Sleepers for planter all warped!

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by alexjb1989, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. alexjb1989

    alexjb1989 Member

    Hi all again,

    Now building a planter made from 2.4 x 100 x 200 sleepers.

    Gone be stacked on the 100m edge and 3 layers high.

    So I have started building the first level of the frame and the wood so is twisted and bevelled I just cant get 90 degree join or have it sitting flat.

    I either have to compromise with huge gaps at the join or if I pull in tight with screws the while thing lifts of the floor and wont sit flat. Either option is terrible and wont work, especially when it comes to stacking the next layer.

    Now, I am no carpenter, but this seems un workable.

    I know the sleepers would not be perfect, but I'm thinking this is bad enough to get them to pick them up and get my money back?

    I'm just asking to see what your opinions are or if I am missing a trick that would sort it.

    See the pics, they don't really show how bad they are.

    I bought them from a local timber merchant Cushions in Norwich.

    Cheer all!

    Attached Files:

  2. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Not fit for purpose, but they look softwood,so it doesn't surprise me,a lot of wood today isn't seasoned correctly.
    alexjb1989 likes this.
  3. alexjb1989

    alexjb1989 Member

    Thanks for a quick reply.

    Yeh they are soft wood. I imagine they wont take well to me asking for all my money back!
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Member

    Well I would do it with posts that are high enough for all the layers then run the horizontals between the posts, so it doesn't matter if they are not completely square. I mean there is always a danger they will twist in future even if they are true when you buy them. They way you are trying to do it right now, each layer has to be absolutely square or you get a leaning tower of pisa effect. You could just pop in some large coach screws at the ends to hold the horizontals in place or just some thick galvanised brackets underneath each horizontal.
    alexjb1989 likes this.
  5. alexjb1989

    alexjb1989 Member

    Yeh effectively I am trying to make something similar to this - mine would be 2 tier. 3 high at back, 2 high at front. (see below). I have some 250mm timber screws. which I was going to use vertically as well to make sure layers stay on top. But the layers have to relatively flat to start with!

  6. DaveF

    DaveF Member

    Oh, I see what you are trying to do. Sorry I misunderstood the problem, or more precisely I didn't understand what you were making. Coach bolts will pull twists out pretty easily but really yes I would be tempted to say that you need them less twisted in the first place. Once constructed they should stay straight with minimal force.
  7. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    Those are NOT sleepers, just 100x200 softwood, possibly treated.

    Reject them as not fit for purpose - I would expect timber to be a lot straighter than that.
  8. DIY womble

    DIY womble Well-Known Member

    Why not lay a 70 mm wide bed of mortar about 10mm deep to the internal side and bed down carefully , to get a nice shadow gap and will diffuse and timber imperfections ,
  9. stevie22

    stevie22 Active Member

    They are known as landscape sleepers.They aren't good examples though.
    KIAB likes this.
  10. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    As mentioned above they aren't true railway sleepers.

    The Timbers look too long for raised beds, When cut the twist may reduce a bit.

    One way to straighten them before screwing is to fix one end, then use a big clamp or lorry strap to pull it tight and then screw down.

    I doubt whether you have the tools but I would be drilling a large hole and using something like a broom handle as a dowel to stop then twisting once fixed
  11. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Dung walling I bought other month was straighter than OP's timber.
  12. alexjb1989

    alexjb1989 Member

    I am glad everyone agreed they are a pile of *****.

    However, I stuck it out and got the job done OK. Would have been a lot better with decent wood!

    Attached Files:

    DIY womble and chippie244 like this.
  13. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    Are you able to comment on designs that utilise SPAM as the primary construction material?
  14. Fiveportions

    Fiveportions New Member

    That looks like an excellent job to me, alex.
    I'm a DIY numpty attempting a very similar raised bed, only longer.
    I too thought they'd all meet flush, to be screwed together in an hour or so.

    How did you do it in the end? -Just forcing them straight with timberlock screws?
  15. alexjb1989

    alexjb1989 Member

    Yeh, I just had to play around with each sleeper to find which ones fitted best and then used the timberlock giant screws with hex end to pull them tight. However, you have to fix wach layer to each layer if not they just pull up they were that twisted.
  16. Isitreally

    Isitreally Well-Known Member

    Looks a nice job, but put somemore timberlocks in to stop it from warpping once its full of soil.

    What have you put in the middle of the lower two, to stop them moving apart. ??

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