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not exactly wood working...but it involves cutting wood

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  • not exactly wood working...but it involves cutting wood

    came across a bunch of old rail road ties that i am planning to use for landscaping and a few other projects in the yard. having a hard time cutting them. i own a top of the line milwaukee sawzall, and even with the long blade....even it is struggling. took me almost a half hour to cut one. i thought of a chain saw but figured that would be bad given the metal that is in most ties?

    any suggestions?



  • #2
    Most ties that I have seen have only a few rather large metal items, spikes, which usually are long gone before you get to them. You can buy a small "Wizard metal detector" for around $20 to put your mind at ease. In my experience the major metal dangers are quite visible at the surface on ties especially with a chainsaw.

    Have you tried the fast cutting/pruning blade? It is pretty agressive but not as mean as the chainsaw.

    [ 05-18-2003, 12:48 AM: Message edited by: Bob S ]


    • #3
      Actually it's dirt that is embedded into the tie that is the problem. Remember a RR tie is set in gravel and is pounded daily by millions of tons of moving weight. Sand, grit, etc gets driven into the tie.

      The best way to cut them is with a chain saw but be forwarned you will dull the chains rather quickly and may totally destroy at least one, depending on how many cuts you must make.

      The best way to hold them together is with rebar, depending on the density of the tie it may require pre-drilling the hole, with a auger type bit in a 1/2" drill minimum, take it slow and easy, clearing the hole frequently.

      For the record, I've had a fair amount of experience landscaping with RR tie's.

      Good Luck

      It\'s not the quantity or quality of your tools that matters....<br />It\'s all in the firewood that\'s left over.....


      • #4
        I've put in over 100 ties. I used a chain saw with no problem. BUT I always took and axe and cut a notch around the tie at the point of the cut. The notch cut through the creasote(sp)into the wood. That got rid of the gravel imbedded in the surface. I never had problems with metal as it could be seen at the surface. Did find several producton date buttons. Dick B.


        • #5
          Hi there. HAve experience with this.. The metal detector is the way to go.. If your still a bit cautious, try a nice sharp bow saw. ( If you have the time ) Chainsaw is the easiest..