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Old 06-13-2006, 07:42 PM
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What wood for truck bed?

The wood on the 50 is pretty worn down. Right now its just a bit sheet of wood, no indidual wood strips. I was thinking of replacing it with something cheap but durable. The truck gets parked outside 24/7 and in the rain and snow in the winter. Would stained or varnished plywood work and hold up? Whats the differece between staining or varnishing? Or what type of wood is pretty cheap and durable that I could use?


thanks,


Mike

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Old 06-13-2006, 08:41 PM
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Wood

No wood is going to last ouside AND look nice. So, are you going to use the truck as a truck and throw stuff in the bed or will it be strictly gor looks?

If you want good service, use PT or pressure treated wood. It won't rot and it's pretty hard. Most PT is made of Southern Yellow Pine. But, it's a puke green color and it will not take stain or clear finish well.

If it will NEVER be used to haul stuff, Oak is hard and van be finished with a number of exterior "Spar" varnishes that will last a long time but are not very durable from a hardness stand point.

Cedar, redwoodl, and mahogony look great but are fairly soft and will gauge if you throw stuff on them. Maple is the hardest wood you will find and looks great but must be finishaed to prevent rot.

If you're gonna used the truck, go with PT.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:43 PM
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I am using Ipe wood in mine. See it here in my Project Journal. No domestic wood will hold up in weather and look good no matter what finish you put on it. Ipe is what they are using in decks nowadays - Atlantic City Boardwalk is made of it. Sinks in water, same fire rating as concrete, immune to rot and insects, resists staining, very stable in UV and water exposure, sounds like the perfect bed wood. Not that expensive either. Should weather to a light gray and stay there.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:47 PM
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How about using the new synthetic boards becoming popular for home decks?
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Old 06-14-2006, 04:56 AM
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Pallets are made with hard wood. Usually rock maple. They can be picked up for free just about anywhere...
Mark
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Old 06-14-2006, 06:20 AM
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Brian S - The problem with the synthetic boards is that they are pre cut - usually to decking width. Most truck bed mounting hardware is for variable width boards (see Willys36 link above for actual board sizes needed).

Willys36 - Is the Ipe available in home centers out there on the west coast or did you have to special order? Is it difficult to cut, drill, sand etc.? The pictures of it look great - almost like a mahogany in terms of graining - but just wondered how difficult it was to get that finish.
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Old 06-14-2006, 07:34 AM
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Ipe is great stuff.. And only 5.00 a board foot... If you are near North carolina check out walllumber.com steve wall lumber in Madison NC... he has lots of good stuff...On my doodle bug toyota, i used Elm... it will not split.. the stuff i used was green, and it warped a little but no problem... It didnt seem to want to take the Behr Oil Deck finish, but it's weathering nicely.. I use mine for work, hauling engines and loads of wood and trash, and the elm holds up well... It s a northern tree, so you should be able to get it in Canada... Check out local saw mills...they will know what will take the weather..
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:06 AM
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You could try marine plywood and finish it. You asked about the difference between stain and varnish. Staining is just adding a tint to the wood, in other words trying to make pine resemble cedar, oak, etc. in color. True varnish isn't used much anymore in wood finishing I don't believe other things like polyurethane has taken it's place. At one point I was thinking of painting my truck black and using ebony wood in the bed, but the thought of jail time for robbing the bank to pay for the wood changed my mind.

Barry
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:12 AM
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Cypress lumber is naturally resistant to rot and decay and will last for years. Left alone it will weather to a pretty grayish silver color. It can be stained if you want it for show and then coated with exterior marine spar varnish. Sorry , there is no cheap way that I know of. Todays lumber prices are very high. The cheapest way would be to get a 4 by 8 sheet of three quarter treated plywood ( about 50 bucks). If you do that you won't have to do anything to it but put the plywood in.
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:01 PM
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Have you ever heard of kind of wood called Teak? (spelling?)
Alot of boats have it for decks and what not, and its very resilient to humidity, and weather. Heck there's some Teak trim on my dad's boat thats been there since it was brand new in 1977, and it still looks decent, it just needs a little sanding and staining.
I like the look of Teak if you put a little sealant on it, its a dark dense wood. I think it would be perfect for a truck bed, except it maybe more expensive than your normal sheet of plywood, but I bet it would last a good while.



Brad
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Old 06-14-2006, 04:30 PM
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Enough teak to do a bed would cost in the neighborhood of three hundred. It is very susceptible to staining and scratching. For about half that, you could do the bed in Apitong. that is what is used on trailer decks. Hard, strong, Stain resistant, water resistant, Rot resistant. You will need a carbide blade to cut it and all holes will have to be predrilled.
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:30 PM
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"Most truck bed mounting hardware is for variable width boards"

I see now. At 5-1/2", some would have to be spliced together and others would have to be cut down, not to mention milling down to 3/4" thickness. Too much work.

A better application would probably be for a flat bed or utility trailer.
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:51 PM
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I could have gotten the Ipe from Home Depot but would have had to order a bunch. In fact I bought it from Wall Lumber in NC! I mail order all my cabinet wood from them - lots of cherry, walnut, and basswood. Great quality and their "UPS" packages are great. They even give me special sizes (all 4' or longer, all 6" or wider etc.) if I ask for no extra.

As far as machining the Ipe it works a lot like walnut or cherry. Cuts great with standard carbide table saw blades, Fastener and standard drills and carbide router blades. Only drawback if you can call it that is the bright lemon yellow dust it leaves from the high resin content. Really looks weird having your saw ands shop floor covered in bright neon yellow dust!

Most oils and penetrating weatherproofers won't work in Ipe due to its extreme density. I am trying Penofin which claims to work great in Ipe. Remains to be seen, will report back after I have a summer and winter on it.

Cypress and teak both would be great bed woods. Cypress would look most like the heavily grained yellow pine that was the standard bed wood in the old days. Teak is a beautiful wood but as mentioned above is extremely expensive. Ipe is a junk wood from the Brazilian forest. The trees grow huge - many feet across and 100' tall and like weeds. They used to bulldoze them down and bury them since the wood won't burn but now that they developed the decking market it has become a valuable product. This stuff is 4 times as hard as teak which has a reputation as a very hard wood.

Yes it is an attractive wood, they call it Brazilian walnut.
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Old 06-15-2006, 06:16 AM
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You should be careful around the dust if you have allergies. It does not bother me, but it might get some people... Ipe is great, i use it for musical instrument fingerboards, and i deal with Steve Wall too. Great store. He has some old restored Mopar, a Charger or something, i forget.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:05 PM
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Wow, thanks guys. Im very poor (well my budget for the truck is at least) and I was thinking max $50 for a sheet of wood. Seems like all these are gonna cost me more. I guess I'll just have to replace it with another sheet of plywood, it'll do for now until I have the money for more.
Going to the muffler shop next week to get a brand new exhaust with glasspack ($150 total work included) and to StandardSpring the week after to get shackles replaced (I dont have the space or tools) and to get the springs re-arched for a litlte lowering.



Mike
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