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Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

Trying
Super Contributor

Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

Good evening all, I need help with my next project. I'm looking to set some sleepers of varying height ( not length ) vertically into the ground to form a sort of backdrop for a garden feature. Lengths will be from 500mm to 1500mm. If these are the heights above ground, how deep should they be in the ground?? Could I put them in a trench and use quickset cement? Should I hire a post hole digger ? ( I'm too feeble and puny to dig the holes myself ) I think my 'she-shed' DIY has fired me up too much and I'll finish up penniless. Ha ha.  Any suggestions or advice will be appreciated. Cheers.

Brad
Valued Contributor

Re: Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

The old fence post guide was 1/3 to 1/2 with the diameter of the hole 3x the post thickness.

Standard post holes are 150mm and 200mm so not a lot of room with 150mm sleepers! You may be better off using a stirrup and bolting the sleeper to it.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/pryda-200mm-heavy-duty-galvanised-half-stirrup-post-anchor_p1070055

For the higher sleepers I would add to the stirrup, possibly by bolting 2 together and the setting them in quickset.

If you have sandy soil I would go for deeper holes, clay soils 1/3 should be ok.

You will end up with a good side and one where the bracket will show, some ground cover would hide it if necessary.
Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

Thanks for joining in the discussion @Brad. Great to see you make your first Workshop post. Welcome aboard! 

 

I'm sure @Trying really appreciates you sharing your expertise. Thanks again.

 

Jason

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Andy_Mann
Trusted Contributor

Re: Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

@Trying

G'day kid

I like your idea of vertical sleepers, but it would be hard yakka to dig, drop them in & then concrete them in. The other thing is that some sleepers are incredibly heavy. Plus some of those post hole diggers can be fairly heavy, & could require a second person to help while using it, depending on your soil.

My suggestion would be to lay the sleepers on the ground & arrange them in a staggered arrangement that looks pleasing to you. Then make a line across them at what will be ground level, & cut them say, 6" longer. Seeing as they're only decorative & not load bearing, drive 2 Reo Rods/sleeper (the steel bars used in concrete) deep into the ground with a sledgehammer. Stand a sleeper in front of them, & use temporary props to keep it in place, then attach the bars to the sleeper with pipe brackets. Then repeat until you're done.

To hide the rods, backfill with rocks or dirt, & maybe grow a ground cover.

Hope this helps.

darylhewston
Super Contributor

Re: Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

@Trying @Brad

 

I agree with Brad with the 'one third in the ground and two thirds out' rule.  I have been thinking of doing this for a while for a bit of a feature out the front garden, but just haven't had the time.  Check out this site, it has some really good info.

 

http://www.railwaysleepers.com/blog/tips-advice/how-to-build-a-retaining-wall-with-railway-sleepers

 

Have fun

Trying
Super Contributor

Re: Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

Hey Brad, thanks for helping to sort out my 'vertical sleeper' problem. Your suggestion suited me as I'm not that physically strong but can manage your method. Thanks for sharing your experience. Cheers.

Trying
Super Contributor

Re: Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

Hey Andymann, thanks for your suggestions re my 'vertical sleepers'. Appreciate the method you put forward but I have another thing in mind to use it for. Tell you when I get to do it. Thanks again and keep on keeping on ( stolen from a paint commercial - can you tell what brand ?) Cheers

Oldfart
Junior Contributor

Re: Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

 
Oldfart
Junior Contributor

Re: Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

Hi trying,

I can't add anything useful to good advice you've already received.
I just want to say that your project sounds wonderful. Love to see some pics when it's finished. Fair warning! There's a good chance I'll pinch your idea for a backdrop to my BBQ area..
Trying
Super Contributor

Re: Sleeper with the enemy ( I'm the enemy )

Hey @Oldfart Hope you have better luck than I did. Although I got great advice I wasn't able to proceed. Unfortunately there were old pipes and cables plus some rather new electricals for what is now my outdoor security lighting. Oh well, maybe another place/another time. Good luck with your effort - seems to me you are a very capable and imaginative workshopper. Cheers

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