There aren't many original stakes riding around on TT flatbed trucks. I was lucky to have some under many coats of silver and black spray paint. I thought I would get a few close-ups of some of the detailing for anyone looking to reproduce something authentic. I'm not 100% on who made the body of my truck.
The sideboards are held to the stakes with what looks like a carriage bolt but is actually heated and pounded over a washer on the other side...like a rivet. The benefits of this process are that both sides are smooth (no bolts protruding) and every stake is so tight that absolutely nothing is loose. I'm guessing, much like the riveting of steel, as the rivet cooled, the metal shrunk and would squeeze the two pieces of wood together.
The stakes themselves I believe are made out of maple, and are widest about 6-7 inches from their base and then taper to the top, which is rounded. The base is covered with a strap of metal that is held by two screws on both sides:
Finally, I noticed the 4 edges of each stake are actually chamferred with a larks-tongue end. This is so minute you would barely notice. I only did when I was stripping the paint off, but it adds a level of detail that I really appreciate. I tried to capture the chamfer in the edge in this picture:
As far as attached hardware, the front of the truck has chains to keep the load in. They go through this hoop:
Finally, there are 4 of these holders attached to the stakes that make up the side of the bed. They are the only hardware that is not forged to the stakes and represent the only part of my truck that is missing:
I haven't seen another truck with these attached, but my guess would be you could add a canopy over the top of the truck with a support structure that would insert into these, but I've never seen one. Probably sitting in the barn of the farm this truck came off of in Wisconsin.
Anyway, I hope this may help someone wanting to make new stakes for their truck and want to try something different than carriage bolts and 1x4's.
A "lark's tongue end". I love that term and have never heard it before. Is this your description or is that a recognized name for this?
That corner chamfer & lark's tongue end are always a nice touch on any truck or depot hack. Though it's a small touch, it creates a nice finished look that is often lacking. Otherwise it's just plain, milled lumber.
Jerry, I heard my dad use that term when pointing out chamfers to me when I was young. I'm not sure if it was his or something regional or something recognized.
And I totally agree about them adding a "finish". I noticed on my truck that every window opening has a very tiny chamferred edge you would barely notice, but it certainly adds to the overall look, and is part of what tells you the cab is professionally made and not home-built.
Ryan, the Stakes you show look very nice. My question is who made them? I have never seen wooden stakes on the "Ford" steel TT truck beds. I think all Ford stakes were steel with the side wood boards attached to them.
There were a lot of cab and truck beds built by local shops. I have one TT with a cab built by a local blacksmith shop. (Not there for some years)
I also have a 1924 TT bought new by my dad and his brothers from the local Ford dealer that came with the Hood, fenders, metal fire wall and radiator cover. (fuel tank was the original seat for the trip home) My uncle built the bed, seat and side boards. (no cab)
PS My dad and his brothers are all long gone, but I still have the 1924 TT and it still runs good.
I believe Lindsay made my truck based on the cab:
This image is from "Lindsay Commercial Bodies and Cabs for Ford Chassis" catalog that some on the forum have. I found this photo on the forum site. I don't know if Lindsay also made stake beds. Perhaps one of the forumer's who have the catalog can check!
Lindsay Cab and my truck's cab:
Willie, that is awesome you still have your Dad's TT. Still in the same family and running
This is a Ford Stake Bed. Note that the bed perimeter is steel as are the stakes. The bed cross member supports are also steel.
I really appreciate you posting the photos. My truck did not have any side boards when I bought it. I made some, but nothing as nice as yours. Just 2x's and 1x's. I used carriage bolts, but did use square nuts with them. If I ever re-do them, I think I will do the riveted end like yours.
Ken, that is the Ford bed that I am used to seeing. There were two different width beds made, but they were the same length with the big FORD letters in the rear piece of iron. I do not know if both width beds were available at the same time or not.
