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Old 06-17-2011, 12:48 PM   #1
duwem
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Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Why did GM make the boards all different widths in the bed?

This is a great site that gives all the details on bed wood:

http://www.gmcpauls.com/47-72_BedWood_Info.htm

I'm thinking of making them equal width for my 50, what width should I go with? Will cut my own grooves with a router.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:18 PM   #2
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Look at my build thread I made my boards all the same width. FYI use a tablesaw to make the grooves SO much easyer.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:26 PM   #3
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Nice Truck.

Did you use the dimensions for the groves I posted above or these:

http://www.mar-k.com/bedwood_dimensions.pdf

Wondering what others have used.

Using the table saw, did you just keep moving it over blade width by blade width to make the slots or did you have a special wide blade?
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:47 PM   #4
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Dado blade cuts wider grooves. keep in mind you will need to drill new holes in your supporting cross sills too. I have never heard a good reason to the unequal spacing and can't think of one either.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:36 PM   #5
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Nothing wrong with going equal length IMO, just be aware you will have to redrill the cross sills for the different size boards. Try to resist the thought of going with wide boards (and using less of) as they will undoubtedly warp from the sun and rain and the wider the board, the greater the curve. Keep an eye on the endgrain of the boards and try (if you can) go with a quartersawn grain... much nicer grain pattern and less tendency to warp.

Cheers!
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:59 PM   #6
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Just curious: What's the advantage of milling your own wood, cost? Or just the satisfaction of having done it yourself?
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:58 PM   #7
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

cost for sure. I buy red oak for under $2 per bf. for around 50 bucks you can do a bed.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:15 PM   #8
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

I knew it was cheaper but didn't think it was THAT cheap. Guess I'd better check the price out here for oak.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:34 PM   #9
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Mhmm... did mine for about $75 cdn... 3 bux a board foot... just use the money you save to buy the very best coating/sealant you can get. It's a far cry from the $300ish you pay repop.

Cheers,
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:19 AM   #10
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thadious View Post
Mhmm... did mine for about $75 cdn... 3 bux a board foot... just use the money you save to buy the very best coating/sealant you can get. It's a far cry from the $300ish you pay repop.

Cheers,
Ted.
agreed,
for the cost difference you could spend a bit more on some nice exotic(ish) hardwood that looks a whole lot better than the basic stuff everyone has and coat it with the best epoxy based varnish you can find so it looks pristine for a very long time.
I personaly like the look of equal length boards, just looks better IMO
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:17 AM   #11
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Honestly, my truck has a piece of 3/4" thick plywood for the bed floor right now, and I got the bed strips (primer gray) along with it, and I might just use that for the time being. No point in making a show quality bed for a truck that doesnt match it at this point.

Figure I can get the technique figured out and the spacing set up with cheap materials then spend the money for nice wood and stainless strips in the future.

Truck is stored indoors and since I basically have next to no weatherstripping in the doors and non nonfunctioning wipers it doesnt see the rain.
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:14 AM   #12
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

White oak would be better for outside use. (costs more to) make sure you cover all surfaces with your poly.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:33 PM   #13
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

handyhands,

are you a wood guy? What is better about white oak? that's interesting, I haven't seen that before. I'm in Az, the sun here just kills any finish on wood that's left out in the sun. Ever Epifanes varnish?
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:35 AM   #14
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

My 55 has been in the Az. sun for 7+ years and the same wood thay make ball bats from seems to work great, Ash, use some GOOD UV china wood oil
The 53 I used Cherry and Clear Wood Finish
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:06 AM   #15
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

For my 73 stepside I went to Lowes, had them cut 12" widths from a sheet of 3/4" oak plywood. Coated the bottom with Thompson's water seal and hit the top with a clear from Minwax. Polished stainless strips from Mar-K complete the look.

Cheap Cheap Cheap.

Sorry, this is the best picture I have at 6:00 in the morning. LOL
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:47 PM   #16
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

White oak has a tighter grain smaller pores than red oak. But the sun will degrade any finish over time.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:09 PM   #17
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Hey Solidaxel, What is the name of the color on your '53? Sure is puuurty!
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:38 AM   #18
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by S10Fan View Post
For my 73 stepside I went to Lowes, had them cut 12" widths from a sheet of 3/4" oak plywood. Coated the bottom with Thompson's water seal and hit the top with a clear from Minwax. Polished stainless strips from Mar-K complete the look.

