Fixing railway sleepers together?

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by Tappers, 7 Sep 2010.

  1. Tappers

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    Hi
    I have levelled up part of my back garden using railway sleepers help by RSJ's that I had concreted in by a builder. He advised me to drop the sleepers in to the RSJ's and then fix the top layer of sleepers on with coach bolts. I am having real problems finding any, looked online been to all sorts of wood merchants etc any ideas? Somebody told me I should be looking for sleeper ties, not bolts? Can't find these either!
    Cheers in advance!
     
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  2. JohnD

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    coach bolts are very widely available

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=coach+bolts

    http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_from=R40&_...13&_nkw=coach+bolts&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    but in a large size will work out quite expensive.

    Consider Galvanised or Stainless studding, which you can cut to the length you want and will be cheaper. Use large washers at each end or the nuts will sink in. You can bore a pocket for the nut and washer to go in, to avoid scratching or knocking yourself on protruding bolt heads or nuts.
     
  3. Tappers

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    Thanks JohnD I'm going to go for the studding!
     
  4. ColJack

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    what are the odds that someone will be trying to nick your sleepers?
    you are sitting them in the groves so that means that you have to lift them to get them out, so it's not like they're going to fall over, which is the only reason other than theft that I can think of for tying them together, stability..
     
  5. Tappers

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    The rsj's aren't high enough to just sit the top layer in apart from the posts either end so I need to fix the middle 5 sleepers and the inner ends of the other 2.
    I was unfortunately out when they put the rsj's, otherwise I don't think I'd have done it like this! Had enough trouble sawing bits off the ones that didn't need fixing down, never mind drilling through them now! :rolleyes:
     
  6. ColJack

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    I'm not following.. what exactly are you doing with the RSJ's and the sleepers?

    photo's or pictures would help..

    I imagined a set up similar to what you get with concrete fence posts and 6 foot gravel boards, but with sleepers and RSJ's..?
     
  7. Tappers

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    Our garden slopes away and I have made a retaining wall out of railway sleepers to get a level lawn at the top.

    The wall is 7 sleepers wide, with 8 rsj's, the RSJ's are set in at different levels as the garden had a steeper slope in the middle. The left of the wall is 3sleepers high, with the end of one dug in to keep a level line and goes up to 5 high in the middle, and back down to 3high at the other end.

    The RSJ's at either end are high enough to put the outside end of the sleeper in but for some reason the 6 RSJ's in the middle are not high enough for the top layer of sleepers to fit in.. the builder told me this is what you are supposed to do, I have my suspicions he didn't buy long enough rsj's!

    So now am having to bolt the middle sleepers all down. Bearing in mind they are each 300mm high it has been proving rather tricky to find something long enough to get through one of them, nevermind 2... I'll do some pictures tomorrow if this still makes no sense!
     
  8. JohnD

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    I have never done it myself, but on some garden programme I saw them building a wall with sleepers, and after building, they bored a 1" hole down through them, and banged in steel rods. I should think reinforcement rods would do, treated against rust.
     
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  9. ColJack

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    http://www.aspltd.co.uk/timber-frame-wood-screws.php

    10 x 450 long screws available here with a large head..
    use a flat bit to bore a 1 or 2 inch deep hole to sink the head into and thn get some dowel the same size ( or whittle a piece of timber to suit ) and bang into the hole, saw off flush and stain the same as the sleepers..
     
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  10. Spr0cket

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    Are you sure the sleepers are 300mm, even on edge, most sleepers new or reclaimed come up at 250mm


    Either way, as ColJackl has suggested, drill down 50 or 100 mm depending upon that sleeper height and insert these:

    http://www.wickes.co.uk/Timber-Drive-Screw/invt/190113

    Hopefully easy to pick up in a local store.

    Wouldn't worry about plugging / staining etc, thes escrews will not notice - you've got steel rsj's all over the place, just be sure to treat any bored wood to maintain the preservation.
     
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  11. Tappers

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    Yes they are 300mm, I went to get a couple more and am having trouble getting them as I've been told ours are English and most are European?!

    Thanks for the link. I am growing ivy over the top/back of them and they are going to be flush with the lawn and have a hedge in front of them so I don't think it will matter if screws stick up as they're never going to show- didn't want the kids touching them because of the creosote worries.
     
  12. 1019Richarda

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    Hi
    How the project going ?
    I also wish to use sleepers and need to cut them up!
    If I use a TCT cross cut blade in a power saw cutting though on both side any idea what the best number of teeth are ?

    Oh the sleepers are brand new oak @ 130mm deep and 200 mm wide
    cheers
     
  13. Petest67

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    I used sleepers and fixed mine together with galvanised building straps and decking screws (on side thats filled in with earth). I also fixed heavy gauge galvanised wire around the straps and pegged them into the ground then covered the whole lot with the soil. Its been up 5 years and no movement at all.
     

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