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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I started a new project with railroad ties, trying to build a table top and am seeking for advise. I don't have much experience with wood but am determined to transform these planks into a table top.
The planks that I got weren't used so I assume that they didnt have any creatine applied on.
I posted some pictures of the ties after sanded with a 32grit.
I am stil not sure what species they are although I think they are all pine.
Does any one have a suggestion what would be the best way to square the edges of these planks? they measure in average 3"thick X 74"long X 10"wide and the countertop I am planing to built on is 42"wide X 12'-0" long
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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That material looks like pressure treated pine. Not a safe choice for a table top and sanding it without a dusk mask can be hazardous.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the answer, as I said I am not very experience with wood. could you tell em a little bit more about the problems with pressured treated pine? and what makes it a not good choice for a table top?
thanks
 

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thanks for the answer, as I said I am not very experience with wood. could you tell em a little bit more about the problems with pressured treated pine? and what makes it a not good choice for a table top?
thanks
The problems are related to the chemicals that it is treated with. If those boards date to 2003, they may probably contain some combination of chromium, copper and arsenic. Chromium and arsenic have been linked to cancer. Even if they are more recent you just don't want to be using them in any application where they will be near food or drink or where they will be inside given the chemicals that they are treated with to discourage rot and wood boring insects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
got it. The table would be actually a computer desk/library countertop (not a food preparation top)...
is there any product that can be applied to minimize the effects of these chemicals?

thanks again
 

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Super Moderator
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Doesn’t look treated to me……dirty maybe.

They sell treated picnic tables. Where is this table top going?

If it is treated I wouldn't want it in the house.
 

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If the look your going for is a rough looking table then just go to any real lumber yard where they rough cut logs and ask for some that have been kiln dryed but not finished (alo called dressed). I also would never use pressure treated inside a home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
so there is no way to seal the wood to block these chemicals?
as I said it would be used for a working table (not for food preparation or consumption).
 

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Tileguy
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so there is no way to seal the wood to block these chemicals?
No! That type of wood IS NOT something that would typically be sealed.

Notice the cracking and checking that is taking place. Does that suggest anything to you?
 
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