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DARKSIDER In the world of automotive hobbyists a Darksider is one who modifies and or customizes any and all sorts of vehicles. The Darksiders are in a class of their own simply because they endeavor to be different and do things that others would not attempt for a number of reasons mostly being related to a lack of ability and fear of non conformity.

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Darksider's Realm

A message board & forum for automotive builders, fabricators and customizers who think outside the box.


    55 F100 bed construction

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    Lowlid

    Posts : 65
    Join date : 2009-04-26
    Age : 69
    Location : Lavergne, Tennessee

    55 F100 bed construction

    Post  Lowlid on Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:04 pm

    Since I am building a modified truck I decided to build a bed for it instead of buying a new one and modifying it. I bought 14 ga. steel to make the bedsides. Stock bedsides I think are normally 16 ga., but I didn't want the rippled look on the sides after the fenders are bolted on. I initially built a framework that would receive the bedsides and mount to the trucks frame. In this photo I am mocking up the bedsides and fender location.





    We used a hydraulic brake to bend all the angles on the bedsides and I welded 1 1/4" tubing where the bedroll goes. I used 14ga. 2x2 for the stake pockets. I also threw in some styling features at the bottom of the rear lower stake pocket stanchions that will blend with the fenders.



    I finally got the welding done and smoothed all the welded joints.



    A roll pan was the next order of business for the new bed.

    Andrew
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    havi

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    Join date : 2009-04-26
    Location : Cardboard box

    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  havi on Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:44 pm

    That's some nice quality work there!
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    low54

    Posts : 14
    Join date : 2009-04-28
    Location : Oregon

    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  low54 on Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:29 pm

    Man, I love build threads...very cool, some more when you get the fenders on!
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    Darkside Dave
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    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:34 pm

    Lookin' Good there lowlid. This is definitely the kind of stuff I like to see on here.

    Darkside Dave
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    Lowlid

    Posts : 65
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    Location : Lavergne, Tennessee

    Bed construction details

    Post  Lowlid on Sun May 03, 2009 11:06 pm

    When I originally started this thread I sort of glossed over some of the bed details.



    This styling feature at the rear of the bed will incorporate the roll pan and the fenders will bolt on with a very minor gap between them and the lower part of the bed side.



    I also wanted to achieve a look from the rear where the roll pan and the fenders were even with each other.

    At the rear of the bed at the roll I added a wedge shape.





    I left the end of the bed roll open since I intend to install a light in the end. I haven't made a final decision on the exact type of light.



    At the front end of the bed roll I wanted to hide the wiring where it exits, so I welded in a small piece of tubing for the wires to pass through.





    I then welded a cover over the small wire conduit. I'll probably fab a small stainless press in plug for the hole on the front.



    I formed a radius at the bottom of the front stake pocket stanchion. This is a typical styling touch that most people do.



    I also used a trailer fender cut in half with a skirt welded on the inside for a tub inside the bed. Once I got all the details welded in and ground down (I hate grinding), I blended all the joints for a seamless look.

    More later....

    Andrew
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    Darkside Dave
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    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon May 04, 2009 9:11 am

    Hi Andrew,
    Those are some great pics you posted. I really like your ideas you have implimented. The finish work is also great. I am thinking that with the exception of the fenders, that you have made the entire bed yourself. I am going to do that too I think. The great thing about doing that is that you can change the stock dimensions here and there. The first truck I do is actually going to be used for a shop truck and will have a lot of utility features. As I am prone to carry equipment in the bed which would quickly ruin a nice wood floor and bang up thin sheet metal sides, I am thinking about using 1/8" tread plate with the smooth side turned out and the tread side inward. It would be heavy but the rear end of these trucks is so light I don't think it would matter. I am pretty much forced to do a custom constructed bed as the rolling chassis I am using is a '99 Explorer.

    How much time do you have in the bed so far? Have you looked into that hand control for you Miller TIG?

    Later Man...

    Darkside Dave
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    Lowlid

    Posts : 65
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    Location : Lavergne, Tennessee

    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  Lowlid on Mon May 04, 2009 9:41 am

    Darkside Dave wrote:Hi Andrew,
    Those are some great pics you posted. I really like your ideas you have implimented. The finish work is also great. I am thinking that with the exception of the fenders, that you have made the entire bed yourself. I am going to do that too I think. The great thing about doing that is that you can change the stock dimensions here and there. The first truck I do is actually going to be used for a shop truck and will have a lot of utility features. As I am prone to carry equipment in the bed which would quickly ruin a nice wood floor and bang up thin sheet metal sides, I am thinking about using 1/8" tread plate with the smooth side turned out and the tread side inward. It would be heavy but the rear end of these trucks is so light I don't think it would matter. I am pretty much forced to do a custom constructed bed as the rolling chassis I am using is a '99 Explorer.

