Railroad ties are very strong material. These are useful and long-lasting, but there is a heavy price to pay. It is quite challenging to work with railroad ties. However, it is not impossible. If you learn a few tricks, you can easily maneuver railroad ties. So, in this article, we will discuss how to cut railroad ties.
How To Cut Railroad Ties Using Different Methods?
Method 1: Using A Chainsaw
You should use two pieces of wood to elevate the railroad. Take the wood pieces and place them beneath the railroad. Keep the pieces at a distance of about 3 feet that is 0.91 meters approximately. These wood pieces will act as a stand for the railroad tie.
Also, ensure that you are working in a clean and even area. There should not be bumps or debris in the place of working. The plane area will make your job easy.
Also, use earmuffs to cancel the sound and protect your ears from the noise. You must wear a face shield and a breathing mask. This will help you to prevent your face from sparks, and the mask will help you to breathe without inhaling the fumes or small dust particles.
Also, try to wear full-body clothes like long pants and a full sleeve shirt. Since you are working with a chainsaw, you should wear a chainsaw chap. Safety while working is of utmost importance. So, be careful and safe.
Now while cutting, make sure to have a firm and stronghold on the chainsaw. Keep moving the saw slowly in a downward direction. Once you have cut about 3/4th part of the railroad tie, you should stop.
An important point to understand here is that you must stop before reaching the bottom to avoid the blade of the chainsaw from getting stuck in between the two halves. Also, if you do not cut all through the tie, it will save you from the risk of damaging your blade by hitting the ground.
Once you have finished cutting, turn the chainsaw off and separate the two halves of the railroad tie. This method is used to conveniently cut corks, formica, and rafters.
Method 2: Using A Circular Saw
In the first step, you will need a stand for your railroad tie. You can use two pieces of used or discarded wood. These wood pieces will help to lift the railroad tie while cutting. It is essential to do so because if the railroad tie is kept on the ground, it might be challenging to cut it.
We have already discussed the hazards related to working with power tools as well as railroad ties. So, in this step, we will once again remind you to put on the safety wear and take all necessary precautions. Be careful and attentive while cutting the railroad tie with the circular saw.
After getting all ready, you now need to start cutting the railroad tie. Before firing away from the power tool, you must make a few adjustments. You should adjust the blade of the circular saw to its maximum depth. For those of you who are new with the tool, let us tell you how to adjust the depth of the blade. You should rotate the shoe or bed of the circular saw close to its arbor or shaft. You need to loosen the shoe/ bed of the circular saw. If you are not sure how to do it, you can read it in the user’s manual provided with the saw.
Now, start cutting. Turn the circular saw on and make a small cut. Cut the top portion of the railroad tie. It means that start cutting the part which is facing upwards. The plus point with the circular saw is that you can cut the entire railroad tie in one go. However, using a circular saw can be a bit tricky. You must be able to form a strong grip on the circular saw. Be comfortable and confident while using it. We recommend you to use something like a Makita circular saw.
If you have no prior experience of working with a circular saw, you should not start with cutting the railroad tie. However, those of you who know what they are doing, you must keep in mind that you need to let the saw work at its own pace. Do not try to rush the process. You must be patient and work slowly and be careful.
Now you should flip the tile over and cut from this side. Try to cut the same spot. You should cut the railroad tie at least twice. Now rotate the tie accordingly. You aim to reach every side of the railroad tie to cut it properly. Also, pay attention to the place where you are cutting the tie. You should keep the saw at its maximum depth. You can again ask for help from someone to help you in rotating the railroad tie while you are cutting it.
Now apply pressure on the already cut areas to separate them. It is advisable to step on it or to stomp the area where you have cut the railroad toe to break it into two parts. If the cuts are perfect, then you do not need to step on your railroad tie. However, many times the cut is not perfectly smooth due to which the tie is not separated correctly.
In such situations, you can stomp and separate it. But remember that striking the railroad tie with your foot or stepping on it will help you divide the cut area into two parts only if there is ½ to 1 inch of uncut space between the tie. Otherwise, this may hurt your leg.
- Railroad ties are covered with a chemical coating. The chemical is coated with is called Creosote. This is harmful to you. If you come in direct contact with this chemical, it can cause irritation, rashes, and allergic reactions in your skin, eyes, and lungs. So, wearing safety gear while working with railroad ties is a must.
- Many times there is debris or some dirt etc. stuck in railroad ties. If these get in your power tool, it may get damaged. So, pay attention to where you are going to work and make sure that everything is as clean as possible.
Things You Need
- Railroad Ties
- Wood Pieces
- Circular Saw
- Safety Glasses
- Ear Muffs
- Face Shield
No task is difficult if you have the skill to do it. With the methods we discussed in the article, you can surely cut the railroad ties without much problem. So, now is the time to go ahead and give that old piece of railroad tie a new purpose. Be safe, and be creative.