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  #1  
Old 09-23-2009, 12:22 PM
oldguy829 oldguy829 is offline
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truck bed finishing

Have several questions on refinishing my truck bed, but first the caveats.
This is my workhorse. It sits outside in the Texas sun, rain, tree sap, whatever. I use it to haul all kinds of crap including greasy nasty used auto parts (may throw down a tarp for the worst cases). So I'm not looking for show finish, and I have no intention of dissassembly. Just want to clean it up and protect it. I think it is oak, and has been in place for many years. Has some splitting and as you can see, lots of black places.
Has many dry spots where the finish appears to have failed.
1. Can I scrub it with something like scotch pads that won't scar the steel strips?
2. Can I bleach out some of the black - it looks like some kind of fungi.
3. What is the pure toughest clear finish I can apply?

Right now its worn weathered look fits in with the rest of the truck, I just don't want it to get worse.

Thanks. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:31 PM
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It's probably going to be difficult to work on the wood without disassembly. Have you considered placing a thick rubber mat over the top of the wood?
From a refinishing standpoint, any clearcoat/top coat placed onto the existing wood will not adhere unless the existing clearcoat is removed. I would imagine that a belt sander could be used to sand down the finish just as long as you masked off the SS bed strips and were careful not to sand them. If you like the "rustic" look and don't want to go to the effort to sand the finish off you could always apply an oxalic acid product (takes the gray out of wood) to clean up the discoloration and then treat the wood will a preservative oil. I like tung oil but I am not sure how it would stand up to the elements.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:14 PM
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Re-finish

You are not likely to get the weathered "black" from the oak without sanding it out. Even then it will probably be an uneven finish, if you are using a clear varnish or stain. You could use a varnish strip product first, then maybe something like a deck restoring product to see if it will remove all the "black".

I've tried to finish mine with an "oil" finish, by using stain, linseed oil and turpentine mixture. The thinking was being able to re-apply the finish whenever it got weathered. I haven't installed my bed yet so I am thinking of taking the shine off then using 00 steel wool to rub in more oil.

Good luck with how you decide to proceed.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:27 PM
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You may want to go to Mar-K web site. They have conducted long term test on serveral bed wood finishes and posted the results. This may help you decide on which finish you would like to go with. As far as the process of application, I don't know if they go into that.

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Old 09-23-2009, 02:29 PM
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You can use oxalic acid to bleach the black stains out of the wood, but you will need to remove all of the finish from the boards. That will be difficult to do with them in place. You can get oxalic acid from a good woodworking store. Do a search on bleaching stained oak and you will find articles on how to do it.
Scott
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:45 PM
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This dicussion is apropos. My recently acquired "rust-rod" has very bad wood in the bed. If you step in the wrong place you're quite likely to put you foot right through it.

I plan to replace it soon, but would like to make the new wood look a little less new, so it blends in better with the theme of the truck. I will avoid sealing it like the plague, I think it makes wood look like plastic in any case. Some type of oil/turpentine mix might be the way to go.

What did these trucks come with in the 50's? Certainly not poly-urethane, as that had not been invented yet.

Gustave
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:52 PM
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that's a great picture to show all the guys who rave about white or red oak beds. Oal is extremely pourus and will turn black inside the pours when exposed to any moisture.

SCD hit the nail right on the head. You will have to remove any remaining finish, then bleach the oak to remove the black - sanding will not do it as it is INSIDE the pours.

In addition to the woodworking stores, boat shops and decking shops carry the acid. The one I use on my boat is actually a combination of bleach and acid, and rubbed in with a pumice stone (very similar to the Holystonning they used to do on the teak wood decks of Battleships)

The Mar-K site is a great reference. They have a section with finishing methods and test data from various finishes.

Just be certain that you "Fill" those pours with a good oak wood filler (not wood dough type filler but the cream type used on oak flooring) and all your finishes are rated for exterior use - such as a WATCO type teak oil and Spar varnish, etc.

http://www.mar-k.com/
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:11 PM
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See pics in firstriders gallery of bed wood .It is ash w/ a light oak stain, then 3 coats of sealer w/ sanding between then 8 coats of Alphatic urethane (a two part finish with 16 hrs .of block sanding .I would suggest using the Alphatic urethane as it is all most bullet proof .UV & H2O resistant . The black in the oak boards is going to be a challenge to remove .May want to try to baddest stripper you can find .
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:47 AM
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Bed finishing

Thanks for all the help. Very good advice, and yes, getting the black out is nearly impossible. I'm guessing I would have to run it thru a planer to get it all out. But as I said, this is a workhorse. Wasn't looking for a show finish.
I soaked it with degreaser (lots of oil and grease stains) then power washed it. I wouldn't recommend this. It actually ate some of the surface wood off. Left little valleys between the grains, like old wood gets from years of exposure. ( I wasn't expecting this, cause it doesn't do it when I power wash my deck, which is treated pine. I thought Oak was tougher than that) But it got rid of 90 % of the black and the old peeling flaking finish. Layed down 4 coats of Spar Urethan. (may not be the absolute best, but it is inexpensive and lays on easily with a brush)
Whole job took about 3 hours, spread over 3 days. Looks a lot better and should allow me to abuse it, like a truck bed.
Thanks again.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy829 View Post
Thanks for all the help. Very good advice, and yes, getting the black out is nearly impossible. I'm guessing I would have to run it thru a planer to get it all out. But as I said, this is a workhorse. Wasn't looking for a show finish.
I soaked it with degreaser (lots of oil and grease stains) then power washed it. I wouldn't recommend this. It actually ate some of the surface wood off. Left little valleys between the grains, like old wood gets from years of exposure. ( I wasn't expecting this, cause it doesn't do it when I power wash my deck, which is treated pine. I thought Oak was tougher than that) But it got rid of 90 % of the black and the old peeling flaking finish. Layed down 4 coats of Spar Urethan. (may not be the absolute best, but it is inexpensive and lays on easily with a brush)
Whole job took about 3 hours, spread over 3 days. Looks a lot better and should allow me to abuse it, like a truck bed.
Thanks again.
very nice.. will be interested in how long it looks good....

did you tape off the strips when you put on the urethane? looks really good.
3 days doesn't seem like enough to dry out from the power wash.. but you never know..

Sam
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:10 AM
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That was my concern also. Moisture under the finish will do terrible things to both the finish and the oak. Oak does not like water. That is the major cause of the black stains.
Scott
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:38 AM
Julies Cool F1 Julies Cool F1 is offline
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I just remembered something (and it may seem a little rediculous to suggest using this on something so large) but do yo know what "disolves" that black? Naval Jelly!

Try it. I found that out by trying to refinish a wine barrel planter from a garden a long time ago. I put the Naval Jelly on the metal staves, and the black in the adjacent wood (where I slopped it over the edge) was like new!
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:01 PM
oldguy829 oldguy829 is offline
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bed finish

Actually 4 days. I didn't count the day it sat in the texas sun drying out.
Did not tape it off. Easy to control the finish with a good brush.
I believe Naval jelly contain muratic acid. Might be a better solution than sanding. I wouldn't try it with the wood in place, near the stainless strips.
The Spar Urethane isn't great protection for UV, so I'll plan a light sand and topcoat next summer.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy829 View Post
...
Did not tape it off. Easy to control the finish with a good brush.
...
easy for YOU to say.. I always seem to get bored and want to move faster..!!

Sam
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:57 PM
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If anyone knows, I'd still be curious to find out what Ford used for protect the wood beds back when new trucks first rolled off the line in the early 50's?

Gustave
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:57 PM
 
 
 
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