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Has anyone used wooden slats to make a custom pickup bed?

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I swear I saw a mini tutorial on this somewhere, but I can't seem to dig it up. Anyway, the plan is to use some nice scale planking to create an effect like this.


I assume I can buy the wood through Micro-Mark, but having never worked much with wood (especially in this scale) what else might I need to pull this off?

What should I use for the metal "ribs"?

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You can take a look at my '41 Chevy thread to see how I did mine. I used Plastruct 1.6 mm H beam for my rails, and took slices off some walnut on the table saw. An easy way to get real thin, real wood is to go to the home improvement store and buy a roll of cabinet refacing edge veneer.

Also, I rounded the tops of my rails over for a smoothed, custom look. But with a little effort you could file the middle to a slight indent, drill holes for the carriage bolts, and make the bolts out of stretched sprue (heat swage the end to get the bolt head).

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I agree on basswood. It has a very fine grain that looks in-scale at model car size. Hobby Lobby has a big display of all sorts of shapes and sizes. All you need to do is stain it and add some clear (I use water-based polyurethane).

The stake bed of this truck is basswood, stained. Of course you'll want to use a different color stain on your pickup bed, but basswood works great at 1/24-1/25 scale.


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Well, now that I've read your suggestions and perused all the threads that you recommended, I'd have to say that my questions been more than adequately answered. This won't exactly come as a shock to those of you who responded to my question, but we have some amazingly talented craftsmen on this board. .

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Making a wood truck bed floor of any size (the example shown here was made in 2004 for converting a Yat Ming '38 Ford Firetruck to a 1.5 ton platform stake truck, but the principles are very much the same as for a wooden pickup truck bed floor).

I considered three types of wood for the flooring: Extra-long popsicle sticks, Midwest Model Supply Aircraft-Grade Birch Plywood, and basswood.

Popsicle sticks, unfortunately for us, are almost always cut from the cheapest grade of maple, and are subject to warping (the last package of popsicle sticks I bought was nearly useless--over 90% of the sticks were already warped, at least slightly before I even opened the plastic bag!), so I rejected that source.

Midwest Model Supply imports and sells the finest grade of miniature plywood around--Danish Birch Plywood, of which the thinnest grades are incredibly fine (try 1/16" 5-ply plywood on for size sometime!), but in the thinner sizes, the plies or so thin they do not stand much sanding without going clear through the upper ply. In addition, thin plywoods are very prone to warping over time. However, this is what I used for the 1.5 ton bed floor, as it was the only type of hobby wood that was wide enough (I know better now though!)

For my current truck bed project (1937 Ford 1/2 ton platform stake body) I used 1/16"X3" Midwest basswood. While basswood can and will warp at least some, this thin stock is weak enough that strip styrene cross beams underneath will hold it straight without problems. One thing to consider here when making a truck bed floor: While real ones are made from individual boards, milled so the edges overlap, you cannot see the joints from above, as they are covered by the skid-strips! For my platform stake body that's going on the Revell '37 Ford pickup, since the bottom of the bed floor can be easily seen from below, I was able to leave the basswood sheet smooth on the top side, but grooved the underside with my razor saw to give the effect of individual planks, overlapped. Once I framed up the underside with strip styrene (bear in mind, real wooden pickup bed floors have stringers under the wood, spaced exactly where the bolts for the skid strips will go through them to hold the wood in place over the full length of the bed floor).

In the pic, you will notice that I had to make my own skid strips, which wound up looking much more real than anything photoetched, but that is a topic for another post, if anyone is interested.

38 Ford 1.5 ton bed floor:



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