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Rip cutting railroad ties

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by rawtoxic, May 1, 2013.

  1. rawtoxic

    rawtoxic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    I am bidding a project for a incomplete wall started by another possibly incompetent contractor.

    They sourced 100x irregular railroad ties 6"x8" built the wall, stepped up in some places etc. The courses are finished to various heights. The other contractor backed out when his next load of ties showed up at 7"x9" dimensions. I need to make about 32x 6"x8" railroad ties to level up the top course so I can switch to 7"x9" ties that are available. I've looked everywhere for the 6"x8" ties first contractor used to no avail his work is good and well built but the homeowner said he freaked and quit when his next load of 100 ties 7" x 9" showed up (still on site for me to use)

    My two solutions (I've come up with - I'm open for your suggestions) are remove about 45x 6"x8" ties (about 15 deadman also) and level it up from there or rip cut 32x ties to the 6" x 9" dimension and build the wall. I was thinking of purchasing a Makita 5402 NA (16 5/16" circlular saw) to accomplish this figuring I can rip down maybe 4 ties an hour and have them ready to go in 8 hours? Any comments on the Makita saw for rip cuts or am I crazy thinking I can do this? Saw is not cheap but nearby pawn shop does have a nice newer looking one for $400.

    Thanks for your comments and ideas!
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,926

    Saw will do the job, but plan on extra blades. The pitch on those ties has enough grit embedded in it to dull even the best blade . If you do a lot of RR tie work that saw will pay for itself.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,770

    Get the pawn shop saw and have at it. This must be a monster wall.

    Maybe a mill would cut them for you?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. EgansCountryGardens

    EgansCountryGardens LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Use a table saw and raise the blade all the way up, then flip them over and go through the other side. Even if you have to finish the cut with the big circ saw, you know your lines will be dead on. And you don't have to measure every one.
  5. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,078

    My solution for that job would have been "tanks, but no tanks"
  6. sven1277

    sven1277 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 636

    Agreed. That sounds atrocious. RR ties are so ghetto
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Not to mention used and already deteriorating when you get them.

    Pressure treated lumber is even better than RR ties.

  8. jones68

    jones68 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    just finished a rr tie wall the other day.. luckily we had all the same ties 7x9 took about 150 ties including deadmen. i would see you eating through blades like crazy to do rips, not to mention that some of the ones we got had spikes in them and various other metal. like stated above i would check with a local mill and see if they could rip them.
  9. ztuttle7

    ztuttle7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    We use concrete cut off saws with rescue blades to cut them. Just have to take precautions because RR ties are soaked in kryosot (spelling is probably wrong). It can burn skin and lungs.
  10. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    That's "creosote", and the sawdust you make is toxic waste. It is also carcinogenic.

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