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Old 07-05-2008, 02:19 AM
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Process of doing a box floor with wooden planks?

Well a friend of mine would like to know what type of stain/sealer and the process of getting the wooden floor planks ready for installation. Its a package he bought for a 1975 Dodge custom 100 short box step side. We have no clue on how to seal( i know how to stain wood) the wooden planks. Aswell we're not sure what tone of stain we should use... the truck will be silver with a blue or purple hint in the paint. The frame will be 99%sure black. Thanks for any help suggestions

bill C

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Old 07-05-2008, 08:06 AM
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I used a dado blade on a table saw to cut the recesses on the edge of the planks where the metal strips go. I used Helmsman exterior poly-urethane varnish put out by Min-Wax to seal the wood ( three coats sanded lightly between coats) after I stained it. I used a golden oak stain also put out by Min-Wax.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:51 AM
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If the truck sits outside, you may want to stay away from a finish like polyurethane or varnish, etc. As the wood ages, it will make tiny cranks in the finish and you may end up with dark grey stains where all those cracks are.


I've had great luck with our native ASH if it sits out and stays wet. it's pretty darn stable as far as not warping.
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:02 AM
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This is the method I used for the interior wood on my Mercedes and I plan to use the same procedure for the wood bed in my 39 Plymouth truck.
Start by using an epoxy product by System Three called Mirror Coat, this is a one-to-one epoxy that is used for bar tops. It is crystal clear so it will not change the color of the wood. Coat all sides of the wood with epoxy including the end grain, this will seal the wood from moisture and prevent warping. Sealing wood with epoxy is what they use on wooden boats so you know it seals the wood.
The epoxy is not UV resistant so after letting the epoxy cure sand it smooth with 400 grit/600grit paper and then coat it with a good automotive clear like SPI. The clear will provide the UV protection the epoxy requires. Since only the top of the wood is exposed to the sun only the top surface needs the clear coat.
This is not an inexpensive solution but will provide a very durable finish.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:36 AM
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I wouldn't recommend table top epoxy on anything except table tops. It is too thick and won't penetrate the wood and will often peel of in thick sheets. I would use a coating of a good resin such as 'west system' using their hardener that is formulated to be clear or slightly tinted so it looks like varnish. (#207 I think).
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:51 PM
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I have a book on restoring pickups that includes a section by a guy who specializes in refinishing wood beds. While his process is rather lengthy, the gist is to use a few coats of a good quality marine spar varnish. The first coat should be thinned to the maximum recommended and subsequent coats should have progressively less thinner.

I did mine with unthinned low quality (from Ace) spar varnish and it turned out pretty good and quite durable. If I had it to do over, I'd have found some quality stuff that could be thinned to get better penetration and a smoother finish.

Good luck...
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