Wood Truck Bed Finish
There are also single component water based urethanes that hold up quite well. Spar vars work okay if you don't mind sanding and reapplying every 4-5 years.
Would teak hold up well using teak oil? Do you know of any woods, such as Goncolo Alves, that hold up with nothing applied? I have a couple of people asking for truck beds, but want something that they do not have to refinish every 5 years.
Have you checked with West Coast Marine for a product that's going to last longer than a regular spar varnish? How about an automotive coating for an alternative to the varnish? Five years is a rather decent lifespan for an outdoor finish.
An unfinished wood you could look into might be locust. I can't remember if it's black or yellow locust, but one of them is said to last about 20 years as a fencepost, untreated.
I'd go with Sikkens Cetol or Chemcraft D-Dur.
Truck bed = deck on wheels. Use a suitable timber (Ipe, Jarrah, Ekki) and don't bother coating it.
A lot of marine woodworkers/finishers around here use a west marine epoxy first, to stabilize the wood for less movement, and coat with the finish of their choice, usually some type of good varnish. Lots of work, but it will extend your maintenance cycle. I agree that ipe would be a great choice. Relatively inexpensive (compared to teak or jarrah), tough as nails (very dense and heavy). Lots of the homes I work in here in the SoCal area use it for decking. Around here, sealant of choice is TWP. You can add a hardener/catalyst for even more durability. But you could just leave it raw.
We use apitong for our truck beds. No finish lasts a really long time.
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