The wider 'Ford Truck' bed with the script on the rear crossmember was a mid '27 model year change. This was introduced along with the 'New and Improved' ignition/ammeter switch on both the open (C) and closed cabs.
These are the one which came with the steel beds.
Do you also have the brackets that go on the corners and sides to tie all the sections together.? I'd like to have a complete set of all the hardware. Are there pics or measurements etc, in a parts book or somewhere else that would aid someone in trying to make some? I know that some of the folks that make parts for the vendors get very touchy sometimes--I'd rather not try to make them, if I could find somewhere to buy them!
Thanks for posting the photos of your bed stakes.
Would it be possible for you to post a few photos of the stake pockets on your bed. I may have to fabricate the bed and stake pockets from scratch and any ideas would be most helpful.
You got it, Jim. I'll take some when I get out to the farm tomorrow.
Mike: Northern Tool use to have the corner and side brackets for stake rack sections. I bought some corners to do a bed I built several years ago for a project. They were in the trailer department near all the wheel bearings and such. I just checked their online catalog and couldn't find them listed. They are called Stake Rack Connectors.
I found the same parts at OEM Parts Store.
The correct term for what is shown is in fact 'lark's tongue'. The 45 degree 'shave' simply radiuses out to the 90 at the ends with a smooth 'run-out'. When it has an 'S' shape to the end, it is called a 'lamb's tongue'.
Generally, a good old fashioned apprentice was taught how to do both with a spoke-shave and then once it was flawless with his hands knowing how to do perfect flair-outs of both kinds...the apprentice was taught how to actually make a chamfer plane out of an old broken jack plane blade.
A mans ability and stature as a cabinet maker was determined by how symmetrical and yet narrow he could make the chamfer on corners...and how his own interpretation of lambs tongues and larks tongues worked...today they make bolt on plastic sleds for the ends and router bits with micrometer adjustable plunges...<sigh>...even Norm Abram's uses a router and then shows his skill at shaving with a sharp chisel to make the ends...
Here's some shots of my 1926 TT closed cab with a factory stack rack.
Left side front
If you notice the nuts to all the carriage bolts are all facing out. The reason, to prevent snagging on the threads exposed if they faces in, not so with the carriage heads facing in.
I was told Ford sold the fill in boards so the box was completely enclosed. Bob
A big thanks to the OP of this thread, Ryan and to those who posted pics, especially Bob Scherzer and his original TT stakebed.
I just happen to be working on my '26 C cab stakebed after finishing the bed and rewooding with white oak plank. The stake sides are also going to be oak. Here's a few shots of the job:
Bob and Donald! Wow! I love seeing the pictures of the 2 sets of Ford stakes, one original and one better than new! Donald, I didn't know there were originally boards available to fill in between the slats. That is cool! It's awesome you still have them! Great photos!
And George, thanks for that explanation of the chamfer. Some of the chamfers on my cab are almost microscopic! Pretty cool stuff!
Donald -- Are those stakes available somewhere?
Ken -- I'll check with OEM tomorrow. Thanks.
Mike, I'm not aware of any repops available for these stakes. However, it is my understanding that Ford used these exact stakes on their stakebed trucks on the AA on through into the late 40's. I cannot verify that for absolute.
Bob Scherzer - On your third picture down, it appears that there's a pin stripe on the cab just under the beltline. Could you please confirm this for us. Also, what color is it? Cream or white, or maybe off-white?
Keith, I think the white line is a flash bounce off some dust on bottom edge of the door's rounded bead. The truck was painted originally in a green and with most all of it gone on the outside. I have some good paint spots on the inside what I can get a good paint sample. The truck was a non starter so didn't get used too much but it did get some of the typical upgrades either when quite new or some time later on.
It got a nickel radiator shell.
Of course a water pump.
A cast iron 3 speed Warford transmission.
A vaporizer carburetor
Along with a floor accelerator. Ahead of the floor shift. Bob
I would love to see a picture post of Donald Hagstrom's TT, C cab
Hi Bob - Thank you for the information.
