April 14th, 2007 : Getting Ready For Paint - Part 1 of 3
The truck is scheduled to go to the paint shop next month and I'm going to strip it down as much as I can before she leaves me for however long it takes -- gulp! -- I can't imagine how difficult it's going to be to not have my truck ... but, oh well. It needs to get done.
I started today by getting rid of the eighth-inch-thick steel plate that was in the bed, covering the old wood. I have no idea how long it was there ... I got the truck that way. After fully lowering my tailgate, it was easy enough to slide it out of the bed but once it cleared the tailgate, I couldn't budge it by myself! Man. That was one heavy piece of steel I've been toting around!
My neighbor helped me lift the steel plate and put it out of the way ... and then I got to see the original 53-year-old bed-wood for the first time. Wow ... this sure is going to be easy to remove! It breaks up like balsa wood and all the bolts are loose, too.
I started tearing some of the wood out (see the right-corner, below), but I decided to wait - we're getting a very serious rain storm tomorrow, so I'm gonna wait until that blows by and tackle this in a couple of days when the weather is more congenial. I swept it clean and took this shot:
I discovered this hole (left-center, above ... close-up, below) -- an old fire! They sell a heat-shield that is suppose to stop this from happening and I guess, at some point, this truck didn't have one ... so the exhaust pipe had it's way. That was long before my setup ... but the wood is totally burned out; completely charred!
I wonder how long this bird's feather has been buried here under the steel, wedged into the wood!?
And here's a shot of the wood just behind the cab ... collecting rain water from the steel plate for who knows how many years ...
I started removing some of the wood but decided it would be easier to let the painter do this after he removes the bed. I'm not sure what I'm going to fabricate in it's place (it won't be a kit, that's for sure) ... I'll decide that after the truck comes home this Summer.