Hi, were doing a treated pine footpath. Brought 1.8m lengths 200w x 50mm, but will cut to 900 lengths for path width. Thinking of putting down sand base, than laying sleepers on top. First question - do sleepers need to be secured down to prevent warping? 2nd question is does cut end need treating? Saw on other posts that should possible treat, but recommended treatment is no good for in ground. If needs treating, can you recommend appropriate treatment.
Welcome @Kez2. It's wonderful to have you join us and thanks for reaching out with your question.
Look forward to seeing this project come together. Please keep us updated along the way.
Can I ask why you are wanting to use timber for your path? Any timber that is in contact with the ground is going to rot. It's also probably going to be slippery. So it's going to be unsafe and won't last. Typically people use stone for a path - something like bricks or pavers or bluestone rounds, etc.
Good to have you join the workshop community and sounds like you've got a fun project on your hands.
I would perhaps sugest using a base of road base or gravel rather than sand, as this will provide better drainage and keep the timber in good condition for longer (although sand will also drain better than soil)
The less moisture they absorb the less likely it is that they will buckle out of shape too quickly (though they will definitely deteriorate over time due to ground contact and moisture as @Shane mentioned).
Personally I wouldn't worry too much about trying to secure them into the ground, I would simply aim to set them into the road base so that the tops were only slighlty above the level of the base, but if you do want to secure them you could lay them into a screed of sand and cement and then cover with road base (or sand)
For treating the cut ends Bunnings stock TWA Woodcare 300g Ecoseal Tanalised Timber Treatment which is rated for "treated wood products intended for general outdoor applications such as landscaping". Probably a fairly noxious spray so make sure to be wearing all the right gear (ventilator mask, gloves, eye protection), and to do it outside and away from enclosed spaces.
Let us know how you go with your porject and send us some photos when its done 😃
Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your treated pine sleeper path project.
It's great that you've received fantastic advice from @tom_builds. His recommendation is spot on using gravel as a base for the timber footpath. It will provide better drainage and keep the timber in better condition for a long time. I recommend using Diggers 1L Eco In-Ground Timber Protecta as an alternative to cover not only the cut area, but the entire bottom of the timber touching the ground. Diggers Eco In-Ground Timber Protecta is a non-hazardous creosote alternative that provides a tough bitumen coating to improve protection against moisture and deterioration on timber and masonry surfaces.
I suggest securing the timber by digging out a channel on both sides of the timber path and haunching the sides with concrete. This method is often used on brick paths and should work on your timber path as well. When the concrete cures, you can cover the area with the gravel base. This sounds like an excellent project, any updates you can provide while building it would be much appreciated.
If you need more advice or information, please let us know.
Thank you for sharing your concerns. Let me tag @Kez2 so that they are made aware of your questions. They may have chosen it for aesthetics or perhaps they saw it in a garden display? Using treated sleepers should give them a bit of time to use the path. However, I agree that rain and moisture in time will eventually deteriorate the timber.