View Full Version : Rail Road ties

John P.
04-13-2005, 07:14 PM
I'm doing a retaining wall with rail road ties. I was wondering if there where any tips for the job or do's and don'ts

04-13-2005, 10:17 PM
By alot of chainsaw blades, becasue when you cut them, they have so much tar and sand/ grit i nthem that it ruins that chain saw blades. Tar sticks to them and they dull very fast. You cannot really sharpen them with that tar on them, so basically have to throw them.

04-13-2005, 10:43 PM
Normally I wouldnt suggest this but, when sawing railroad ties with a chain saw, the chains will last longer if you can cut with the top of the bar instead of the bottom. Cutting with the top of the bar pushes the dirt and grit out of the cut path instead of dragging it thru the cut path. Also changing the chains before they tarnish from heat (not tar) will allow you to resharpen them more easily. You will still use a lot of chains so start with extras so you can change before you burn them up. Cutting with the top of the bar isnt the safest thing to do so use extreme care, watching for kickbacks. You dont want to wear a running chainsaw for a hat.

28 years experience doing tie installations for a class one railroad.

04-14-2005, 12:24 PM
Use reciprocating saw

04-14-2005, 12:27 PM
Use reciprocating saw

ditto.... dont use a chain saw, its an accident waiting to happen.

04-14-2005, 03:51 PM
Use reciprocating saw

Can you buy recipocating blades that long? I have seen some long ones but never any I thought would reach thru a cross tie. If they are available in the required length they should make a good alternative to a chainsaw.

04-14-2005, 04:46 PM
yes you can. I bought mine at harbor fright, and they were long enough.

jd boy
04-14-2005, 05:52 PM
what's that take, about 1/2 hour per cut.
quit being a bunch of skirts and use a chain saw

04-14-2005, 07:10 PM
what's that take, about 1/2 hour per cut.
quit being a bunch of skirts and use a chain saw

cuts through them like butter actually. youd be supprised... Have you ever heard the saying, "dont nock something till ya try it" ?

04-14-2005, 11:37 PM
I heard you can mix diesel fuel with the chain oil and it will help

04-14-2005, 11:38 PM
For you guys that ware hardhats and safty glass's , loggers use a mud chain, it doesent dull like that safety chain most of you have on your saws....Not avalible in the "Home Depot" or "Sears".

04-15-2005, 12:51 AM
Make sure you know where your railroad ties came from, if you can find out. A lot fo the ones coming up from the gulf states like Louisiana have been found to be infested with Formosan Termites. For any of you who arent familiar with structural pest control and termites, Formosans make Drywood and Eastern Subteranians look like nothing. They eat three times as much, three times as fast, and it costs about three times as much to treat for them. Down in Louisiana, PCO's usually tent a structure and fumigate it to get rid of them. I've seen buildings that had to be bulldozed because of the amount of damage from a Formosan colony. Trust me, they are NASTY!! They have been confirmed as far North as Denton, TX... brought up from the Gulf in guess what??? old railroad ties!! The creosote coating doesnt phase them, they eat right through it into the center. Besides lawn applications, I do general and structural pest control also, and do alot of termite work. I know sooner or later I'm gonna find some of these little terrors.

04-15-2005, 01:03 AM
what's that take, about 1/2 hour per cut.
quit being a bunch of skirts and use a chain saw

probably take a lot less time and be less expensive than changing all those chainsaw chains. And then, just what kind of price can one put on their personal safety. I ran my first chainsaw about 15 years before you where born. I have seen first hand the dangers of a chainsaw and avoid one like the plague. Thats not to say the ties cant be cut safely with a chainsaw but you doesnt have to mess up but one time to make a mess of a leg or hand or even a face. I havent tried a recipocating saw on a cross tie but I have on regular landscape timpers and dont think it will take 1/2 hour per cut to accomplish. Maybe not as fast as a chainsaw but probably fast enough to eliminate the dangers associated with a chainsaw and make it worth the wait.
Having logged and cut timber most of my younger and adult life, I have managed to never cut myself with a chainsaw, but I know the danger is there because I have seen very experenced operators manage to cut open a leg or wack off a finger. True one could do the same with a recipocating saw but using one instead of a chainsaw doesnt make one a skirt.