Best Truck Bed Finish

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Forum topic by tturner posted 04-26-2015 01:05 AM 1676 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 2204 days

04-26-2015 01:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

Whats the best finish for a custom truck bed? My dad is working on a ‘67 Ford step side and I’m doing the wood work for the bed. Id be thrilled if Charles Neil chimed in here!! Im not sure of the wood Im going to use. I don’t want to use the traditional white or red oak-everyone has that and you can get it in a kit. Were looking for something custom. My dad asked me to help, so I’m gonna make is special for him!

-- I'm him

9 replies so far

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1697 days

#1 posted 04-26-2015 02:25 AM

You don’t really have a lot of choices here. You could go with a softwood but, if you want to use a hardwood, you may be limited by availability. You already know about white oak which is the traditional wood to use (definitely, don’t use red oak !). You could use black locust or, maybe, osage orange or eucalyptus, if they’re in your area. Other than that, you could spring for an imported wood like ipe, purple heart, jatoba, teak, mahogany, etc. which would be pretty pricey, but it sounds like this may be for a show truck.

View bonesbr549's profile


1576 posts in 3243 days

#2 posted 04-26-2015 02:28 AM

Oak, would be good. For a finish, I’d go spar-varnish. Good enough to protect boats! Post some pictures would love to see it.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1512 days

#3 posted 04-26-2015 02:35 AM

Southern Yellow Pine. West Marine spar varnish. The board ends usually crack so make sure you put a Lotta finish on the ends. White oak is also traditional quarter sawn if you can swing it. Ipe or teak but it will hurt the bank. For oily dense wood like that maybe penafin (spelling).

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View Daruc's profile


460 posts in 1308 days

#4 posted 04-26-2015 02:57 AM

Chemcraft D-Dur
Sikkens Cetol Marine
Old Masters Tung Oil Spar Varnish

-- -

View bold1's profile


305 posts in 2023 days

#5 posted 04-26-2015 01:52 PM

I only ever saw one using red cedar, but it was great. The gentleman that had it told me they used a poly on it.

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Fred Hargis

5143 posts in 2669 days

#6 posted 04-26-2015 02:13 PM

A good quality marine spar varnish. Brands such as Epifanes…..nothing from the box stores. Even with that it will need to be renewed at some frequency.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View tomsteve's profile


845 posts in 1395 days

#7 posted 04-26-2015 02:36 PM

Purpleheart and genuine mahogany come to mind and are quite rot resistant.
Curly/ flame, figured maple wood look pretty custom if finished starting with an analine dye to pop the figure.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3261 days

#8 posted 04-26-2015 06:07 PM

An acquaintance used purple heart about 20 years ago when the wood was still fairly reasonable and it
has held up OK. The cost has increased quite a bit, and the purple may fade.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2866 days

#9 posted 04-27-2015 12:22 AM

Jatoba would make a beautiful, unique, and durable truck bed. As far as finish; if it will be used to haul things, I would use BLO and renew as needed. If it is strictly for show, I’d use Epiphanes.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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