Old 12-05-03, 11:30 PM
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I've found that POR-15 ( is a pretty full proof rust proofer. This is based on very limited personal experience, but also tons of testimonials from people on my camaro message board. The literature I've read on their site makes sense as well.

But my question here, I'm planning on building a bed for my pickup out of squared steel tubing. I think I'm going to use 0.125 walls. When you work with steel tubing, how do you go about preventing rust from the inside out?

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Old 12-06-03, 07:03 AM
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.125 would be kinda light for a bed frame unless you space the ribs close or won't be hauling anything heavy.
I would use at least 3/32".

I woudn't be too concerned about the cosmetic effects of rust on the inside of the pipe and unless you try to seal it and wind up with trapped water, there would be no compromise to the strength with mild surface rusting.
IMO, as long as you allow for them in your engineering, drainage holes in strategic spots would be the answer.
Old 12-06-03, 10:08 AM
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A lot of places where I am concerned with internal rusting I cap and seal welds all the joints and ends.
Old 12-06-03, 11:09 AM
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I agree with you on your way being the best.

I lost count though on old stuff I've taken apart where a seemingly sealed tube or pipe half filled with water either from a bad weld or a screw that fell out and let water in.
Heck, many years ago I installed panneling in a one year old Ford work van and when I drilled the rib for a screw, the entire rib was full of water, right to the top. Ford smeared a finger full of caulk on the gutter and said there you go???

With good quality welds and no drilling into the tube I agree that your way is best.
Old 12-06-03, 12:16 PM
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My Uncle had a blacksmith and metal fab shop many years ago and often made hollow pipe railings for ships, bridges, piers, gangplanks and the such. Ocean liners, fishing boats and freighters that carried passengers usually had heated railings .... steam was pumped through the rails to keep ice off and to keep passengers happy, but all the other types were sectional and welded and or sleeved together.

Most of the stock he used or had to order already had rust inside ... some more than others ... tubular stock I buy now sometimes has rust inside ... even brand new van roof racks a nephew recently bought had rust inside.

Years ago ... I'm talking the 50s ... we'd use a long handled barrel wire brush to clean the inside, then use gasoline and rags to clean, and then dump 'red lead' into the stock and use a big fitch (round) paint brush to spread the red lead around inside. Even with all that sweat and work .... cleaning and painting inside with long brushes IS a lot of work .... the finished pieces still rusted inside. I've already replaced some 50 year old railings my Uncle and I made for a bascule bridge and found rust .... lots of rust ... inside when I cut them apart. I don't think all that red leading served any real purpose ... may have helped but was no cure.

All that said .... I believe weep or drainage holes will only serve to accelerate the rusting process and should be avoided. Any holes drilled for mounting bolts should not be oversized and neoprene shoulder washers should be inserted ..... they'll help a little with waterproofing and also isolate the dissimilar metals you're using for the bolts and frame and reduce the risk of rust where they have contact with each other.
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