View Full Version : cutting railroad ties??

03-06-2004, 09:05 PM
What have you all found is the best way to cut railroad ties? Thanks, Tony

03-06-2004, 09:12 PM
Try a chainsaw.

03-06-2004, 09:29 PM
Tried a large circular(I think it was 12 inch). Was a pain to keep from binding. I also tried a 8 inch and cut it twice, took a long time. I now use a chainsaw and square 3 sides to assure a straight cut-Harry

03-06-2004, 09:40 PM
The best thing I found is, don't laugh is an electric chainsaw. I don't know why they seem to work better than a gas but they do for me.


03-06-2004, 10:00 PM
If you use a chainsaw be ready to go through alot of chains. the creosote(sp?) will really eat them up. Unless you have newer ones which perhaps doesnt have it.

03-06-2004, 10:25 PM
Same as everyone else...


03-06-2004, 11:45 PM
You can try a big circular saw wiht carbide tipped blades. I've tried this and it worked pretty well. A chinsaw is still faster but doesn't give as nice a cut.

03-07-2004, 09:12 AM
I assumed you were talking about treated 6x6es, we call those ties. The creosote ties are no longer available here, and if I remember right they had a steel S on the ends that prevented you from cutting them. I didn't know you could still get Creosote ties-Harry

03-07-2004, 09:12 AM
chainsaw with a carbide chain. it will cut nails with no problem.

03-07-2004, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by PaulJ
You can try a big circular saw wiht carbide tipped blades. I've tried this and it worked pretty well. A chinsaw is still faster but doesn't give as nice a cut.

This is not a slam, but railroad ties pretty much look like junk anyhow. So a nice cut is pretty much lipstick on a pig:p. I always steer people away from railroad ties, and even pt 6x6's.

There are a lot of segmental retaining walls that are almost as cheap to construct, and IMO, hold up a lot better. Timber walls always seem to creep in eventually, no matter how well built.

03-07-2004, 10:13 AM
Yes there isn't many 6x6 timber walls built anymore. I've been doing this long enough that I have done many many timber walls. It's almost like a dieing trade. I use to chamfer all the edges and butt ends ... almost like a timber house. I built one wall that was in the early 80's that was at least 15 courses high that was retaining a parking lot.... gee...we had more dead-man buried in that than the face of the wall.... It is still standing today.

To answer your question .... I use a very sharp chainsaw ..There are many little tricks to doing a wall that sets you miles apart from a "homeowners job". Good luck

03-09-2004, 01:09 AM
chainsaw. and smooth ruff edges after cut

03-09-2004, 10:34 PM
The trick to cutting ties with a chainsaw is to make sure there isnt any rocks down in the cracks in the wood where you are planning to cut.. Then instead of placing the saw on top of the tie and cutting down, you cut with the top of the bar from the bottom up. The reason for this is you push the dirt and rocks out in the air instead of dragging them thru the tie and into the saw. Make sure you keep plenty of oil in the oiler and if the chain gets hot, stop and sharpen it then instead of trying to finish the cut and taking the temper out of the chain.

D Felix
03-09-2004, 10:43 PM
There is an attachment for circular saws that is basically a vertical chainsaw, I think with a 12"(?) bar. We don't have one, but if we were to do any more timber walls, we would certainly look into it more. It's made for timber house framing.