Quantcast

Hardwood sleepers

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

disco_monkey79

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2009
Messages
584
Reaction score
14
Hello,

WARNING - possibly idiotic question impending

Someone is selling what are advertised as reclaimed hardwood sleepers near me. Anyone know what timber these are likely to be? I appreciate there may not be a simple answer, but wasn't sure if one type of wood tended to be used over others.

I've seen pics, but the weathering hides the colouring etc.

Thanks
 

marcros

(Trevanion)+1
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
10,410
Reaction score
281
Location
Leeds
could be anything- I got some nice oak ones, but there are a lot of different timbers that were used. I have seen elm as well as some real exotics that I had never heard of.
 

Benchwayze

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2007
Messages
9,252
Reaction score
37
Location
West Muddylands
DM,

Whatever the timber, make sure you have a working metal detector in your kit, before you try re-sawing these sleepers! :eek:

John :)
 

TheTiddles

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2007
Messages
1,965
Reaction score
155
Location
Wiltshire
If they are reclaimed and truly are sleepers, then the materials are pretty limited, Jarrah etc... The railways only used certain materials and were specific about it, it's not like they'd use any old steel would they?! Oh, actually.... They will also be impregnated with some very nasty preservatives which you would want not to breath in and riddled with bits of metal and stone too.

However, you can buy bits of wood in large dimensions similar to railway sleepers now in oak and lots of other nice varieties and they work very well for the intended purpose, like gardening. You could use them for furniture too and some do, but you will probably get the rustic look

Aidan
 

wills-mill

Established Member
Joined
29 Jan 2008
Messages
121
Reaction score
0
Location
Billingshurst, West Sussex
We've resawed a few railways sleepers with various bits of sawmill kit, they are horrible things in many respects but the timber is sometimes fantastic.

Relatively recent reclaimed sleepers we think might be azobe, I've definitely come across some Jarrah and Greenheart as well. Most of the European railway sleepers are heavily creosoted Oak, and most of the softwood ones are creosoted and tarred.

The main issues healthwise that we've come up with are- track emptying toilets, oil and grease, creosote, heavy metal preservatives inc arsenic and cyanide, massive amounts of asbestos brake dust.

Saws don't really like- pulverised track ballast, years of grit, dust and asbestos brake dust, ancient abrasive tropical timbers :)
 

disco_monkey79

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2009
Messages
584
Reaction score
14
I picked some up. They're filthy so until cleaned off, I don;t know what they are. The seller reckoned they were used as a temporary road surface at a building site, so were laid down untreated (we'll see when I scrub them down).

Fingers crossed they aren't slathered in creosote, but for the price, it was worth a punt.
 
Top