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How to Cut Railroad Ties

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Best way to cut railroad ties

Cutting railroad ties – Railroad ties are robust, solid, and long-lasting. You could have some lying about your yard that you’d like to reuse, or you might just want to hack them up to get them out of the way. Cutting railroad ties is a difficult process that should be approached with prudence. Some railroad ties may be covered with a carcinogenic chemical that might hurt your lungs or skin, or they may be embedded with pebbles and gravel that can damage your gear. However, if you use the right equipment and precautions, you can cut railroad ties quickly and safely.

You are viewing article How to Cut Railroad Ties at website answerforyou.net in category Tips.

Using a Chainsaw

Support your railroad tie-up using two discarded pieces of wood.

1. Support your railroad tie-up using two discarded pieces of wood. You’ll want to raise your railroad tie so your chainsaw doesn’t cut into the earth or grass beneath it. As a stand, two pieces of scrap wood put about 3 feet (0.91 m) apart can be used. [1] Make certain that the area you’re working in is clear of debris and that the ground is typically level. This will make your job a lot safer and simpler.

what to use to cut railroad ties
Purchase and wear the necessary safety gear.

2. Purchase and wear the necessary safety gear. Wear safety eyewear, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and ear protection. Because using a chainsaw may be dangerous, it is critical to wear the appropriate safety equipment. You’ll need to protect your eyes, hearing, and skin from injury, so cover yourself as much as possible. Because railroad ties can contain chemicals and dust, you should consider using a breathing mask. [2]

  • Chainsaw chaps are advised for extra protection.
  • Most hardware stores sell safety equipment.
how to cut railroad ties
Holding your chainsaw steady, cut approximately a third of the way through the tie.

3. Holding your chainsaw steady, cut approximately a third of the way through the tie. To gain leverage, stand in a crouch stance over the railroad tie and carefully lower the chainsaw. To avoid getting your blade trapped between the two halves, stop cutting before you reach the bottom of the knot. This will also save you from cutting through the rope and into the ground, perhaps ruining your chainsaw. [3]

  • Railroad ties are strong and difficult to cut, so you may need to adjust or sharpen your blade during the procedure.
  • It may take a few minutes to cut the knot, so go slowly and carefully.
  • It is not required to have a friend assist you by holding the railroad tie steady as you cut. If you do have someone assist you, make sure they are likewise wearing protective equipment and do not come into contact with the chain saw blade.
best way to cut railroad ties
Finish the cut by flipping the tie over.

4. Finish the cut by flipping the tie over. After you’ve cut 34% of the way through the railroad tie, flip it over and continue cutting the remaining 14%. Make sure your cuts are exactly aligned so that your chainsaw runs smoothly. Use caution while you finish your cut, and work slowly so that you maintain control of your chainsaw throughout the process. [4]

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Cutting with a Circular Saw

how to cut a railroad tie
Place the railroad tie on two scrap pieces of wood.

1. Place the railroad tie on two scrap pieces of wood. When cutting using a circular saw, you’ll need to raise your railroad tie. To raise it up, place your scrap wood approximately 3 feet (0.91 m) apart on the ground. [5] When using a circular saw, make sure the ground is as level as possible. This will allow the cutting to be completed more quickly, safely, and smoothly.

cutting a railroad tie
Wear safety glasses, long trousers, and closed-toed shoes.

2. Wear safety glasses, long trousers, and closed-toed shoes. Circular saws, like any power tools, are hazardous, so pay attention to the work at hand as well as how the tie and saw are behaving. Wear adequate safety gear, such as safety glasses, sturdy shoes, and long pants. You should also use a breathing mask to protect your lungs from the dust produced by your saw. [6]

  • It is preferable to wear more safety equipment than less safety equipment. Wear only as much as you are comfortable with.
  • Most hardware and home improvement businesses sell safety equipment.
  • Set the blade depth to the maximum value. This is accomplished by moving the circular saw’s saw shoe (bed) as near to the arbor (shaft) as possible.
  • To begin, release the mechanism that holds the shoe in place.
  • If you are unsure how to accomplish this, see the owner’s handbook for your individual model.
how do you cut railroad ties
Make a slit in the top of the railroad tie.

3. Make a slit in the top of the railroad tie. Cut through the section of the knot that is pointing upwards with your circular saw. You can cut through the entire tie, cutting as deep as your saw will allow. [7]
Working slowly and cautiously will help you get your saw through the railroad tie.

cut railroad ties
Make a cut on the bottom of the tie by flipping it over.

4. Make a cut on the bottom of the tie by flipping it over. After you’ve cut the top of the railroad tie, flip it over and make a similar cut on the bottom that lines up with the previous one. You should insert your saw as far into the knot as it will go, but it’s fine if it doesn’t quite reach the initial cut. [8]

best way to cut a railroad tie
On the uncut sides, cut the tie twice more.

