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The question, initially posted May 23, 2005, was:
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What did you get done on your Bolt today????


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More durable bed assembly?
#1418366 Tue Jul 27 2021 05:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 313
F
'Bolter
Building a new bed for my 58 will be fairly early on the fix list. I have been looking at ideas for it that might be different and interesting. Our plan is to customize the truck as we build it to make it *ours*. I ran across theae fasteners and thought they could have a neat look.

https://www.novausawood.com/hidden-deck-fasteners

You would have to swap the screws out for machine screws to bolt to the crossmembers. It would drain water nicely, but also leak sand if you were hauling that.

We plan to use the truck as a truck. It seems like every one that I have seen be used has bent and twisted bed strips, so I am looking for something that might be a bit more resistant to damage (short of putting in a solid metal floor).

Thoughts?


58 Apache, long bed fleetside, V8 w/SM420
Drivable but the rear axle needs work.
Re: More durable bed assembly?
Fibonachu #1418469 Wed Jul 28 2021 04:42 AM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,350
J
Workshop Owner
Instead of using the typical thin metal strips you could use 1/4" thick aluminum or powder coated steel strips with flat head cap screws. Cut or router the edges of the wood so the metal strips are flush or slightly below the deck and counter sink the holes in the metal for the flat heads.

John


J Lucas





1941 Chevy 1/2-Ton
1942 Chevy 1.5-Ton SWB
1959 Chevy Apache 31 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Apache 32 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Viking 40

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Re: More durable bed assembly?
Fibonachu #1419276 Tue Aug 03 2021 05:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 10,074
5
'Bolter
I made a bed out of 1/2" square tubing, 1/8' wall thickness sandwiched between .60" aluminum sheet.
The square tubing section looks like the side of a shark cage, whereas the bars of tubing are arranged where ever a bed strip goes.
I then covered the top with carbon fiber cloth, topped with epoxy resin. I recommend using clear coat over the fully cured resin to seal it. This will prevent water spotting which seems to be inherent to carbon fiber.

Re: More durable bed assembly?
Fibonachu #1419310 Tue Aug 03 2021 09:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 313
F
'Bolter
You have a picture? That sounds pretty nice.

What type of cloth did you use?


58 Apache, long bed fleetside, V8 w/SM420
Drivable but the rear axle needs work.
Re: More durable bed assembly?
Fibonachu #1419720 Sat Aug 07 2021 05:28 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 10,074
5
'Bolter
Its carbon fiber mat. It comes in a roll. You lay it out dry and pour the epoxy resin on top and squeegee it out. It is pretty much self leveling if you have the bed level.

Re: More durable bed assembly?
Fibonachu #1419721 Sat Aug 07 2021 06:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 313
F
'Bolter
Yeah, I have worked with various carbon fiber products before. I am familiar with how to work with it.

I am just having a little bit of trouble visualizing what the aluminum is. Did you lay out the tube for a frame, put the alumimum over it as a skin/support for the carbon fiber? Then laminate it with the cloth?


58 Apache, long bed fleetside, V8 w/SM420
Drivable but the rear axle needs work.
Re: More durable bed assembly?
Fibonachu #1419816 Sun Aug 08 2021 03:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 10,074
5
'Bolter
Yes, I have what looks like the side of a shark cage from Jaws, whereas there is a 1/2" square tube under where the chrome bed strips go. This structure is sandwiched between two sheets of aluminum (.060 thickness I believe). All of it is secured together with a TIG welder.

Re: More durable bed assembly?
Fibonachu #1419823 Sun Aug 08 2021 07:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 313
F
'Bolter
Got it. The 0.060" aluminum makes much more sense.

That could look really sharp. The metal structure would eliminate the need for a structural amount of carbon fiber, but still look really good.

It would be heavy as all get-out, but imagine vacuum bagging all of the body panels on one of these trucks...


58 Apache, long bed fleetside, V8 w/SM420
Drivable but the rear axle needs work.
Re: More durable bed assembly?
Fibonachu #1419909 Mon Aug 09 2021 12:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 10,074
5
'Bolter
I can tell you it weighs considerably less than a pine or oak bed. Two less-than-able-bodied men picked it up and placed it on the frame.

Re: More durable bed assembly?
Fibonachu #1419912 Mon Aug 09 2021 12:51 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 313
F
'Bolter
I meant carbon fiber covering the whole truck would be heavy. The carbon over aluminum would be much lighter than the wood. Probably more than a later (80s) corrugated steel floor, but not a lot.


58 Apache, long bed fleetside, V8 w/SM420
Drivable but the rear axle needs work.
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