Old railroad ties. I need advice, please.

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by dlangland, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    NW Iowa
    Railroad ties...old ones. Any practical uses? I have been breaking my back each weekend tearing up what the former owner of my property called his teenage parking platform right alongside my driveway. I can olny manage sometimes 2, but 4 this weekend. (I must have been exceptionally determined in the heatwave.) And don't talk to me about burning them. Already tried. Toxic fire. No not on my garden spot...in my ditch...My theory...I know my oldest daughter is a chemist...Since I was having a hard time keeping up with mowing my ditch, and determined not to let it get the best of me, My new neighbors are loving me already...Yes, I must be weak, but I thought I was making progress by moving a few each weekend when I am there, as much as my muscles can handle. No, how depressing. I counted...still 35 left. I haven't even made a dent in it. From what I have hard and read, the creosote is not a good thing for gardening. They are so unsightly, and weeds and tree seedlings are growing up between them. I will have to call around. I don't know if the county dump would even accept something like that, and I have a little Chevy S10 pickup. I am not going to haul them in that, and I have no money at this point to pay someone else to deal with it.
     
  2. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Messages:
    7,380
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    east ont canada
    put an ad in your local paper or freecycle board ,you will not have to move a muscle!!! just make sure you realy don't want them.
     

  3. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    NW Iowa
    For real? You guys are so very good to me. Why would anyone want them though? No, I don't want them. It's a truly ugly eyesore, mostly with all this foliage popping up between, and I will not use chemicals. plus I could do something with that space if it hasn't killed the soil, but I have found night- crawlers there.
     
  4. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    They make GREAT corner posts for fences. I use them whenever I can get my hands on them. Super stong, last forever, and I like the look of them.
     
  5. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    932
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Location:
    South West MI
    A sign
    "Free railroad ties between 2 and 6 PM"

    Problem solved they load em and leave.

    mikell
     
  6. gardentalk

    gardentalk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    296
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Pretty big for that sort of thing, you don't you think? I mean, I've never seen the need for a 200-300 pound "corner post". :D Anyway, ANOTHER great use for railroad ties is for laying out gardens and driveways. Right now we have nine of them setting up the parking part of our driveway, and I plan on getting a gozillion more of them to create the rest of the driveway from the road and up.

    Ah, and yes, those bastards are puke-inducing to work with. I moved all nine of them around on an 85 temp day, and darn near passed out. :eek:
     
  7. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    You are right about them being huge for corner posts. I put them in 4' down, and I am done with that corner for my lifetime (or so I hope). It is better than paying more money for a smaller post that will have to be replaced down the road.
     
  8. gardentalk

    gardentalk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    296
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Please don't slap me for silliness, but did you use an auger? If so, how much did your's cost? Are they pretty cheap to rent? My wife and I want to build a fence an "outer fence" (our garden, for example, would have an inner fencing of its own, as would goats, chickens, etc.) around our property.
     
  9. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    I have a post hole digger that I hook to my tractors 3 point hitch.

    Call around and you will find someone who will do this for you, for a fee. The guy I hired to till my gardens their first few years does this for $15/hr.

    By having them as my corner posts, with another as a brace post 10' away, I can pull 1/8 mile of wire and they hold just fine.

    In a perfect world, you would want to install them in the fall, and then sting your wire after the spring thaw.

    I have very heavy clay soil, so I throw about 6' of rock in the bottom of each hole.
     
  10. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

    Messages:
    1,267
    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    I wish I was closer to ya...I'd take every one of them. I got some from freecycle and others from the side of the road. These are great for setting small outbuildings on. I have a 40' shipping container and have it setting on ties so that the bottom doesn't rust. I'm now lining my hog pens with them so the pigs can't move them if they get their snouts under the fence. As others have said; corner fence posts are good use.
    But if you really don't want them; put up signs and list on your local freecycle group (find it on yahoo).
     
  11. gardentalk

    gardentalk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    296
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    What does "sting your wire" mean? Did you mean "string"? I take it that you mean that between fall and winter, the posts will have time to settle? This is something my wife and I are wanting to do, to get a property fence put up.
     
  12. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    Yes, I meant string. Yes, so they can settle.
     
  13. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    NW Iowa
    Hey, anyone wants them. You are very welcome to them. I didn't know what a wealth I had!
     
  14. gardentalk

    gardentalk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    296
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Too bad you're in Iowa, and that I don't have a trailer and a decent truck. Otherwise, I'd be out there in a shotgun to pick'em up. :cool:
     
  15. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    NW Iowa
    Someone from far away already instant messaged me with that same thought. I feel so ashamed I have actually been burning them at a rate of a few each time I am there, but they are too heavy for me to handle. Like I said , I was this past weekend and actually counted...35 more...Yes, I will quit polluting the enviroment. At least I hold hope now. Free is the magic word, I believe.
     
  16. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,327
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    Now, yours are laying burried in the dirt & were gotten used already I would imagine. So, depends on the quality of what you have. You might not have too much left.....

    But, they sure make good fence posts for cattle as the others said! The big box stores charge $5-10 a piece for used battle-scarred RR ties around here. And they sell them for landscaping mostly.

    My BiL had access to 25 really good rr ties. I drove 100 miles one way with my car trailer, loaded up the 25 mostly by myself, and felt very lucky to get such a deal. My BiL is not much help physically, but he _does_ have a rr tong which made moving them a lot easier. Now I didn't say easy - just a bit easier. :)

    I'd expect the free sign to get rid of most of them if they have any life left in them.

    --->Paul
     
  17. KRH

    KRH Resident Wino

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Location:
    SW Mich
    We use them for end posts in our vineyards. Last forever and almost impossible for an inexperianced tractor driver to break.
     
  18. gardentalk

    gardentalk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    296
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Huh?