    How much time do you have in the bed so far? Have you looked into that hand control for you Miller TIG?

    Later Man...

    Darkside Dave

    Dave

    I did build the entire bed, the fenders are fiberglass, 3" wider than stock. I built it mainly because a new one is roughly $1000, and I wanted a modified bed anyway. I couldn't see that kind of investment just to turn around and cut it up. I don't really have a very good estimate on the time it took to build it. Since I really didn't have a firm plan when I started on it, I spent a lot of time scratching my head trying to figure out the problems as they came up. Time is one thing I have more of these days since retirement, so I don't keep up with it.

    Dollar wise, I have less than $500 dollars in the bed construction, and that will include the roll pan and the tailgate. That alone is reason enough to build one yourself.(That's if you have the time.)

    No, I haven't looked into the hand control yet. We have a great welding supply house in Nashville that I want to check with. They usually will match anyone else on price and they stand behind what they sell. I really wish I could find someone that had one I could take a test drive on before I fork over the cash. I think I would like it, just not sure.

    Let me know if I can be of help...

    Andrew
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    Darkside Dave
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    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon May 04, 2009 10:06 am

    If you have a nearby vocational school give them a call. They might have one and you could probably talk to the welding instructor who would most likely invite you over to give one a try. Call Miller's toll free number, they may in turn send a salesman out to your place with one to let you try it. these places need the business despeartely now and they will take steps to make the sale. I personlayy see it as a necessity because when you are in an awkward position there is no way you can operate a foot pedal. Two C-nots is a lot of money for a thing like that but what good is a 2K machine if you can't use it?

    Later Man...

    Dave
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    Lowlid

    Posts : 65
    Join date : 2009-04-26
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    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  Lowlid on Wed May 06, 2009 7:06 am

    Darkside Dave wrote:If you have a nearby vocational school give them a call. They might have one and you could probably talk to the welding instructor who would most likely invite you over to give one a try. Call Miller's toll free number, they may in turn send a salesman out to your place with one to let you try it. these places need the business despeartely now and they will take steps to make the sale. I personlayy see it as a necessity because when you are in an awkward position there is no way you can operate a foot pedal. Two C-nots is a lot of money for a thing like that but what good is a 2K machine if you can't use it?

    Later Man...

    Dave

    Sorry Dave, I didn't see your post monday,or I would have already replied.

    I have gone to a local voc-tech school to look into actually taking a class so that I could gain some more skills and get a new piece of paper to hang on the wall. Guess what? Everybody in the country has gone back to school!!! These schools are covered up with people trying to get in to take classes. I guess the economy is driving the re-educate yourself trend.

    My local welding supply house is a Miller distributor, I may give them a call and see if there's a chance for a demo. I may wait and hit them up for a deal in June when they're set up for the Goodguys event in Nashville. You're right, I have a machine doing entirely too much sitting. I really enjoy using it, just not real easy in some situations.

    Andrew
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    56panelford

    Posts : 10
    Join date : 2009-05-09
    Location : timbuctoo ontario

    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  56panelford on Sun May 10, 2009 8:28 pm

    Hi Andrew,the work you have done to the bed of your truck is amazing. Your sit downs to think have paid off handsomely.

    John

    ol'e bob

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    Join date : 2009-05-15
    Age : 67
    Location : Manchester Tn.

    Great Job

    Post  ol'e bob on Fri May 15, 2009 8:27 pm

    Lowlid- Great job on your bed. I am just down the road in Manchester. I have just started on my bed and cut out the center panel on my tail gate today. keep on posting those pic.
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    Lowlid

    Posts : 65
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    Location : Lavergne, Tennessee

    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  Lowlid on Sun May 24, 2009 2:30 pm

    56panelford wrote:Hi Andrew,the work you have done to the bed of your truck is amazing. Your sit downs to think have paid off handsomely.

    John

    John

    Thanks for the compliment. I enjoy fabrication of any kind. Something very satisfying about taking a pile of steel or whatever and making something useful from it.

    Andrew
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    Lowlid

    Posts : 65
    Join date : 2009-04-26
    Age : 69
    Location : Lavergne, Tennessee

    Re: 55 F100 bed construction

    Post  Lowlid on Sun May 24, 2009 2:45 pm

    ol'e bob wrote:Lowlid- Great job on your bed. I am just down the road in Manchester. I have just started on my bed and cut out the center panel on my tail gate today. keep on posting those pic.

    Bob

    Glad to hear from a local builder. I've been offline for quite a while now due to a computer crash. Lost a lot of pictures and info. that was stored on it.

    What have you got going on with your truck? Throw a few pictures on here for us to see. I would like to see this site take off. I'm a little disappointed at the lack of activity since last time I was on here.

    Andrew

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