Musings on marrying wood and metal
by Don Butler
The current project in the woodworking shop is for a street rod (no, really) which was originally a ‘37 or ‘38 Chevy pickup truck. Now what would a woodowrker do for this street rod?
The owner/builder wants a black walnut floor in the bed of the truck.
And it’s a fussy and odd thing because of the way the rear axle and wheels fit into the body. The tires are humongously wide and they’re entirely under the truck and fenders. So, there is a big wheel well right across the truck bed, dividing the floor in two parts. the front is shorter than the back by about 4 inches. The boards, six across, are tongue and grooved and the end boards are under cut on the edge so the boards will fit in without scraping the bed sides.
Aluminum strips fit over the joints between the boards and the bolts that fasten the boards, through the strips goright through the joint between the boards. Thin, shallow grooves accomodate the downturned edges of the aluminum strips. They not only cover the joints, but the act as slide strips to keep cargo off the wood. There are also trim angles that will go along the sides, fastened only to the bed sides.
OK, I think that describes the job, but there are other considerations, which some of you no doubt, have already thought about.
Metal and wood are not especially ideal marriage partners. They are so dissimilar by nature that you have to think ahead so the marriage doesn’t get into trouble at some future point in time.
This job, about 45 inches wide, will expand/contract almost a half inch between August and January!
So, I’m really glad we’re doing this in August, not January.
I still want to watch it next winter to see that nothing crazy happens when the humidity drops.
It’s a good thing this client lives and works right across the street from me!
Aug 14, 2010
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