy, I can go as thin as I like ... and I'm not planning on using my truck bed to haul anything, so I can dress it up with some nice hardwood.

As far as the removable, hinged, interior pieces, I think Willys36 has it goin' on ... and very nicely, too!

54 Chevy Pickup
02-06-2004 09:24 AM
Originally posted by NDtruck
What about using a type of ABS plastic or something along those lines. I don't have any experience with them, but just figured I'd throw it out there. But any reason that wouldn't work?

So feel free to shoot it down.

Rattatatatatat.......................KABOOOM!!!!.. ..................POW..POW..POW..............MMMMM MMMMMMMMM#$%@$%&$@^%$@%&BANG!!!!!!!
02-06-2004 08:49 AM
NDtruck What about using a type of ABS plastic or something along those lines. I don't have any experience with them, but just figured I'd throw it out there. But any reason that wouldn't work?

So feel free to shoot it down.
02-06-2004 07:22 AM
cboy horvath,

I think Willys is right about the quality of plywood in general these days. I hope to get around the problem, at least partially, by the fact that my bed is fairly short (54"), and I'm going to use a solid core plywood which tends to keep its shape a little better. (The drawback to solid core is that it is not glued for external use - which I hope to counter by polyurethaning all the edges as well as the flat surfaces). I think I can get away with 5/8" going this route. or possibly even 1/2"

I'm also considering going all the way down to 1/8" or 1/4" for the floor. I figure the floor really doesn't need to hold any weight since it is supported by the real floor right below. Basically this piece of 1/8" will just act to keep the sides and ends square and to have something to attach the upholstery or carpet to.

Another thought has been bouncing around in my head as well and that is to use something like hollow core doors for the sides. In the past I've altered hollow core doors and made some from scratch. They tend to be very straight and they are light weight. It's a lot of work to go to. But if one covered them totally with upholstery you wouldn't have to be that meticulous during their construction.

One final option I've considered is to make all the piece of the bed liner independent - so it can be taken out piece by piece - and basically holds itself in place with a few brackets or snaps. This doesn't get to your total weight problem, but it gets more to my "ease of handling" concern.

But I'm still a little like you - looking for the perfect, lightweight material that will keep its shape and not scratch or mar the sides or floor of the actual bed.
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