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removing creosote from railway sleepers

Postby mberwick » Sun May 27, 2007 2:25 pm

i have some old railway sleepers that i am using to edge a new patio. one of them contains a lot of creosote and it is sitting on the top of the wood. is there any way of removing it or helping it to soak in? or is there something we can treat it with to seal it in maybe? :?:
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Postby thedoctor » Tue May 29, 2007 5:36 am

The tar will sweat out of the sleepers and you can try rubbing with a cloth dipped in white spirit but you could be there a while. Never found anything that will seal it in.
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Postby T F McNeill » Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:49 pm

I have the same problem. I have been rubbing sand onto the creosote letting it soak in then scraping off with a wallpaper scraper. More creosote works out especially in warm weather but it is definitely getting better.
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Postby Paul2463 » Sat May 02, 2009 8:58 am

Hi Guys

Just for your information regarding this, I used to work with telegraph poles and they are treated the same way railway sleepers are, the process is as follows:-

Place the wood to be treated inside a vaccum cylinder and suck all the air and moisture out of it

When this has been completed, could take a while depending on how much wood is in there, they replace the air and moisture with a fine mist of creosote which burys itself all the way through the wood for that full preservation feel.

It will all leach out eventually, but as it is meant to last for tens of years on and in the ground, it will take a while.
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