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Discussion Starter #261
Right!?

It's at least starting to look like a truck, so there's that.....lol


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Discussion Starter #262
On a side note....we have been planning on using the zebra wood (that I bought in 2016) for the bedwood material. Due to multiple bed configuration changes and modifications we decided I needed wider boards on the outside of the bed to accommodate the wheel tubs. I haven't been able to find two quality boards that have the width AND the graining to "match" the rest of the wood. I've also been having reservations on how much it'll cost to finish the wood in "shop hours" and tooling...by all accounts zebra wood is very hard and time-consuming to finish.

So once again, I am going to change my plans...as they say in the military "adapt and overcome."

There is a company in Alabama that makes custom beds and uses extruded aluminum panels (that are factory thickness) with a very high-quality wood print that is finished in either a satin or high-gloss finish that is much more durable and long-lasting than actual wood and will be even much more affordable than the finishing the wood. I haven't been cutting any corners with this build up to this point and I feel like this isn't really cutting a corner, although part of me wishes we could've kept the "real" wood. I'm a big boy though and know that in the long-run this bed will be a better option and look sweet as well.

It'll also be much faster to get done vs the long drawn out affair of continuing my search for quality boards and then the laborious steps to finish them to properly.

Here is a link to the company's website and a picture or two.

Smokeyroadrodshop.com

Anyone here have any experience with them?





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Discussion Starter #263
I guess none of y'all have heard of them or used them.....

We pulled the trigger.

I will keep y'all posted on the process.

Here's a shot of what the extruded aluminum looks like. For reference, the strips pictured are not the shiny, stainless steel ones that I'll be using, but just the plain aluminum to show how they fit. You can also see a small strip of the zebra wood laminate that we will be using.




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Never heard of this. Very interesting concept and they do look beautiful. What is the print made of that can be as durable as you say? Does the print have some thickness to it like Pergo laminate flooring?
Interesting there's enough of a market for the company to offer this. I hope they are successful.
 

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Discussion Starter #266
Roger....this is from their website:


WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE ALUMINUM BED WOOD SYSTEM?

An accurate recreation of actual wood grains, digitally printed on a durable commercial grade floor laminate and applied to our extruded aluminum boards. Sold in kit form and shipped complete with Hidden Bolt Center Strips, Stainless Hardware, additional Under Floor Supports and your choice of Wood Grain Patterns and Colors.



ADVANTAGES OVER TRADITIONAL WOOD FLOORS:

American made, ECO friendly, man-made product of unlimited supply.

A bolt-in lite weight system which is durable and weather resistant.

Approximately 3X more scratch and scuff resistant than a nicely finished wood floor.

An extremely stable platform extruded from 6063-T6 "Aircraft quality" aluminum which provides minimum expansion. Warping and cracking are a thing of the past.

Our rugged polymer based laminate yields similar UV protection to automotive clear coat providing a waterproof, stain proof and chemical resistant finish.

Smokey Road Rod Shop digitizes only the highest grade "true old growth wood" in existence and exactly replicates the most beautiful wood grains of the "old world". For beauty and accuracy, every board is professionally printed in high definition.

Advantage Aluminum Bed Wood System installs similar to any wood floor. (In some cases, the customer will re-drill their cross sills to accommodate a consistend board width.)

Hidden Bolt Polished Drop In Bed floors are water jet cut to fit your specific truck and assemble on top of your existing factory steel floor. Each kit comes complete with underfloor frame, polished stainless center strips, tailgate end cap and hardware.


Frequently Asked Questions

How durable is this floor ?
Durability must be considered in two separate categories: physical damage and naturally occurring damage. As to the physical side, our floor laminate is approximately 3X more scratch and scuff resistant than most nicely finished wood floors. Also, our center strips are placed higher above the deck height for additional protection. As to the natural side, our 6063-T6 Aircraft quality aluminum extrusion is an extremely stable material, therefore, expansion is held to a minimum.

What about preparation and maintenance ?
Unlike wooden floors requiring over 40 hours of effort... sanding, staining, varnishing, cutting and fitting, our floors require no preparation time. They are also maintenance free.

What about installation ?
Our kits require very little effort to install because they are completely finished right out of the box.
...Installation time should be 3 to 4 hours.
Chevy owners will re-drill each cross sill to accommodate our custom board width before installation.
Our boards are held in place via the hidden bolt center strips similar to conventional bed wood. However, the bed to frame bolts install below the boards and create a complete hidden bolt bed floor system.

How does our price compare to a typical wood floor ?
At $1364.00 for a complete short Step Side kit, we know we're a few dollars more than the necessary materials for a complete wood floor. We also know our product offers much more value in the life expectancy and enjoyment of your truck.

So let's compare products...

Most shops charge $60-$75 per hour in labor. YOUR TIME HAS VALUE ! Even if your time is valued as low as $35 per hour, the price of our complete floor system is less than your labor alone.
Consider also the cost of material (wood planks, polished stainless center strips,stainless hardware, varnish, stain, sandpaper, etc.).... So now you understand that our system costs about half of a complete wooden floor.
Our floor is weather proof and provides a show quality appearance throughout the life of your truck so you don't park your truck in questionable weather.

CHECK OUT OUR Pricing PAGE FOR FULL QUOTE.


Can I use a fuel tank under the floor ?
The addition of a fuel inlet in your floor is no problem. Simply install it as any wood floor but fashion a gasket to go between the filler neck and the floor.


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Discussion Starter #267 (Edited)
Got the bed on and fitting the aluminum panels around the wheel tubs and whatnot...

The outboard slats on each side will be stationary and the five inner "boards" will tilt up on hinges to allow access to the fuel tank and so that all the beautiful work under the bed can be seen and accessed.

After they are fitted, we will send it off to be powder-coated and then sent back to Smokey Road Rod Shop so they can put the zebra wood laminate and clear finish. Then, viola! We have a beautiful, finished bed with a bookend-cut, old growth zebrawood finish.

Sweet!

Getting there, one day at a time.






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Discussion Starter #269
Thanks! I will be happy when this baby is done. It has gotten a little (read A LOT) out of control....lol.

Have to get the "new" front grill and headlight buckets re-chromed and that costs almost 4X what a new grill costs. WTHO!?


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It is looking good! I just ordered my bed wood ( cabinet maker by trade/business ) so felt I had to do real wood LOL. Love the aluminum though...it will hold up way better! Bed and truck is looking amazing and keep it up...almost done...
 

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Discussion Starter #271
Thanks brother....yeah, I still have my real wood. Now I need to figure out how to sell it...LOL.


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Discussion Starter #272
Couple of updates....

Getting the bed sorted out. Once we get all the framework done it's off it powder coat and then to Smoky Creek for the wood laminate.







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Looking mighty nice!! I like that aluminum, that’s a different path!
 

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Discussion Starter #275 (Edited)
Thanks man...remember though that the aluminum will be laminated with a zebra wood "picture."

Also, figured out that we need to black out the front of the radiator and core support so that it will not stand out (behind) the chrome of the grill.

All that polished metal needs some paint...ugh, lol.





Here's a couple more shots of the work in progress.



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