How to Cut Creosote Railroad Ties: Required Tools, Safety Tips

How to Cut Creosote Railroad Ties

How to Cut Creosote Railroad Ties

If you want to know how to cut railroad ties, then you should consider the most effective method. If you’ve ever utilized railroad ties in a construction project, then you’re aware of their durability. However, this makes it challenging to cut railroad ties: To cut railroad ties to the desired length, you will need a chainsaw, a circular saw, and/or a reciprocating saw such as a Sawzall. We provide all the information you need when breaking railroad ties, including safety measures.

How to Cut Creosote Railroad Ties

Railway ties are the rectangular wooden supports found in train rails. They are resilient, durable, and resistant to rot and insects. For yard work such as erecting retaining walls, railroad ties might be utilized. In this situation, it is likely that you will need to cut them to size.

There are a variety of techniques for cutting railroad ties. However, safety should always come first. In the training videos provided below, you will observe that regardless of the employed method, the workers are always wearing protective equipment. This includes shoes with closed toes, hearing and eye protection, long pants, a face mask, and gloves.

Creosote, a dark brown, oily substance, is frequently applied on railroad ties as a wood preservative. While creosote is excellent for protecting railroad ties exposed to all types of weather, it is extremely hazardous. In reality, creosote can cause burns, eye damage, and/or rashes if it is absorbed via the skin or inhaled. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, exposure in high amounts could result in liver or renal failure, seizures, or even death. Because of this, you may not want to use railroad ties for a vegetable garden, as the creosote may leach into the soil and produce toxins. After taking the required safeguards, you may use one of the following three methods to cut railroad ties for other purposes.

Chainsaw (The Best Way to Cut Railroad Ties)

Chainsaw (The Best Way to Cut Railroad Ties)
A chainsaw is the quickest and most efficient technique to cut railroad ties. Yes, a chainsaw is the ideal tool for cutting railroad ties. However, be warned that it will require regular honing. In general, though, cutting railroad ties with a chainsaw is as straightforward as it gets. In this video, this technique is demonstrated:

If you don’t do this, your chainsaw will hit the ground and kick back at you, which could cause injury. When cutting, it is essential to move slowly and with a rocking motion. As demonstrated in the video, you may also wish to recruit the assistance of a friend in order to hold the railroad ties. However, this is not totally required.

Circular Saw and Reciprocating Saw

As seen in this video, if you do not have a chainsaw, you may cut railroad ties with a circular saw and reciprocating saw.

You’ll see in the video that, similar to when using a chainsaw, the railroad tie must be elevated. Mark your cutting lines with a carpenter’s pencil and a Speed Square Layout Tool, as you’ll initially be making cuts around the exterior of the tie. Using the circular saw, cut around each of the four corners of the tie after it has been marked. Then, beginning at the bottom of the tie, cut the remainder of the tie with the reciprocating saw.

Can i Cut Railroad Ties with a Chainsaw?

Reciprocating Saw (Sawzall)

As illustrated, you can also use a Sawzall instead of a circular saw.

The knot is lifted by another tie, as seen in the video. You can either utilize this technique or elevate the knot at both ends, as demonstrated in the earlier films. Using a rocking motion similar to that of a chainsaw, cut down through the railroad tie after it is lifted.

Other Railroad Tie Cutting Options

As a liability concern, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Menards will not cut creosote-coated railroad ties for you. Nevertheless, a local lumberyard may be prepared to assist. Locate a nearby lumber yard and call to inquire.

You can also hire a saw at Home Depot or Menards in your area (Lowe’s does not rent tools).

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