What saw is best for cutting sleepers?
A circular saw is the most widely used method for cutting sleepers at home. The most accurate method for cutting larger sleeper quantities, you will find in most instances that the blade is not deep enough to cut through the depth in one pass. Instead, the sleeper will need to be rotated and cut in sections.
What can I use to cut a sleeper?
What size saw for cutting sleepers?
A large diameter circular saw, like a Bosch GKS85 or Makita 5903RK (both 235mm blade, 85mm depth of cut) will cut more than half way through (and these big saws have enough power to make that cut). The sleeper is then flipped over and through sawn from the other side.
Can a chop saw cut sleepers?
You can use a chainsaw but treated railway sleepers will blunt it very quickly. I just used a regular hand held circular saw and straight edge to cut round all sides and then finished through the middle bit using a new first fix / wrecking hand saw (so only cost £5-10 in new tools).
How do you make a sleeper retaining wall?
Constructing a retaining wall out of upright sleepers is pretty straightforward. Simply dig a trench, lower the sleepers in vertically side by side, and then backfill with a dry concrete mix, that you can ram down around the railway sleepers untill the wall is rigid.
How do you make a raised bed out of a sleeper?
How to build a raised bed with railway sleepers
- Chose where you want to put the raised bed.
- Lay the railway sleepers on the ground.
- Fasten them together.
- Stack and fix a second layer (if you want the raised bed to be higher)
- Attach a plastic membrane (see photo above – optional with raised bed)
- Fill with soil.
- Fill with plants!
Can you lay sleepers on soil?
For one, you can simply place your sleepers directly onto soil, allowing the heavy sleepers time to bed in. The use of gravel or sand to secure sleepers is a popular alternative to concrete.
Should you line sleeper beds?
You may want to add bricks or stones at the bottom before the soil to increase drainage. Our timber sleepers are made from a specific class of timber for use in ground and water contact, so lining the beds is not essential.
Do sleepers rot?
Like all wood, sleepers will eventually rot and fade when exposed to the weather. To prevent them falling to bits before their time, you need to use a good wood preserver.
How long does it take for sleepers to rot?
Railway sleepers will last for years, with our softwood treated sleepers they can last around 20 to 30 years due to the pressurised treatment. If they are untreated they will still last around two to five years, whilst our oak sleepers will last for 30+ years.
Do sleepers need foundations?
The most important thing is that the railway sleepers are laid on a surface that is level and firm. Perfectionists and Engineers will do this on a foundation of concrete, but more mortal people will often simply use gravel or hardcore or sand or even the soil itself if it is solid.
How do you stop sleepers from rotting in the ground?
To preserve the sleepers further, we would recommend treating them with an exterior wood oil or decking oil, ideally twice a year in Spring and Autumn. This will help to repel water and prevent water ingress, the main cause of wood rot.
How long will sleepers last in the ground?
As a rule, hardwood oak sleepers tend to last the longest naturally with an expected lifespan of around 100 years. An untreated softwood will last for between three and five years if it sits on the ground, whilst treated softwoods can last between 20 and 30 years if they are maintained correctly.
Do sleepers need to be treated?
Reclaimed railway sleepers can last for decades without being treated. However, to help nourish and protect the timber from decay it is a good idea to apply a wood preservative. It is best to apply a wood preservative before installation of your sleeper, so that you can paint all sides.
Should I line sleepers with plastic?
If the sleepers are pressure treated they should last donkey’s years without lining. Pressure treated timber probably doesn’t need anything to protect it, but it can’t do any harm to line the inner surface with plastic sheeting or similar.
How do you fix sleepers in place?
Cut your sleepers to your required length, which could be random for a rustic look. Then mix up some lean mortar, such as 6:1, to be used as a concrete base and haunching. Place at least a 50mm bed of concrete in the bottom of the trench and start inserting the sleepers, haunching them up as you go.
Can you use sleepers as a retaining wall?
Wooden sleepers are an excellent alternative to bricks or concrete for building retaining walls in your garden. Garden sleepers can be used both horizontally and vertically when building a retaining wall. Using sleepers horizontally is more common when constructing a low level wall.
Should I put a DPM behind sleeper wall?
Sleeper walls are fine. The important thing is to allow it to weep so that water doesn’t pool behind it as with any retaining wall. A dpm behind the sleeper wall may offer additional protection.
How thick should a retaining wall sleeper be?
To build your wall, dig holes and insert vertical supports using thicker sleepers, at least 75mm thick. Space the supports every 1.2m for 2.4m long sleepers, and 1.5m for 3m long sleepers. The horizontal sleepers can be 50mm thick.
Do you need plastic behind retaining wall?
I always run the thicker black plastic behind retaining walls. Preserves the timber sleepers a bit more and stops dirt and weeds coming through the inevitable gaps. +1 for geotex on the ground and up the soil you want to retain, then aggregate between fabric and wall, with drain at the bottom. No plastic for me.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.