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rail road ties

hopalong

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Around here used rr ties in good condition are selling for $4.00 $.50 each in quantity, I cant buy 6 1/2' steel posts for that price

pros ???? cons????

Have a post hole digger so that is not an problem
 

leanin' H

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They make great fence posts in this country. They last and are plenty stout. The down side is they are heavy and dirty. That ol' creosote will burn your skin. But there are a lot of them around my place and throughout the valley.
 

littlejoe

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I like them for braces.

Would also work if you like to put in a wood one every so often in steel fence.

Here, they tend to rot off @ the spike holes. Might not be a problem where you're at. Pretty hard for a grass fire to burn up your posts when you use steel. Should you be around burning ties, the smoke will make some people very sick.
 

Faster horses

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We use a lot of RR ties, and believe me, not all RR ties are
created equal. :shock:

We bought a bunch they were taking out
over by Wibaux a few years ago and they were AWFUL.
So heavy and really too hard. We got some in 2000 or 2001
in Canada and those were excellent ties. We wish we had gone
back at that time with a semi and got a full load.
 

jodywy

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lot fence on corral is RR ties on 16ft centers with a green treat in between with 5ft no-climb then 16ft green treat poles using long bolts one in the center one on top....
 

4Diamond

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We get nothing but junk rr ties in this country, they do NOT last here. Go steel or hedge just my .02
 

Big Muddy rancher

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The last ties I saw near here were real nice ties but we couldn't buy any because they were contracted to go down to the east coast of the US to burn in a power plant. :roll:
 

littlejoe

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alacowman said:
they dont hold staples very well,,, i would use the longer staples

I still got lotsa old 'jacks' or 'crotchs'---like an upside down V---some probably a hundred yrs old--you don't need to dig a posthole, they last very long time, but do tend to get shorter.

Anyhow, the fir ones are harder than hell, some are cedar or pine and don't wanna hold a staple. Neighbor turned me onto ones @ big R that got barbs on outside of each leg---I'd never seen them before.
 

Ben H

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I bought a bunch to use with my driver. If they have any rot on the end, it is rotten in the middle. Once you hit a rock or clay they will explode. They are heavy and a pain to sharpen. They dull a chainsaw very quick.
 

littlejoe

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Ben H said:
I bought a bunch to use with my driver. If they have any rot on the end, it is rotten in the middle. Once you hit a rock or clay they will explode. They are heavy and a pain to sharpen. They dull a chainsaw very quick.

I had a semi load of hardwood ones. Only slabbed on two sides, some quite wide. I found a kinda 'radical' point---like maybe 45%--drove as easy as longer taper and less to cut.

Less apt to split if top was square. two wraps with wire and stapled before hitting it helps keep it from splitting. Full stroke is easier on them than 'tapping', it seems if they'll move at all, they're less apt to split.

hard and nasty on chain saws. About every thing about them is nasty. You can get a carbide chain for about 3x normal price. But can't sharpen it with regular tools. If you're in helena area, marks-miller has 'reject' posts that are structurally good, but ugly for very good price.
 

Hayguy

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i agree wth littlejoe every thing about them is nasty, dirty and just plain hard work. best way to plant them is drill a hole and use a tamping bar,i haven't seen any one break one of them yet. if you have to use a chainsaw use one that you don't like as ties will ruin the best of them.

one idea that might work is to get George with one of his big loaders to just press them in :clap:
 

George

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I doubt that would work but you never know till you try!

I do cheat and put a 12" bucket on the backhoe and plant them with the pull of the fence against the sides of the hole in rocky ground where my post hole digger has problems. By digging the hole to take the pull you can backfill and tamp with the 12" bucket and I have several cornners and gate post with the hole 6' deep and they don't try to pull!
 

bgc

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i use them for almost all corners and even a few strung out in my fences to help maintain the fence. They are great in hard soil. I would recommend only building fence in the spring when the ground is wetter and soft so digging the holes is not so hard.
 

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