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

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-28-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
deuce of all trades
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: rural, coastal SC
Posts: 12
Share |
Default

Railroad ties- what are the downsides?


Greetings, All...

A wood lot near me has a big stack of railroad ties for cheap. Far, far cheaper than equivalent lumber. This has me thinking.

Aside from the fact that you'll get dirty if you rub against them, what would the problem be with using them as uprights for a detatched carport?
Given the price advantage I would expect to see them used more in outdoor construction, but it's very rare to see them. Is it the smell? Code violation? Weaker than they look? Fire?

Cheers,

...dave

lanispet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 12:28 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,214
Default

Railroad ties- what are the downsides?


Somewhat toxic (even more-so when you start cutting on them), hard to work with, and, by the time they are for sale to the public they often have rotten spots.

Tscarborough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 07:02 PM   #3
Custom Cabinet Maker
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Netcong NJ
Posts: 1,097
Default

Railroad ties- what are the downsides?


Also most rr ties are creosote treated which could be considered hazardous waste material. Dont do it
skymaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 08:10 PM   #4
remodeling pro
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,399
Default

Railroad ties- what are the downsides?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lanispet View Post
Greetings, All...

Aside from the fact that you'll get dirty if you rub against them, what would the problem be with using them as uprights for a detatched carport?
Fire?

..dave
If you use them in a spot such as you suggested, you will get more than "dirty" when you rub against them. Creosote , while a great preservative, is pretty nasty stuff. It will permanently stain anything it gets on, and is highly irritating to skin, resulting in spots on you that look like you have literally been burned or scalded. And the smell never goes away from the product. They are best left alone, not only for these reasons, but at stated, they are availabe to you because they have been removed from service by the RR due to their deteriorating condition, thus the anticipated life span of them is less than you expect.
And just as a kicker, creosote is highly flammable.
troubleseeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
deuce of all trades
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: rural, coastal SC
Posts: 12
Default

Railroad ties- what are the downsides?


Thanks for the info... I knew creosote wasn't very nice, but i didn't think it was quite that bad. i also thought that while it had a lot of energy, it took a lot of heat to ignite (substantially higher temp than untreated pine). I'd planned to get around the staining issue by sheeting them in either PTL planks or vinyl siding to match the house. Ah well.


Thanks,

...dave
lanispet is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
Trusses, collar ties and knee walls Ricki Lee Building & Construction 1 03-20-2008 08:29 AM
collar ties explained? troycalm Carpentry 13 04-04-2007 02:16 PM
raising collar ties ajoantmug Building & Construction 9 03-18-2007 05:15 PM
Removing Collar ties Mike2004 Building & Construction 6 12-16-2006 01:48 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.