It's great that you have protected spots on your TT to get good original paint color samples. I kind of wonder if it's more of an olive drab green, or a brighter green like on our '26 Roadster Pickup. Look at my profile picture to see our Roadster Pickup.
Bob your TT looks more like a 1927 model than a 1926 to me. Are you going by the frame numbers using the build date before August 1926 or after.
Does yours have the oval instrument panel or the square one? Your TT looks to be in very good shape for restoration.
I think the vaporizer was a later add on since I didn't think they were ever put on TT's at the factory.
Here's some stuff that may help to get the correct year.
Not sure if this a casting date or a factory line number.
The block doesn't have the Ford script. I don't know when this stopped.
Later style instrument panel used this non-starter TT.
I have a kinda off topic question about TT beds. I wonder like my 25 express bed TT and Bob's does everyone use the bed for part storage? Nothing wrong with this but I just can't pack as much stuff in my T cars.
My TT is a stake side. It's usual parking place is backed into the garage about 1 foot from the clothes washer. The bed is the perfect height for sorting dirty laundry. It is also the perfect height for a work surface, which I use it for frequently. These 2 uses sometimes require clearing of all the stuff that seems to end up "stored" there.
So Erick, in a word the answer to your question is YES!
Erick - Yes, just about any pickup or stake body truck can be a convenient place to put or store extra "stuff" for the time being.....or longer.
In my '25 TT "C" cab with the Express body, I put things I'm taking to sell at the next swap meet in the bed. Then I put the TT in our enclosed trailer and at the swap meet, I just drive the TT to my swap site and I'm ready to vend. Plus the TT is an automatic attention getter. It works for me!
Maybe a new thread about TTs still on the job and the work they are doing? Also I think the One Ton chassis booklet for the 1925 - 1927 has factory pictures of the beds and cabs with part numbers. Erick
Here are the closeup of the stake pockets of my TT. The pocket hardware is a bit more complex than I would have thought... The outside of the bed is lined with a piece of iron/steel so I included a few pictures of how it is connected.
Bob, Although the engine numbers are earlier, I'd date your cab as mid-model year 1927. This is based on a response from The Benson Ford Archives.
George, you and Fred have got it right. Fred emailed me today with items on the truck that would help in dating it correctly. So I froze my butt off and went out and took some pictures of the things Fred mentioned. Of course, the easiest one was cleaning off the frame and finding the serial number. First time I ever had the floor board off.
The other one was the square flange used on the steering column. Only used on a 27TT.
Also the two vertical braces on the back of the cab.
Having had this truck for over 20 years and I always took the title's listing it as a 26 since the title was using this new engine's serial number and I figured the vaporizer was a later add on and not from the factory. Since the block had the center rib knocked out so the throttle rod would go through for a NH carb. My other 26/27 blocks that used a vaporizer are solid there with no hole punched out. This 26 probably originally did used a NH but they made the switch when change out the 27 engine. Again just a guess.
There are portably over a dozer reasons they did this in this manner. May have been the title was lost after the engine change and to get another they simply used the 26 engine number to retitle it making it a 26.
But thanks to you guys that know a whole lot more then I do about the TT trucks and I now know it to be a 27 and not a 26. Thanks,Bob
Thanks for posting the photos of the stake pockets.
14,418,129 is a October 19, 1926 serial number, so it's likely the truck always had a 1926 title while it was considered a 1927 model year TT by Ford, made 2.5 months into 1927 production.
Gary Schreiber and others asked me to post some photos of my TT C cab. I've gotten it pretty much finished now and took some photos for you.
We just reproduced what was there!
In none of the early photos or photos of "survivor" T's do I see
pretty raw wood or the same with a clear coat. All wood was painted
or color-stained (typically done with linseed oil and added color back
in the day). Where does this idea come from that this bare wood look
is appropriate ?
