I remember growing up that my mom was always asking if I had made my bed before I could go and do stuff with friends or leave the house... So this week I'm happy to say, Mom, over the last couple of months, I made my bed, and you didn't even have to remind or ask me!
A different aspect of the build I'm doing is the 7 foot bed. A factory short bed is 6.5' and a long bed is 8'. So call it a mid sized bed, medium bed, shlong bed, whatever floats your boat. These trucks are a little bit wider than the previous generation, and I always felt like the 61-66 trucks looked obnoxiously long with an 8 foot bed but the 6.5 foot short-bed was perfect on them... Then when you get to the 1967-72 body-style, they are a little wider and I kind of felt the short beds still looked great, but maybe a little too short. So on this build I cut a foot out of the frame lengthwise directly behind the cab and left everything behind the rear axle stock where a factory short-bed would have been 14 inches shorter behind the cab and 4 behind the rear axle.
|Making cuts in the frame to shorten it|
|My teacher Mauricio helped me make sure|
the cuts I made would be the same on each rail.
|Mauricio welding the frame back together after|
the cuts and getting ready to fishplate/box it after.
|When we shortened the bed we took it directly out of the front|
to eliminate any butt welds in the middle of the sheetmetal.
This allowed us to just stick along the corner to put it back together
and have less warpage.
|Side by side with the original piece.|
|Planishing some of the bend marks in the|
upper bedside on the English Wheel.
|Getting the bedsides fitted and using Cleco's to hold them in place,|
you may also notice, no more stake pockets...
|Lesson learned: Don't TIG weld in shorts. Your knees|
will be sunburned for two weeks after.
|Bead rolling the Mercury M emblem into the header panel.|
I still have yet to build the inner structure for the bed now that I eliminated the two piece exterior panel that previously made up part of the inner portion and after I buy wheels I will know better what I can do with wheel wells/tubs, but beyond what you see here that is about all I have left for metal work on the bed in addition to a custom tailgate skin. Using a series of bends in sheet metal on a brake, a radius brake, bead roller and then planishing in an English wheel have helped me finally fulfill my mom's wishes for me to make my bed without being asked... Stay tuned for part 2 of this project as I still have inner structure to build.
|Built the lower patch to hide where the toolbox used to be.|
|All welded and sitting back on the truck.|
|Starting to do the finish work to make the front panel permanent.|