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not woodworking....but carpentry

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  • not woodworking....but carpentry

    i am posting this in the general forum as it is a basic carpentry question.

    we are having our yard landscaped and in conjunction with that are putting in a wooden patio (i dont want to call it a deck). anyway this is an endevour we are looking to undertake at minimal cost so this is what i have planned. for starters i have a friend that works for the railroad and he turned me on to a pile of ties free to good home. they are all differnt sizes. the plan is to run these ties in three parallel lines seven feet apart and lower them in the ground. then using greenboard deck boards to make the platform. the issue is that a 7" run is not going to be very sturdy. that being said i am looking for an inexpensive way to support them. my thought is to use joist hangars and run greenboard 2X6 perpendicular to the ties for support. this will work right? or is there a better way to support the platform?

  • #2
    Putting the ties directly on the ground isn't a great idea, in part because of moisture and rot and in part because you're going to have a tough time making the several rows level to one another.

    I've done something similar using 6x6s and what I did was to buy some of the concrete footing blocks that you can find in home supply stores. You dig down a couple of inches into the lawn, put in some 2" gravel, and work hard (but not killingly so) to get the tops of the blocks on the same elevation. (A good engineer's level helps with this.) Then you can run your ties from block to block, and either run 2x6 joists between them on hangers or run 2x6 joist perpendicular to and on top of the ties (using the ties like skids).

    If you want to get clever, you can drill some 1/2" holes through the ties where they lie on the blocks. The blocks we use have a 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 recess in the top (to receive a 4x4 post); fill the recess with hydraulic or patching concrete, lay the ties, and drop in some cut-off pieces of rebar through the holes.

    Or, if you want to get fancier yet, counter bore the tops of the 1/2 holes and drop cut off pieces of threaded rod through the ties and into the concrete. When the concrete sets, you can spin some nuts down on the rod and really tie the ties to the blocks.

    [ 05-25-2004, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: RGad ]


    • #3
      whats the overall size of the 'patio' how many 7' ties do you have?


      • #4
        thanks for the replies folks. well after some brainstorming i decided to not go with the ties and went ahead and sunk some posts. will be framing the floor tomorrow and hopefully decking and building the rails on monday. thanks again for the replies