Woodie Wednesday — What color stain do you prefer?

Wooden Wagons are what I write about on Wednesdays because I have a great love of the wagons produced by Ford and other manufacturers. As you know, I am partial to the Ford models, particularly 37-48. The all wooden bodies really look good when done properly. The right color stains is important as is the manufacturer of the stain. While there are several wood builders in the US, I tend to like Chris Messano Wood Works as his fit and finish is the best I have seen. Don’t get me wrong all do a nice job of finishing old wood or building all new bodies, but Chris has the process mastered.

Staining the wood is normally done with a spray gun, but I have seen it done by hand also. The color of your car and the wood stain should compliment each other. Some prefer the light-colored stain (almost white) while others like the darker tones. Original patina wood is also popular if you have an original wood body in good shape you can bleach out the stains and bring back the look. Lots of coats and sanding required which is pure labor intensive. Cost to have your stain redone varies but can cost several thousand dollars at some shops so you better learn to do it yourself.

Keeping the wooden body in good shape after you have refinished is not difficult as long as you keep up the finish and keep it out of the sun when not in use. Cracks are normal in wooden bodies so expect some even on new bodies. Keep all screws tights and all through bolts tightened to prevent movement of the joints. These old Woodies squeak when you go down the road but that is the beauty of the Woodie to me.


The top is my favorite part of the wooden bodies also very costly to reproduce.

DIY Gary sprayed his Woodie in his garage and his garage is immaculate.


Stay Tooned!


click on photo for a larger image

Tim has the A/C installation down to a science on 40 Fords. All holes are hidden and lines run inside the fender panels. the wood is original that has been refinished.

Bob’s cherry 39 has all original wood that has the correct looking varnish.

Ruby has all new wood by Doug Carr. I like this color stain also on new wood.

Gary used new wood by Mike Nickel’s in Traverse City MI. He stained the car himself and it came out perfect.

The original patina look has its place at Woodie shows. It is amazing to see how well the original wood was maintained.

This is how your Woodie will look heading to the wood shop.The complete unit should be ready to go painted and suspension complete.

Chris Messano finished this beauty with the right color stain. This is a very well-built Woodie.

Going from this to the unit shown below is very expensive and time-consuming.

Don Bickel builds award winning Woodies and used Mike Nickels Wood.


My friend purchase his stock 40 Woody many years ago so he is in good shape with this one.


Stains comes in all shades and takes some talent to make sure all panels match.

This 36 has some nice wood staining to go with the color of the car.

Another example of new wood and stain applied.

The lighter color wood gives away the original patina look of older Woodies.

The darker shades normally mean original wood but not always. LS motor in this one really looked great with Inglese stack injection.



Comments 13

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.