Using Railway ties for beams?


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Old 03-21-05, 06:56 AM
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Using Railway ties for beams?

The weather has now allowed me to start-up on more renovation projects, With Wife/supervisor making the list longer then there are days!

I (she) am planning to add 2 bed rooms to our cabin. She is not keen on the hide-a -bed use each time we stay over night!

I noticed that it uses railway ties for beams ( they measure 6*8) with 2*6 joists. Was thinking of continuing with that to create a additional 24 X 10 foot addition (2 rooms - flat rubber roof). The one difference will be for the footings. I plan to make 8" cement 'pillers' going down 4 feet or so. and extending the column above grade 3 feet so the new ties would rest directly on them.

The ties would have 8 foot spans, with there being 2 rows of 4 concrete colums, so that the 2*6 joist would span 5 feet between supports ( one end attached to the existing structure).

I have access to used ties, and sure I could finded 6 in good shape.

And as for building code - no local exists, just for septic and wells. ( I guess they assume one is far enough from others that if you mess up, its only you that will suffer ) - but I'm following the national building codes.

The question, if I don't use the ties, what should I use? two 2*8? ( then could I span 10 feet, needing only 3 footings per 'beam'?.

One last thing, the ground is sloping, so at the uphill side, the floor would be 1 foot above grade ( so I would have to dig down abit to accomodate the beams) the down hill side, about 3 feet above, so no digging needed.

I also assume I will not need P.T for the joist and flooring.


This has become my escape. Perhaps I can go fishing instead.
 
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Old 03-21-05, 08:22 PM
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Railroad Ties

Personally, I would not use the railroad ties. On the other had I would not use 2x8's either. I would use 2x10's. Much stronger, less give and sag. Everything else sounds fine. Just my thoughts. Good Luck fishing.

Jack
 
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Old 03-24-05, 12:51 PM
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I agree with jack

Railroad ties aren't graded like regular lumber so it would be hard to determine what their structual value would be. No matter what system you use the beams that contact the concrete piers need to be treated.
 
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Old 03-29-05, 05:34 AM
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Smile Thanks four your inputs.

So the beams should be PT, 2*10's. do I need to make the floor and joists P.T also, it will be exposed underneath.( But will enclose it to prevent creatures from making a home under there/ provide storage.)

This is a cabin, so I am doing it on the cheap ( should I deside to rip it down at some time and build a real home).
 
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Old 03-29-05, 08:18 AM
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no thats not needed

just any framing members that sit directly on concrete
 
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Old 03-29-05, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadianInIowa
So the beams should be PT, 2*10's. do I need to make the floor and joists P.T also, it will be exposed underneath.( But will enclose it to prevent creatures from making a home under there/ provide storage.)

This is a cabin, so I am doing it on the cheap ( should I deside to rip it down at some time and build a real home).
2*8 Joists @ 16" oc. will span 10' just fine

For Beams/Girders you should use at least 4*6 for 6' spans, 4*8 for 8' spans and 4*10 for 10' spans.

You can use PT anyplace you want. In Hawaii that's all they use - even for wall and roof framing - because of the moisture and humidity. It just lasts a lot longer in damp conditions and is insect resistant as well.
 
 

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