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Railroad Ties

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Fawteen
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:35 am    Post subject: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Has anyone used them as corner or anchor posts for building fence?
 
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Old Bob
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:58 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A long time ago I used ties for corner post. Now I have gone to pipe. Pipe does not rot.
 
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Bret4207
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:00 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Never done it myself, but I've seen them used. Never heard any complaints.
 
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Lazy WP
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:02 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I use them for corral posts. There are numerous different grades and types of wood. If you get the good heavy ones, they will out last you, the light weight ones,aren't worth putting in the ground.
 
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NEKS
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:31 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ties will last a long time on top of the ground on gravel. Plant them in the ground and they don't last long. Not worth the trouble for post.
 
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DiyDave
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:28 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Problem with railroad ties, is that they are made of what lumber men call cants. Cants are the center of the tree, that you can't take another usable board off of. The center of the tree, about 2-4" or so is the softest wood in the tree, and contains every knot, that ever grew into a branch, on the tree. They are good at soaking up creosote, though. Before I used a tie, that the railroad has pulled up as it is no longer safe, I would go to the woods, or a local sawmill, and buy a black locust post, for the corner. Untreated they last 30-40 years, if you buy them 8' long, they can be turned over, when they rot off!
 
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Adirondack case guy
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:36 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Nick,
ups stopped here Thurs.
parts all made it, but they had a rough ride, not much left o the box. The pickup tube was there, but the end was squashed. Easy fix, and I will install a screen on the end of it.
Thanks again,
Loren
 
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George Marsh
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:48 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I saw a person use them for a foundation for a cheap shed. Believe it or not, termites were eating them. I"ve seen termites eating treated lumber too.

Yes, I"ve seem people use ties as corner posts. Keep in mind, nothing made from wood will last forever in the ground. The electric company replaces their poles, even posts on a pole barn will rot at ground level.

George

George
 
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D beatty
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:25 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My dad used railroad ties for all his anchor post. This is back 40 years ago and I still have one in today. The railroad ties back then were not creosoted but were boiled in a tar that last much longer.
 
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showcrop
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:06 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

[quote="Fawteen"](reply to post at 03:35:17 04/27/13) [/quote

I have an end post that is a railroad tie. It is in a very wet spot and has been there for 23 years.
 
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PJH
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:35 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Some ties are better than others. I got some once that had been used on a spur into a coal mine. They apparently were not treated for a long life span, and after about 10 years in the ground started needing replaced. If you start out with a tie that you can barely lift one end of, and is so nasty with creosote that you hate to touch it, you'll get a pretty good corner post. I've got a few in the ground that were all I could do to stand on end, and they've been there a long time. Everything reverts back to dust eventually though.
 
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John A.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Fawteen, In 1970 Dad bought 300 Cross-ties for $.25 ea and the man Delivered and stacked them. In March of 73, we started a large fencing project on the place.
We used the Cross-ties for Corner post. Set up in a Double-H fashion set mostly at 4.5 to 5 ft deep!. Our longest run was 3/4 of a mile. Full Suspension Fence. Meaning the Corners hold the entire pull, with only steel post in-between. This year the fence is 40 yrs old and and still doing the job it started 40 yrs ago. 10 yrs ago we went down the fence retying every wire to every post. Only real maintence that had ever been needed on the fence. The Cross-tie Corners just a strong as the day they were put in. Just 40 yrs older.
By in large the Cross-ties have serves our place well. Our soils run from Calachie hills to a Houston Black Clay Derivative soils. Mostly well drained. Most folks Do not expect a fence to last so long, but most of ours have. I bought a bundle of 20 about 22 yrs ago. That set was used on a crowding alley. Don't know where they came from but that set has not fared as well as the Ties we bought back in 1970.
Personally I like Cross-ties better than Cedar post, But not as well as 3 in pipe! If your soils is salty then pipe is not a good solution.
Hope this helps!
Later,
John A.
 
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greygoat
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've had some in sand for 40 years,no problems.
 
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Wile E
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Termites eat treated wood? Really? Was the wood treated with copper chromate and arsenic?
 
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GarrettFields
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:02 am    Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have never built a fence in my life, but I have had a hand in replacing roughly 300k cross ties on the RR. Back when I first started we were replacing ties that had date nails from the 30's, 40's, and 50's that where still sound, but had been adz'ed so much they where unsafe. Right before I left System Production to work locally we where replacing some ties that were only 7 years old that where rotting. Granted these were in low, poorly drained ares, but your gonna do worse to a fence post. And last a lot of the newer ties look good from the outside but are rotted on the inside. Hope this helps
 
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