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Railway sleepers - vertical wall


 
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Bob Skunkhouse
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject: Railway sleepers - vertical wall Reply with quote

Hi,

I want to construct a 3 sided 'deck', 2300mm long/wide by 1600mm high with the 'walls' of railway sleepers and flag stones inside the deck for dancing on!

I'm planning on just layering the sleepers one on top of the others and interlocking them at the corners like you would do a block wall. I'll screw each sleeper to the one below with timerlok screws along the length.

Here's my concerns -
1) Is there enough stability laying the sleepers one on top of another 2.3m long, or am I better off cutting some sleepers so I've a course 2.3m followed by one 1.65m(x2 length ways) followed by 2.3 etc etc (like a block wall so to speak).
2) Will the sleepers be steady enough or will i need a verticle support to stop them falling over. The first course will be all joined so that you'll have to step over a sleeper to enter the deck -with this sleeper joined at it's ends to the 'walls' to stop the squeeze on the first course.
3)is there enough power in an 18V power drill to screw the screws through 200+mm of oak sleepers or will i need a more powerful drill?

Apologies for the convolutedness but i hope you get my drift.
Sleep dimensions 2300mmx200x100 - Oak.

Thanks,
Bob.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ii have an issue with sleepers I assume they are used railway sleepers I read somewhere that there could be an issue with Hepatitis C from toilet waste being flushed onto them, As regards cuting them they will wreck a number of saw blades from a chain saw from embedded stones and nails, Also they have a lot of creosote in them, As far as i know CIE will not sell them anymore and the imported polish ones weigh a ton, Any way that does not answer your question i would build the raised area with concrete blocks laid on their edge and face them with stone cladding like this maybe.
http://www.naaspatiocentre.com/walls-cladding.php
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lay 'em like a block wall. Interlocked.

Drill a hole first before you screw in the screws, otherwise you'll never get the screws through.

Real Railway Sleepers are extremely hard on chain saws, so you'll probably have to get your saw re-edged afterwards. Sad

There's a lovely smell when you drill though. Smile (I like the smell of creosote.)

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK hard to visualise what you are doing but I will give it a shot.
Greengage is right about used Irish sleepers, covered in all sorts of germs and bacteria from years of being flushed upon. The ones from Europe are even worse as they have much less stringent rules on what constitutes wood preservative, they use arsenic - use them if you want I know I wouldn't. You should use what are called new sleepers, not because they are new as they can be bought second hand too, that is just what they are called around here anyway. They are made of spruce and are machine cut to 100* 220*2400mm and can be easily cut/drilled. Oak is terribly hard to cut when it is so seasoned. You will need several chains for your chainsaw and I doubt if there is a circular saw powerful enough and your 18V cordless wont have a hope. Been there done that. Use the spruce ones. No need to interlock like blockwork, but you can if you want, only disadvantage is more gaps for water to get in. Lay a concrete foundation with 20mm 'L' shaped rebar sticking up to 50mm less than height of desired wall. Drill holes 24mm ACCURATELY through the sleepers to match the ACCURATELY set out rebar. Top sleeper not to be drilled right the way through, 50mm less. With help drop the sleepers onto the rebar through the holes and that wall aint going nowhere. Dance all you like on it.

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Bob Skunkhouse
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Thanks for the replies.

Actually, the website that I was going to buy the sleepers advertise them as new, untreated oak, so I think I'm good to go regarding the bugs and chemicals. In addition they advertise a cheaper pressure treated softwood option that - as they say - '...landscaping choice when environmental and areas of use factors come into play!"
The supplier also offers one cut per length, so cutting them in half is still an option.

I did also think of the rebar option, and might still go down that route for peace of mind. It certainly wouldn't do if the mosh pit fell in on someone!

I guess the best way to imagine it, is to imagine a 2.3m square deck on the ground. On 3 sides there's a wall 1.2m(revised from 1.6m) high made from sleepers. I was joking about the mosh pit, the primary purpose would be a seating area with garden furniture (table/chairs) and the walls used to block out the wind (the site has plenty of wind about it). so basically it's a deck with walls on 3 sides.

The block/stone clad wall would be ideal and look the bees knees, but unfortunatley it would be too cost prohibitive.
I'm open to any other suggestions though.

Cheers.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another way to strengthen it would be to get some galvanised brackets made up and fit them to the corners, internally or externally, with deep screws with a wide thread. You can interlock at the corners without any cutting.
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This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Geranimojess
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
Another way to strengthen it would be to get some galvanised brackets made up and fit them to the corners, internally or externally, with deep screws with a wide thread.


Are you referring to "Coach Screws"...they would be stronger than your normal Screw and certainly do a permanent Job without the exposure of a "Nut/Washer on the opposite side...just my Tuppence worth...
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did indeed. At the time of writing the correct name just wouldn't come to me.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Geranimojess
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
I did indeed. At the time of writing the correct name just wouldn't come to me.


Ain't that what Friends are for...and here's some People thinking we hate each other {Doh...that's 2 Confessions now } Wink
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are indeed. You are like a brother to me.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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