5. On the uncut sides, cut the tie twice more. You can spin your tie to reach the uncut areas and cut across each of the edges you haven’t cut yet. You’ll be attempting to match up your fresh cuts with your old ones once more. Set the saw depth to the maximum so that you may cut as far into the railroad tie as feasible. It’s alright if it doesn’t reach your other cuts completely. [9]
It would be useful to have someone rotate the railroad tie as you work. You’ll have to pause less and may line up your cuts more simply this way.

best chain for cutting railroad ties
To separate the parts, stomp on the cut area.

6. To separate the parts, stomp on the cut area. If your cuts haven’t lined up exactly and there’s still a small amount of railroad tie joining them, you can break it apart with your foot. You should only do this if there is less than an inch of uncut region in the centre; else, you risk injuring yourself. If you don’t want to use your foot, you can break it apart with a hefty item, such as a rock. [10]
Wear heavy-duty shoes or work boots for this step or you may injure your foot.

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What is the best way to cut railroad ties?

Make a cut on the top portion of the railroad tie.

Using your circular saw, cut through part of the tie that is facing upwards. You can cut across the entire tie, going as deep into it as your saw will allow you to. It may be difficult to get your saw through the railroad tie, so work slowly and cautiously.

What can I use to cut railroad track?

The Best Ways to Cut Steel Railroad Tracks
Angle Grinder. One of the simplest tools you can use to cut large pieces of metal like railroad tracks is an angle grinder. …
Miter Saw. …
Rail Saw. …
Cutting Torch.

Are old railroad ties toxic?

Railroad ties are treated wood, steeped in a toxic stew of chemicals, chief of which is creosote. You can find old railroad ties for sale even at garden centers, which makes the question confusing. The EPA has denounced these repurposed barriers as toxic and not recommended for the garden.

How do you stack railroad ties?

How to Secure Landscape Railroad Ties
Excavate a trench to accommodate the bottom layer of railroad ties. …
Tamp the soil at the bottom of the trench to compact it.
Place the first layer of railroad ties in the prepared trench. …
Drill holes about a foot away from the ends into each railroad tie.

How do you keep railroad ties from rotting?

If there is surface splintering on the tie, sand or grind it off. If there is rot, sand it away or saw it off. If there are holes in the tie, fill them with spike-hole filler compound, which is specifically meant to fill up holes in railroad ties. Coat the railroad tie in a clear, protective compound.

How do you cut a steel rail?

Cut Metal with Your Circular Saw

It may not be an obvious choice, but fitted with the right blade, a circular saw is a great metal-cutting tool. In our test, it cut through rebar like a hot knife through butter. You can cut mild steel up to about 3/8 in. thick using a ferrous-metal-cutting blade.

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What can I do with old railroad spikes?

List of Railroad Spike Projects Ideas For Blacksmiths (With Videos & Advice)
1) Railroad Spike Tongs.
2) Railroad Spike Bottle Opener.
3) Railroad Spike Knife.
4) Railroad Spike Tomahawk.
5) Railroad Spike Wall Hook.
6) Railroad Spike Steak Turner.
7) Railroad Spike Garden Hoe.
8) Railroad Spike Spoon.

Is creosote still used in railroad ties?

The railroad industry has more than a century of experience using creosote treated railroad ties. The vast majority of ties currently purchased are creosote and creosote/borate treated wood.

Is creosote banned?

Consumer use of creosote has been banned since 2003. The Commission’s new decision amends the Biocides Directive and stems from a risk assessment of the effects of creosote on human health and the environment.

Do railroad ties contaminate soil?

Repurposed railroad ties may seem like a fun idea, but they are often contaminated with creosote. Wood treated with creosote may contain high concentrations several years after treatment. Creosote from treated wood can leach into the soil, or volatilize.

Can railroad ties be used for a retaining wall?

A Deadman railroad tie is a railroad tie that runs perpendicular to the retaining wall and into the hill that you are building the retaining wall against. Deadman ties are great for ensuring the retaining wall is as solid as possible. We recommend using a deadman railroad tie every 20 feet of your retaining wall.

Can you build with railroad ties?

Railroad ties aren’t much different. They’re wood and they’re solid. It’s economical and environmentally friendly to reuse railroad ties. While unconventional, they’re a material that will certainly make your home stand out.

Can you stain railroad ties?

It is a good idea to stain wooden railroad ties before using them in your project, as the finish will seal the wood and protect it from the elements. Apply a coat of wood conditioner with a brush to ensure the wood absorbs the stain evenly. After the stain has dried, buff the railroad ties with a clean cloth.

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