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Old 04-01-2009, 12:05 PM   #1
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Railroad Ties- How to install or anchor?


I plan on using some railroad ties as a border for a gravel parking area. The space will be graded and then new gravel will be spread. How do I go about "installing" or anchoring the railroad ties? Drive a large spike through them?

Also, any reason I shouldn't use railroad ties? I've read that they are soaked in a nasty chemical. Is it that bad?

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Old 04-01-2009, 01:57 PM   #2
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Railroad Ties- How to install or anchor?


If you have a good cheap source use them. Drill a hole trough and drive a spike made for these. It is a galvanized nail about 12- 18" long
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:12 PM   #3
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Railroad Ties- How to install or anchor?


Since you are just using gravel, railroad ties will be fine. They aren't so good if you are using them for a landscape or flower garden border.

Just as the OP stated, drill holes in them and drive stakes through. However, unless your ties are perfectly level (which most aren't) and you stake them at an angle, they will come up pretty easily. I just redid our flower bed last year and the old ties came up with no problem.

I used a similar product (untreated since it was for a flower bed) and I buried the first row (drilling every foot and staked them slanted so that they didn't come out), then compacted soil on each side so it would stay put. Then I laid on another row on top, using 8" x 1/2" and a hammer drill to screw the top row to the bottom row.

So far it hasn't moved, which could be a bad thing since we are moving our sidewalk and I need to make that flowerbed smaller.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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Railroad Ties- How to install or anchor?


You might want to buy rebar (stuff that goes into concrete to make it stronger) and use that; likely less expensive than 12" nails. Just buy some 3/8" or 1/2" rebar and cut it with hacksaw, drill pilot hole, and pound it in.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:22 PM   #5
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Railroad Ties- How to install or anchor?


conduit works good, cheap as well.
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