It is currently Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:34 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:33 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 5:48 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Hickory, NC
We have a project that requires three timbers, 9" x 9" x 25 feet, and maybe luckily, maybe not, we have run across a gentleman with a disassembled trestle with several timbers close to what we need. They are not fresh timbers, but seasoned and in good enough shape for our purposes. On the plus side, if we are able to use these, we can save about $1000 over having new ones cut. We also won't have to worry about any warping issues.

Unfortunately, they are 9" x 16" and will require cutting down to size. With that being said, I have heard many anecdotal tales about ruining blades, chainsaws, etc, when it comes to cutting creosote treated timbers.

Anyone have any advice on trimming these timbers?

Thanks in advance,

Matt Bumgarner


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:42 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 427
Buy a Big Box Store chainsaw and plan on ruining it.

Find somebody with a portable sawmill and talk to them.


-Hudson


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:08 pm
Posts: 30
Find someone with a metal detector to scan the timber for hardware (broke off spikes, date nails, ect.) before hand....that would be the only reason to ruin a blade.

Cutting with the grain takes a good sharp chain, a good big saw and a lot of patience

The mill I own now, was used to cut big electric poles into planks at one time. The fellow that owned it at the time , should have invested in a metal detector........ A big broken off, long forgotten bolt, a 60" blade, and a 125 hp tractor hooked to the mandrel
You can only imagine what happens..........

farmer.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:13 am 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 427
Make the hole big enough to use the larger timber.

-Hudson


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:16 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:02 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Mi
Matt,

There are a number of things at play when cutting creosoted ties. The creosote itself and the stone grit. The stone grit is the biggest factor when using a chainsaw, it's just like running a saw into the dirt, it wears not only the cutting edges but works its way into the rollers and the chain starts to stretch and then things go south on the sprockets.

The creosote is not as bad but you need to watch of it to start gumming up which could be mitigated by using a winter weight bar oil, if you can find it in your area.

I would recommend looking for a 16" circular saw at a rental shop. You may need to buy the blade but if you wrap your mind around the setup you can do a pretty good job of re-sawing timbers for car sills. Scrap off all the surface preservative before you start and buying a handheld metal detector is good advice when using salvage timbers.

Good luck


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2072
I was thinking of a steam threshers reunion that might have a large carriage cutter, we would split long logs all the time in show years ago, have them cut and have some steam fun at the same time...but as above you have a risk of embedded unknowns.

instead of a spinning saw I wonder if there are large pump saws, dunno on that one, using a chain saw sounds severely time consuming. I know those thresher saws could cut straight thru a long trunk quickly.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:51 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
We cut both new and relay standard gauge ties in half for our narrow gage all the time with a chainsaw. Use a dedicated (ie, old or cheap) saw for that purpose. Blades dull quickly, so have spares.

Accuracy cutting across a tie is difficult and only as good as the operator, you might have some trouble holding a straight line for 25 feet.

Along the lines of the suggestion to cut the matching pieces to fit, you might also be able to just notch out the ends of the 9x16s to match the other parts, saving a lot of cutting.

Good luck and be safe,

Nick


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:58 pm 

Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 11:27 am
Posts: 420
Location: Switching the Coach Yard
Most bridge timber is pine vs. ties which are mixed hardwoods. With the bridge structure being pine and not set in ballast, I would guess that it'll be easier to deal with and not really have the grit and sand issues. I agree that trying to rip a 25' piece with a chainsaw is going to be a PIA to do with any degree of accuracy. I think the old school sawmill or a Port-a-Band is probably the best way and I'd agree with the comments on the metal detector -- I'd hate to find a bridge "pin" with that band saw.

ETA


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:52 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 427
There are some amazing examples of "Yankee Ingenuity" out there if you just look:

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _7745_7745

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... 334_152334

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200326318

-Hudson


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:14 pm 

Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 11:27 am
Posts: 420
Location: Switching the Coach Yard
HudsonL wrote:
There are some amazing examples of "Yankee Ingenuity" out there if you just look:


Yankee or Chinese??? Either way, that may be his best option right there.

ETA


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:27 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
Matt,

Back to the point made by HudsonL: Is it really necessary to cut these timbers?

It is a valuable attribute for timbers to be seasoned and straight. It's also a valuable attibute for them to be 25 ft. long. I would do everthing possible to use them as full 9 X 16s.

Also, if the creosote treatment is a benefit to your application, you would be better off not opening them up.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 5:48 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Hickory, NC
Ron-

Yes, it is necessary to cut them for our project. The creosoting is neither a benefit nor a detraction from the project, other than making them seemingly harder to cut.

I understand your point about 9x16 timbers being somewhat valuable as-is, but frankly, as-is leaves them as a still unwanted commodity on a Craigs list site and will save our project a significant amount of restoration money that can be spent on something else if we use them. Besides, we have no use for the timbers otherwise, nor will we in the foreseeable future.

Thanks

Matt


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:38 pm
Posts: 54
I work at a regional railroad where I have worked on many timber bridges. One of the jobs that I have assisted with is cutting timbers down to size. One tool that we use is what we refer to as a lumber maker. It is very similar to the "Beam Machine" that Mr. Hudson has linked to.

Is the dimension that will be cut a critical one? If so, then I would see if you could have someone with a sawmill cut it. Either a band saw or circular saw mill should be sufficient. The reason that I say this is that we have had experience where the bar could tip slightly due to the way the guide rides on the guide board. This could put a slight taper in that cut edge. If it is not a critical one, then this would definitely be a good way to go.

We have not had any problems with cutting creosote treated timbers with a chain saw. You will definitely want to start out with a good sharp chain since you will be cutting for a long distance. I would also go along with getting a hand held metal detector.

Ed


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:18 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
Matt,

When I mentioned the timbers being valuable, I meant for your project. I was not thinking of value in terms of resale. But if you need the 9 X 9 dimension, then cutting them is the way to go. If, for instance, you are using them for a timber frame in a railcar restoration, I can see why the dimensions must be held. Good luck with your project.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice sought for cutting seasoned creosote timbers
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:50 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 312
Location: NJ
I had to cut a number of brand new switch timbers down to standard width on one project. The cresote gummed up the works pretty well on the chain saw. Even if starting with a sharp chain have a couple of sharp spare chains on hand to change it out while cutting.

_________________
cv the civil E in NJ


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], DR, Google [Bot], rlh1150, Tim Moriarty and 24 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: