Railroad Ties for Landscaping

Where can I find mitre angles for creating a circular border around the base of trees? For example, what is the angle cut needed to create a 7 foot circle, an 8 foot, or 9 foot circle? Thanks.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink-dot-net.no-spam.invalid (James Black) wrote:

And now you know your teacher was correct after all, that you WOULD need to know a bit of math when you grew up.
-paghat the ratgirl
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James Black wrote:

This isn't what you're asking, but aren't railroad ties treated with all sorts of nasty wood-preserving chemicals, chemicals that can leach into the ground water?
Patrick
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That's ok some of us are toxic dumpers.
Dick
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

True, but the rate of leaching is slow, especially if the ties are treated with creosote. (The danger of creosote has been exaggerated IMO.) Your state may also have amended regulations so that arsenic is no longer permitted in pressure treating wood. If no, you may wuish to avoid such wood, but again, the amount of arsenic leached into the ground is minimal, especially compared to nastier things dumped outside by nearby industries, gas stations, etc (and leachates can travel long distances, so "nearby" may mean tens of miles away.) The remaining chemicals are mainly copper sulfate and fungicides, neither of which are cause for alarm (unless you get down on your hands and knees and gnaw on the wood... :-o).
Besides, there are worse sources of pollution in your neighbourhood, such as the car in your driveway or the power mower you use.
As for mitre angles -- they don't depend on the diameter of the cirle, but on the number of pieces you use to make the circle. Divide 360 by twice number. This will be the mitre angle in degrees on each end of the tie.
Have fun!
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You'll never get rid of the creosote, and it's messy. I acquired some ties which had been removed from the railway at least 20 years earlier, and hadn't been treated since. As soon as hot sun shone on the wood, the creosote came to the surface..a nuisance if it gets onto hands or clothes (or carpets, via shoes and pets feet).
Janet
Janet
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Janet Baraclough wrote:
[...]

Oh my, you do have a problem. Must have been fairly fresh ties when you got them. On the bridge ties that edge my driveway, the creosote doesn't bubble up, the surface is weathering away sl-o-o-o-o-wly, and moss is growing out of some of the cracks. I figure there's 20 years left in them. :-)
Creosote does weather, you just have to be patient. The fact that it weathers so slowly indicates that its toxins are released very slowly also - slowly enough that they will degrade (oxidise, usually) before they accumulate.
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Perhaps you should provide more information on the fungicides you're referring to, and which of them might or might not be safe near edible plants. The OP may or may not want to stick some chives or parsley or other stuff in the ground near the treated wood.

Unless you're the kind of slug who lets his car ooze fluids for years on end without fixing it, you cannot compare engines to fungicides/pesticides in contact with the soil.
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James Black wrote:

Hint: The diameter of the "circle" is irrelevant. The number of cuts is what's relevant.
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Warren H.

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Per previous poster, depends on how many "sides" the circle will have. A method that seems like it should work is to remember that the number of degrees, cut at an angel, in the "n" sided circle must total 180 degrees. In other words, a four sided circle (grin) would have each cut made at 45 degrees (180 degrees divided by four). An eight sided circle would have 22.5 degree cuts, six sided circle 30 degrees. I'm not much of a Gardner nor mathematician, but I believe that should work.
Old Chief Lynn
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I always thought a circle was was defined as a degenerate ellipse with coincident foci. Sounds more like like a polygon (or octagon) - Most certainly an over-engineered tree basin. Why not just lay out the ties and make the beveled cuts where and at the angles requiired to close the polygon? Olin
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have.
of
degrees.
should
"over-engineered tree basin"? Oh, Olin, are you trying to develop this promising thread into some kind of practical solution? Where's the sport in that? (grin) Old Chief Lynn
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I presume the lengths are diameters and you really want a circle and not an octogon which would be very easy.
Does the inside have to be circular or just the outside? Are you a master craftsman with a heavy duty router and a router bit the length of the thickness of a railroad tie?
The real question here is: How many pieces of wood are you prepared to cut?
Dick
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I propose using only one piece of wood, cut to the circumference of your circle. (I'm sure _someone, somewhere_ must sell 30-ft. railroad ties!) You can just use a 90-degree angle on both ends, and then run it through your railroad tie bender (available from your local home improvement store for a mere $499.99), and there you have it! ;)
Seriously, I wouldn't be too concerned about an exact angle because the ties will probably shift over time and something will inevitably grow up through the cracks anyway! Not exactly like building a picture frame. OK, now everyone can flame me for my "rustic" approach. :) Gary
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Your approach is extremely rustic and you are a bad person. :-)
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