I’ve been looking to build some truck bed wood rails for quite some time. I just couldn’t find the right look.
I was inspired by this 1950 red truck I recently wrote about.
So here’s my truck bed wood rail project. I purchased Red Oak remnant planks (6 1/2 at one end and 8 inches at the other end) for about $15 each. I needed 3 8-foot planks. I had Ganahl lumber rip them at 4 1/2 and the left over ripped at 2 inches. Two full pieces made the bottom rail and the the last plank was cut in half to form the top rails. I cut a curve to the end of the rail. I filed and sanded smooth.
To make the post that held the wood rails that fit into the truck bed, I glued 2 pieces of the 2 inch planks together. This would be the foundation of the posts.
After some planning and sanding (plus a nice curved cut at the top, the posts fit perfectly.
I mocked up the rails with shims and clamps to get the right height.
Once adjusted to the look I was wanting, I marked the pieces of wood.
I stained the wood with a Cherry oil based stain ($5). before I assembled. I varnished after assembly.
I figured I needed good adhesion due the bumpiness of the ride. and didn’t want a rail falling off after hitting some railroad tracks. I decided to glue dowels ($5) between the rails and the posts.
After drilling the dowel holes in the posts, I used Dowel makers to embed a dimple into the rail. The dowel makers just insert into the drilled hole. Align and press the two pieces of wood together; and you have your rail drill points.
Glue the dowel into the post, and trim to fit the depth of the hole in the rail. Lather the glue to the surface where the post and rail will connect. Clamp to dry.
I started with the bottom rails (one at a time, don’t get ahead of your self), and worked my way up.
More gluing and clamping.
Ready to varnish. I chose a UV protected Marine grade satin finish varnish.
I only put one coat on. I didn’t want the heavy coating look like the floor of the truck bed. Notice the mid-rail post dose not connect to the bed and only supports the top rail from the bottom tail.
The final product.
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for my next project.