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Anyone ever burn railroad ties.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by ohlongarm, Mar 8, 2012.

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  1. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    A friend of mine has about 5000 railroad ties,they are about 20 years old ,most of the creosote is worn away.These ties are rock solid mostly if not all oak,all very dry,he wants to unload to woodburners,35$ a cord which is solid with no air space.What's your opinions? I don't think it would be good for a cat stove.I cut a segment off one it cut easily and the wood was hard and dry.

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  2. Sisu

    Sisu Feeling the Heat

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    By burning railroad ties, you will be liberating the hazardous chemicals in the creosote into the air. Not good for you or your neighbours.
  3. Butcher

    Butcher Minister of Fire

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    Dont take this the wrong way as I have had a VERY bad day so far but, your kidding right?
  4. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Minister of Fire

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    Tell him NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!! Hit him with a rolled-up newspaper and call him a "bad, bad dog"!!!

    Don't even THINK of letting him do it.......no ****ing way......
  5. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Usually they are treated and have a great deal of chemicals in them which is how they last 20 years without rotting exposed to the elements. Most stoves manuals specifically state not to burn pressure treated wood or painted wood. Id be very careful and advise against burning it. Hard to tell how chemicals will react when burn, may overheat your stove and or pipe.
    @Butcher, hope your day improves, if not hit up that city dumpster and get you some more wood and one of them cans of beers you had on one of your videos.
  6. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    If they are true railroad ties the preservative they pressure treat them with does not "wear" away.
    If they are in good shape they would be much more valuable as landscaping ties. They sell for $5 a piece around here.
  7. Butcher

    Butcher Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. My day will improve only when I get the results of an emergancy CAT scan they did on me this morning. I didnt feel like goin ta work but this aint how I had my day planned out fer sure. As for burnin RR ties I cant believe anyone would even think it. I know guys who have large shop stoves made from old 500 gallon LP tanks that burn ties, tires, you name it but not in a house stove.
  8. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    With the right emmisions control equipment RR ties can be burned in industrial boilers. Its a real bad idea for small wood burners. There is a long list of very nasty Hazardous Air pollutants that can get liberated during incomplete combustion. Most areas treat them as hazardous waste and bury them in a landfill.

    If you look over this link http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/polycycl.html it gives some of the basics. The "creosote" used in RR ties are a close relative to coal tar. Later RR ties may be pressure treated with all sorts of nasties.
  9. jackatc1

    jackatc1 Burning Hunk

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  10. seeyal8r

    seeyal8r Feeling the Heat

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    RR ties, Power Poles, and any other treated lumber is bad news to burn. Firewood smoke is already packed with some nasty chemicals naturally so as to you don't want to breathe an abundance of the smoke. Chem treated wood is way worse. Any smoke that got in your house would be a mess almost like a meth lab. I think your friend should sell them as landscaping timbers for $5 as suggested earlier. Heck mark them down to $3 and get rid of them quick.
  11. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I've seen where they shred them into nuggets and mix them with coal at large powerplants for the coal fired boilers but I certainly hope you are kidding about using them in an OWB. I can GUARANTEE your friend will make the 6:00 news in short order if he starts burning those ties. There are laws that say you cannot do that, and it has already been mentioned about the toxins you will be releasing into the air. Bad, bad idea.......
  12. seeyal8r

    seeyal8r Feeling the Heat

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    And the reason they can burn them at powerplants and other places is because the fire is so hot it burns those chemicals off.
  13. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    exactly. Not to mention they are shredded (at least the ones I saw) so they will not smolder, they burn quick and very very hot!!
  14. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    NO, as others have said, a really bad idea.
  15. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Well I dunno, I've got a bit different take on this one.... J-Kidding, no I don't ;-P
    Burn those ties & your family & anyone downwind might not be feeling too good. :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick:
    Yep, 8 sicky-faces.
  16. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    This is exactly why the big bad government and the horrendous job-killing EPA is necessary. Also why wood burning is often attacked.....Geez.
  17. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    I worked for the railroad for 37 years handling these suckers. You can get severly burned by even being near them on a hot day. Sawdust from cutting them up can do the same thing if it gets under your clothing, and inhaling the fumes and fine sawdust can make for huge health problems. They don't even make good crib walls in MHO. Work your balls off laying them up and they rot and look like crap in short order.

    Ehouse
  18. geoxman

    geoxman Feeling the Heat

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    Is this a spoof post? You can't be serious about burning them? Is this for real? Tires burn well! JJ good luck
  19. KodiakII

    KodiakII Feeling the Heat

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    An old friend of the family used to work at a creosote plant in town during the depression. He told us that they used to throw a tie over the fence before the end of shift to take home and burn when they couldn't afford any other form of heat. He said you could always tell the homes that were stealing them by the black soot on the snow by their chimney's.
    No don't burn them.
  20. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I burned a piece of a phone poll once which is treated the same way and it was like a mini nova ! Very VEry VERy VERY Bright and blinding and that was a small 2" by 4" piece.


    Pete
  21. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Member

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    I used to unload trucks that came from a plant that treated railroad ties and powerpoles, etc. the stories they told match many of those above...DO NOT BURN RAILROAD TIES...NO WAY! Too many hazards for all involved or within the county you reside in.
  22. loon

    loon Minister of Fire

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  23. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I'm replacing some ( with belgian blocks) that have been lining the edge of my driveway for 40 years and they were used when they were put down.
    They still stink.

    I really don't like putting them in the woods but I want them to finish decomposing and dissipating somewhere where anyone will never have vegetables or fruit.

    I wouldn't even want the sawdust from cutting them in my yard.
  24. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest

  25. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    I accidentally put an end of a RR Tie in my stove once. After a minute or so I knew something was wrong. The glass turned black and it was burning a large odd color flame. When I opened the stove the flame grew fast. I managed to get it out of the stove and into a bucket while it was still blazing and ran out the door. My house stunk all the next day. Would not recommend burning RR Ties.
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