Cheap Cheap Cheap.

Sorry, this is the best picture I have at 6:00 in the morning. LOL
Do you have any better pictures now? I'm thinking about making my own bed. I am making a daily driver so I'm open to any ideas.
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:43 AM   #19
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

I used walnut and made the strips the unequal widths as per GMC Pauls site. Going with equal width boards you will probably have the same number of boards in the bed unless you go really wide or really narrow. Either way you will have to get (A) an extra bed strip, (B) wider boards(warp issue) and (C) drilling new holes in the cross sills that will more than likely be breaking onto an existing holes. Keeping the original width is the easiest.

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Old 08-19-2013, 09:54 AM   #20
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Quote:
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Hey Solidaxel, What is the name of the color on your '53? Sure is puuurty!

Sorry Dan, I just read this post!
After pulling out so many $100 bills to build this truck it was the only color I had seen, so I looked at a Sea Foam green and it matched the back of $100 bill!!!
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:25 AM   #21
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

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Originally Posted by Green 1959 View Post
Do you have any better pictures now? I'm thinking about making my own bed. I am making a daily driver so I'm open to any ideas.
Just searched through my pictures again, this is the only one I can find. I do need to remove my bed floor soon to replace an air bag. I'll try and remember to take some pictures then. My wood needs to be replaced soon as well. Being in a hurry at the time I didn't fully coat the edges of the wood so weather has taken it's toll. The sheet plywood method works well for what I need and I'll be able to replace/coat everything for under a hundred bucks. Plus, the old wood will make great shelving in my garage.

If you look closely a 2X4 can be seen that runs across the rear cross sill. I used 2X4's on top of each sill to raise my floor. A gap of roughly 1/2" is between each section of plywood. The bed strips cover the gap and are screwed to the 2X4's. I found some decorative chrome caps online, the caps cover the wood screws. The bed strips in the picture were later replaced with stainless steel ones from Mar-K. The 2X4's were coated with Thompson's water seal 4 years ago. Looking under the truck this weekend the 2X4's look just as good as they did when installed.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:38 AM   #22
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Personally, I just like the look of the unequal but symmetrical boards that the original had. Purely for aesthetic reasons though.

I am in the process of finishing my bed now and knowing what I now know I probably would've either made it myself or had it made locally. I bought mine made and predrilled. The company I bought it from got it from another vendor. The first set they sent me was clearly the wrong set as the bolt pattern was not correct. Had to go through the hassle of "proving" that is wasn't correct then sending back a 78 lbs package and waiting for the new.

Second set had the correct bolt pattern, so I went ahead, finished the boards and guess what? The bolt holes for the second inward boards are not in the correct location. Now I have to go through that whole mess all over again, but now complicated by the fact that I've already finished the boards.



The bottom line is save yourself the headache and do it yourself. I can deal with my own screw-ups but other people's just p*ss me off.

**Edit. After further investigation it appears that the boards they sent were actually correct but that different factory locations did things differently. So now I'll have to get the new boards made anyway. DEFINITELY save the frustration of potentially having to do it over again and do it yourself!

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Old 08-19-2013, 11:59 AM   #23
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

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Originally Posted by Yewhi View Post
Personally, I just like the look of the unequal but symmetrical boards that the original had. Purely for aesthetic reasons though.
Even though I did mine differently, I agree, the original style is very nice to look at.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:26 PM   #24
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

Something worth considering that I noticed some, including myself, have done is stud the cross sills where they bolt to the frame so you can eliminate those ugly bolt and washer things that hold the bed to the frame. Easy to do and if you're making your own boards, it saves you from having to drill those holes. IMO, those oddly placed holes and bolts, even chromed/polished make a beautiful bed look not so much. Since I needed inner tubs I used three pieces of 3/4 plywood, stained, urethaned, etc and placed the stainless strips semi symmetrically across the bed, even though only two of them hide gaps and I slso raised the floor 2 inches to accomodate suspension and fuel tank. Mine is also a TF so it's slightly different but the same.
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:28 PM   #25
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Re: Making My Own Bed Wood-Equal Width Boards?

What do you mean by stud the cross sills? I am at the point of drilling the mounting holes in my boards i hand built. But also do not like the look of the bolts washers. Please explain more as i am very interested.
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