Every summer I try and find a project to keep me busy on the rainy days or down days when their is nothing to do on the farm. And days with nothing to do on a farm is pretty rare so my project usually take the entire summer.
But I've been meaning to share this with you guys, but have been busy as always.
Last summer I was riding around on the dirt bike rounding up cattle in a pasture and found a truck that was parked out there. I've always known this truck was there and was in to bad of shape to actually do anything with. But suprisingly the tailgate was in decent shape. Someone in the past tore the entire thing down and looked like they were going to restore it but never got around to it. This has been sitting in the pasture for probably 30 years. After 30 years of snow, rain, storms, hail, this truck didn't look all that bad body wise.
The truck is a '65 C10 truck, originally a two tone. So I rode the side-by-sdie out to the pasture and stole the tailgate, the mounts for the tailgate, the brake light covers, the vin plate, and the C10 emblems off the truck. I hauled them all back to see what I had in store for me.
After first inspection, the tailgate had only surface rust suprisingly. It had your normal dents from throwing things in the bed but otherwise was in a excellent shape. Well I was planning on turning it into a coffee table so it needed some legs. because the tailgate isn't flat, and I don't want drinks actually setting on the tailgate, I had to make a frame.
We were out of some decent wood in the barn and then I remembered an old 100+ cedar tree that had been struck by lightening. Went out the field after loading up the truck with tools, I cut the tree down to decent lengths for planks for the frame. In the past I have always used oak for my projects (desk, tables, chairs, chests, etc) but this time I wanted to something alittle different. I have always loved the smell and look of cedar, but my grandma kept telling me I should use oak because the cedar just won't look like.
Well after getting the three cut down, planed, sanded and what not, I had a frame to go around the tailgate. I used the same tree for the legs. I was sitting around looking at the peices from the truck and couldn't decide what I was going to do with them. Then I had an idea, I would countersink the C-10 emblems and brake light covers into the legs!! So I did, and eventually I would wire lights behind the brake light covers so they would come on. Once the frame was finished, I put a clear lacquer finish to keep the original cedar look.
Once the frame was complete the bigger task of cleaning the tailgate was ahead of me. When the tailgate was mounted on the truck, it didn't have your normal handle latch like your trucks today do. I can't really explain how it worked but look here to see for yourself. But anyways, I had welded the hole shut where the tailgate originaly mountedI didn't want to go with the rust look obviously, so I sanded, sandblasted, and bondoed (sp?) the tailgate to look perfect.
Once I had the tailgate cleaned up and looking decent, I set up a paintbooth in the shop and went at it. This was my first time ever doing any sort of autobody painting. And I didn't realize that autobody paint was so expensive!! I painted it red for several reasons (Huskers!, my favorite color, and its based off a truck I saw at a hot rod show)
Once the paint had dried I was really happy with how it turned out! I put close to $90 in this with bondo, primer, and paint, and countless hours.
It's not quite done yet, because I ran out of money. I have to still get glass for the top and wire the lights behind the brake light covers.
For some reason I can't find my finished picture, but my dad is working on sending me one. I'll post it when I get it. It might take a while, he's technologically handicapped.
Sorry for the long post.
Just thought I would share this with you guys, as I am pretty proud of my work and happy with it.
This next summer I'm gonna work on tearing down the three-wheeler and making a go-cart with the engine and tranny. 500cc 5 speed tranny, should be fun!!