Treating Rail Road Ties - Linseed Oil?

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Looking for a recommended way to organically treat rail road ties - to assist preserving them longer.

We have a few which - due to the sun - have gotten a bit dried out looking.

Thanks.
 
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Are these actual reused railroad ties or just wood cut like railroad ties?

Most actual, re-purposed railroad ties have usually already been treated with creosote. The leaching of this chemical from treated wood is cause for environmental and human safety concerns. On the plus side, such treated wood is usually quite durable, though nothing lasts forever.

Its hard to imagine linseed oil having much additional effect on outdoor, creosote-treated wood, but if the wood is not already treated, linseed oil may be of some help, though it is more commonly used for interior wood surfaces.

Of course, there are many other substances, though what is considered 'organic' or 'environmentally friendly' for coating or preserving wood is likely to be somewhat subjective.
 
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I have used the paraffin I used to wash off the chains of the kid's bikes before, not exactly 'Organic', but better than tipping it down the drain. The trouble is that if something is garden friendly it won't kill off the things that attack the timber, I would expect vegetable oils like linseed not to last long or be very effective.
 
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I use the old motor oil from my engines. I have also used old style foundation sealer tar, not the rubber stuff. It is a pressure treated oiled wood. Paints like black beauty from tractor supply look good but fall off and have to be replaced too often. It has to be an oil, but the carbon black helps durability and holding up in the sun. It is always good to add boric acid or borax.
 
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Um... guys.... putting petroleum products in the ground is illegal - anywhere. I would not shout too loud about doing it. If they made you clean it up and remediate it would get very expensive - not to mention the fines. The neighbors at our last house found that out the hard way.
 
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Are these actual reused railroad ties or just wood cut like railroad ties?

Most actual, re-purposed railroad ties have usually already been treated with creosote. The leaching of this chemical from treated wood is cause for environmental and human safety concerns. On the plus side, such treated wood is usually quite durable, though nothing lasts forever.

Its hard to imagine linseed oil having much additional effect on outdoor, creosote-treated wood, but if the wood is not already treated, linseed oil may be of some help, though it is more commonly used for interior wood surfaces.

Of course, there are many other substances, though what is considered 'organic' or 'environmentally friendly' for coating or preserving wood is likely to be somewhat subjective.
Good point. You're correct, about creosote treatment for actual railroad ties - with a debate about the environmental affects of potential leaching (have friends who use these for garden borders with no concerns of leaching). On closer inspection, these are likely wood "chunks" cut to resemble railroad ties. Appreciate the feedback.
 
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Um... guys.... putting petroleum products in the ground is illegal - anywhere. I would not shout too loud about doing it. If they made you clean it up and remediate it would get very expensive - not to mention the fines. The neighbors at our last house found that out the hard way.
Yeah but the bugs have eaten the so called treated 4x4 posts so game on. I bet heavy triclopyr would work in ground as well, but we bought the house with a creosote fence 25 years ago, and it is still going strong.
 
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You can't buy creosote in England anymore, they offer something call 'Creolite'. smells similar, but much more watery.
Here either, and eventually those posts will go by. About 5 are wobbly, but there are 45 or 50 to go. All I can really do is stain a treated 4x4 black-ish if I replace them. The main problem I have had with the new gen of 4x4 is insects boring the centers, not the bacterial or fungal type damage. I have not put any up in along time but some are coming. Maybe they have improved the mix by now.
 
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Consider using inorganic materials ( stones, bricks, concrete, cinder blocks, etc) for some outdoor structures.
Fences with an inorganic base at ground level and wood higher up should help with problems such as fungus or termite.

Initial costs may be somewhat higher (or maybe not) but would be offset by longer durability.

Seek out sources for recycled building materials when possible.
 
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Yeah but the bugs have eaten the so called treated 4x4 posts so game on. I bet heavy triclopyr would work in ground as well, but we bought the house with a creosote fence 25 years ago, and it is still going strong.
Triclopyr is a broadleaf herbicide, not a bug killer or preservative. (It will kill some types of grass, by the way.) EPA considers it nontoxic to insects (and fish) and the only effect on insects is by killing off the plants they use. It is also biodegradable and would be gone in a few months.

Upside is if used as instructed, it's only mildly toxic to humans and animals but In concentrated amounts it is moderately toxic.

Bet your fence posts are cedar. Tough to beat cedar and creosote together.

I was referring to the use of paraffin (kerosene to us in the US), motor oil, etc. Highly illegal and environmentally unsound. Nothing much you can do about what's already there though.
 
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Triclopyr is a broadleaf herbicide, not a bug killer or preservative. (It will kill some types of grass, by the way.) EPA considers it nontoxic to insects (and fish) and the only effect on insects is by killing off the plants they use. It is also biodegradable and would be gone in a few months.

Upside is if used as instructed, it's only mildly toxic to humans and animals but In concentrated amounts it is moderately toxic.

Bet your fence posts are cedar. Tough to beat cedar and creosote together.

I was referring to the use of paraffin (kerosene to us in the US), motor oil, etc. Highly illegal and environmentally unsound. Nothing much you can do about what's already there though.
I forgot the old diesel and kerosene trick, but still you have to get out there every year and work it like you do not have enough to do already.
 

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