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getting steel flatbed deck flat again

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  • getting steel flatbed deck flat again

    ive got a steel flatbed that didnt get enough support under it when it was first built and now the 1/8" steel deck is pretty warped are there any tricks to getting it flattened back out after i add the support back to it? i was gonna get some 1/8" angle and run two back to back to make a T and put them every 16" after i did that i was thinkin about putting a bunch of bolts in the deck and then welding it all down so i can pull the bolts back out. i just wanna get it flattened back out without having to replace it all

  • #2
    I've used "dogs and wedges" and a big beater when I needed to get plate better aligned before welding. If you can't get to the backside this might be a problem though. What about welding a "lifting eye" of somekind to the spots that need work and pulling up on it, is that possible?

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    • #3
      The problem is that the steel is not only bent it is stretched... you could try heating the top side with some pressure on the back side to help it return but you will more than likely not get it back 100%.... why not re-skin / deck it.... yes it will cost more but the time and aggravation it will save will pay for itself ........ of course to find out just how much you would have to try and straighten what you have so I guess once you get into straightening it and say to yourself "**** Mike was right I should have just re-skined this ****ed thing" I told ya so .... how badly warped is it is the big deciding factor ....if it is just a little bit wavy then heat and beat but if it looks like the bottom of a dump truck bed then re-skin it

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      • #4
        i would definately like to reskin it especially have had alot of thoughts of using rumber rubber flooring deck if i redo it. its nowhere near dumptruck bed

        if money wasnt an issue i think it would get reskined real quick

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        • #5
          Barebackjake,

          I am a little confused, are you able to get under the deck to weld the t's to the frame, bolt down from the top? If that is the case, you could likely get most of the warp out by using oversized holes where the bolts pass through and heat, BTF out of it with the bolt snugged to hold it and then as you said weld it, (depends on how big of an area you have to deal with) How about a couple of photos??

          Tim

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          • #6
            ill try to get some pics today, oh yeah i can get under it im gonna take it off the truck to do all this im gonna re work the back bumper at the same time. really thinkin about the rumber option at the moment too since then i wouldnt have to rhinoline/linex the deck would just have the border parts to do and that would save alot there. i need to get everything sandblasted when the bed comes off too thinkin about gettin one of the attachments for my pressure washer to use it for the sand too

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            • #7
              Darn,

              Looks like you got a lot of "thinkin" to do?? Once you get it off you will be able to make a better choice of the options.

              Tim

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              • #8
                thats the only thing most of the thinkin has gotta be done on the truck, i would have from thursday night to sunday night to have it off fixed, painted, and back on the truck. reworking the back i can build the new back then just cut the old one off and weld new on its just the decking options

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                • #9
                  Do you know anything about heat shrinking?
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    the heat shrinkin i think of first is for wires! lol

                    are you runnin beads underneath the deck to make is shrink? i have heat shrunk a bearing race to get it out before thats close as ive had to do it

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                    • #11
                      Use an O/A torch.
                      How much is the deck bowed? What thickness is it?

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                      • #12
                        the worst part maybe 1/4" bow, 1/8" decking

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                        • #13
                          I have hear you can heat shrink bowed areas by applying heat to a bowed area with an OxyAct torch follwed by a cool wet towel. Don't know the exact technique though.

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                          • #14
                            With only a quarter inch bow in 1/8 inch material the first example may be to aggressive.
                            You may want to use a series of small circles.
                            Do not work from the top, inside the concave part of the bow you will make things worse! You have to work on the convex side of the bow, from under the truck. Heat a small circle spray with water and let cool to the touch. First try heating to a dull red. In that thin of material if you heat to cherry red you will cause dimples in the deck. I suggest you do not work too much in one section. Heat 3 or 4 circles in one section then move to another area. Not knowing where or how far apart the ribs are is a challenge to give advice.
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              I just finished reading Sink or Swim Metalworking by Tom Lipton. He has a good section on flame straightening and heat shrinking - describing why it is working - so you know how to make it work. Pages 233-244. You can go to amazon and do a "search inside this book" for "shrink" and preview/read these pages. I'm not going to tell you if you should buy the book or not, that will be your own decision.

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