Railroad - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

View Poll Results: OK To Use Railroad Ties As Floor For Pole Barn/Shop?
Don't Know 1 6.25%
No - bad decision 13 81.25%
Never heard of RR ties for floor 1 6.25%
Seen it before and should be fine 1 6.25%
Yes 0 0%
Voters: 16. This poll is closed

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-01-2009, 02:05 PM   #1
Federico
 
fcmazz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 10
Question

Railroad


Hello,
I've just finished framing a 20x20 garage/shop and would like to use railroad ties as the floor. Wanted to know if anyone has had experience or heard of using RR ties as floor versus traditional concrete slab. On a budget right now and seems I can get the RR ties for $3 apiece compared to much more for concrete. I'm thinking RR ties would be strong and I can level them well one by one with my base frame. Any thoughts or ideas are welcomed.


Advertisement

fcmazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2009, 03:26 PM   #2
Crazy, but lovable
 
flyboy2610's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lincoln, Ne.
Posts: 53
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Railroad


The creosote smell would be unbearable on hot days.

Advertisement

flyboy2610 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2009, 03:28 PM   #3
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Railroad


Wow! That's going to take some wrapping my brain around. Truly interesting concept. Seems like you will be doing a lot of tongue and groove fabrication to key (lock) them together. And then about three days of sanding with 36 grit to begin with.

Probably have to resaw all of them first, too. I can see a beautiful, but stinky floor. Don't breathe the dust while you're sawing and sanding; it'll burn your throat raw! (Don't ask how I know. )
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T

Last edited by Willie T; 03-01-2009 at 03:34 PM.
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2009, 07:40 PM   #4
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 8,337
Rewards Points: 3,468
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Railroad


Put in a stone floor. If you do it correct it will be a suitable base for concrete when you get the cash.
You could also asphalt it. Cheaper than concrete.
joed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2009, 08:09 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 228
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Railroad


You will never be able to effectively sweep a railroad tie floor. Plus getting it level would be a pain. I would go for compacted 3/4" tb before I would put down railroad ties.
__________________
Some advice you receive on the internet can be worth exactly what you paid for it - be careful.
stubborn1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2009, 08:53 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 4,402
Rewards Points: 2,340
Default

Railroad


It sounds like a really cool idea, it would look rustic. But, there are some health risks associated with railroad ties. I found this info on the MSU-Bozeman website. It's not the entire article, just bits and pieces of it.

Creosote is the black gue that railroad ties are treated with. Creosote has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a probable carcinogen. Studies have shown increased risk of cancer and respiratory problems in plant workers repeatedly exposed to creosote. Exposure to creosote on the skin has been shown to cause rash and irritation and in an extreme case, cancer. Direct skin contact with creosote poses the most likely health risks to people outside industrial applications. When handling creosote treated wood, wear gloves and long sleeves and try to minimize time spent working with ties. Work in well ventilated areas and avoid working in hot conditions when vapors are most potent.
gma2rjc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2009, 10:06 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,279
Rewards Points: 580
Default

Railroad


Toe stubs, splinters, and poison. Sounds like a damn fine floor to me.
__________________
Advice is free, Lessons begin at 75 bucks an hour.
Tscarborough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2009, 10:39 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: coastal georgia
Posts: 371
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Railroad


I have seen old shop floors made with beams like cross ties, but they had cut them into short pcs. and laid them end grain up.
7echo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 09:00 AM   #9
Member
 
47_47's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Springville, NY
Posts: 1,511
Rewards Points: 610
Default

Railroad


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
Toe stubs, splinters, and poison. Sounds like a damn fine floor to me.
Agree, with the health hazards
__________________
What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it.
47_47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 09:48 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 109
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Railroad


I have seen it before. It does smell, and I wouldn't want to spend much time in there knowing it is a potential health hazard. I'd go with stone as mentioned and pour over it when you have the cash. You could lay down some patio blocks in work / parking areas.
Reilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 10:01 AM   #11
Member
 
Tom Struble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: west milford n.j.
Posts: 2,785
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Railroad


concrete might not be as expensive as you think you still need a gravel base for the ties plus they tend to dull blades very quickly and are very heavy getting them all level and lined up could take awhile.redi-mix couple of hrs its done start using your shop alot quicker
Tom Struble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2009, 01:19 PM   #12
Kyle Emerick
 
kemerick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Vista, CA
Posts: 106
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Railroad


I agree, it would smell bad...
__________________
My constant project is my home which was built in 1947. We have remodeled almost all of it and added 1000 square foot in 2007. Lars Construction got me up to drywall and I did the rest.
kemerick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2009, 09:17 PM   #13
Federico
 
fcmazz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Railroad


All,
Thank you for the feedback on the railroad ties. I going with the majority and forget about this project. Probably stick to plywood or straight packed gravel.

Good luck on your projects.

FCMAZZ
fcmazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2009, 07:06 AM   #14
Household Handyman
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Albany, Ga.
Posts: 2,294
Rewards Points: 1,040
Default

Railroad


Along the lines stated by 7echo, I also have seen many industrial floors built prior to "a long time ago" that were hardwood wooden blocks laid ends up. They, somehow, cut these back then so square that when laid they were very solid. I did some contract work in a textile mill back in the early '70's that had one entire floor, approximately 30,000 sq. ft. made entirely of this type flooring. They were driving fork lifts, and motorized pallet jacks on this floor. We were reluctant to drive in our 60K forklift and they insisted "you can't hurt this floor". It turned out we didn't even dent it. They used to coat this floor with the oils/fuel used to fire their huge boilers. That stuff was like molasses at normal S. GA. July temps. I really can't imagine the problems with making a floor with RR crossties laid flat, rounded edges, humped sides, etc.

Advertisement

Thurman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
railroad


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Railroad Tie Retaining Wall - long wall adjacent to driveway wauf Carpentry 0 01-07-2009 10:34 AM
Railroad Ties Wall & Black Widow Spiders Dona Pest Control 4 09-06-2008 05:04 PM
railroad tie retaining wall david81 Landscaping & Lawn Care 16 09-02-2008 06:38 PM
Replacing Railroad Tie Retaining Wall Msfixit Landscaping & Lawn Care 2 07-24-2008 09:03 AM
Railroad ties- what are the downsides? lanispet Building & Construction 4 03-31-2008 03:12 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts