The bed, as with other parts of the truck, was in “good shape”, meaning no rust, no major dents, and overall in “good driver” condition. That being said, there were probably a dozen or more holes all over the bed from previous installations of cargo hooks, a tailgate cover, a spare tire cable lock, etc. Aside for the holes, as an unrestored ’72 C10 driving down the road, you’d think that to restore the bed wouldn’t be a major effort.
That’s were the difference lies between driver quality and a professional restoration. The bed floor was in good shape but to make it perfectly straight would have taken too many hours, so a new bed floor was purchased and used. The old bed floor was sold on Craigslist to a gentlemen that was putting together a short bed from scratch.
Initially, the bed was removed from the truck, put on a homemade cart, and taken to be media blasted. The bed was then delivered to the a body shop in Mesa. That body shop was to straighten, primer and get the bed ready for paint. The shop reassembled the bed using new hardware, a zinc bolt kit, figuring that there was no sense in using stainless or chrome hardware if it was to be painted anyway; painting the hardware was my preference.
As was later determined, the bed was far from being ready for paint, especially the front, lower, driver side panel. This area had a previous dent, though it showed not significant valleys or ridges; it just didn’t have the right shape.