Burger -- You are correct that a commercial vehicle would have had painted wood back in the day. The exception might have been Depot Hacks, but working vehicles got painted wood. Here are pics of my recently-completed pickup bed, painted gray.
Appropriate Mr. Burger! I say it is appropriate because it is my truck, as I said we reproduced what we had to work with. Can you enlighten us how a 1926 Canadian grain truck should look like, but please not just your “opinion”
Thank you Donald & Vic for the pics. The blue on the C cab is stunning.
In peeling the layers of paint off my truck's stakes, the last layer I found was varnish and a faint red pinstripe in all of the wood. It was not originally painted. Im guessing each company building TTbodies did their own thing. Regarding "appropriateness" well unless the vehicle is going into the Smithsonian, who cares?
Donald, the truck looks great. I love the signage!
Thanks for sharing your TT grain body truck Mr. Patterson. One can only imagine the thousands of bushels of wheat,oats, barley or other grains that flowed into that box by gravity from the old pull type combines of the day. And of course that grain had to come out of the box too, usually with a scoop shovel unless the grain elevator had a lift. Preserving that bit of history by restoring the truck and grain body will be appreciated by many.
Bob Scherzer, the square nuts on the outside of the tray sides is the correct installation, but I think your reason for same is incorrect. The square under the head of a carriage bolt is there to sink into the timber and prevent the bolt from turning. The bolt head always goes on the timber side. The nut always goes to the metal side. If bolting two timbers together, a washer is needed to allow the nut to be screwed up without gouging the timber.
At least, that's the way I was taught.
Allan from down under.
Two questions for the TT crowd. Did they make a C cab in 1927? Next, in 1925, did the TT pickup have the same contour bed strips as the roadster pickup, but of course longer?
"Did they make a C cab in 1927?"
The answer is yes. I did some work on one a couple of years ago. When this question was asked here before, someone quoted a production number for '27 C-cabs at 100-plus, so there weren't many.
I don't know the answer to the second question.
"Appropriate Mr. Burger! I say it is appropriate because it is my truck, as I said we reproduced what we had to work with. Can you enlighten us how a 1926 Canadian grain truck should look like, but please not just your “opinion”"
Are you being snotty ?
I asked a simple question, where does this notion that bare wood is appropriate ?
Perhaps I should have been more clear and asked IF is it OEM correct, which I have
assumed it is not based on early photos showing DARK surfaces on the wood. But
if bare wood, or clear coated bare wood was OEM/period correct, this would be good
intel to make known.
As for enlightening ... I don't know jack sh!t about Canadian grain trucks. That is
why I ask questions.
If it is appropriate, simply because it is your truck, well good for you. I understand
your "spirit". But if there is historical info saying it was done this way or that, ... well
that is just good intel to spread around.
That IS a very good question. Will be interesting to find some documentation. We do know that varnished spokes were available as special order during part of the T production, so perhaps varnished wood could have been ordered back then. Hope there's some documentation out there!
No, not being snotty, just annoyed at your innuendo.
Your statement was,
All wood was painted or color-stained (typically done with linseed oil and added color back in the day).
Your question was,
Where does this idea come from that this bare wood look is appropriate ?
Your question could have been,
Do you think this bare wood would be accurate for the period?
My answer would have been,
Not knowing who produced the Canadian Grain Box we have no way of knowing what was OEM or how ACCURATE our reproduction is.
Ah, welcome to the world of the internet conversation. I suspect if this conversation had happened face-to-face NONE of this misunderstanding would have occurred.
Now the question arises; do young people who communicate almost entirely by texting have this communications problem? I'll bet they do and thus cyber-bulling happens. Just a theory! Now back to wood finishes!
BTW, NICE Woodworking there!
I do wonder what the difference is between the "Lark's Tongue" and the "Lamb's Tongue" is, I didn't follow George's explanation--anyone have a photo of the two for comparison?