Sleepers are always a popular product, probably due to their versatility. They can be used as a retainer - horizontally or vertically - for steps and for raised beds. Southern Timber has not sold reclaimed sleepers since June 2003, reclaimed sleepers invariably are impregnated with Creosote which has been found to contain carcinogens. They also tend to have traces of tar or bitumen, waste materials and may have pieces of metal including nails, screws or shrapnel.
Softwood sleepers are machined to size, they tend to be more uniform in size than their oak counterparts. Some sleepers may have waney edges. They are usually cut from the same stock as our sawn structural timbers and they are ideal for retainers and cutting down for steps. Any cross cuts should be treated with Ensele end-grain preservative to maximise the life of the sleepers. Fresh cut stock sleepers tend to be a pale green colour from where they have been pressure treated. As the sleepers weather the colours will become muted and after a season or two will become silvery grey in colour.
Sleepers are quite a substantial weight and some thought needs to be given as to how they will be moved to their resting position. Several sizes of sleepers are stocked, availability can vary during the season.
100mm x 200mm (approx. 4"x 8") at 2.4 metres (approx.8')
100mm x 225mm (approx. 4" x 9") at 2.4 metres (approx. 8')
120mm x 240mm (approx. 5" x 9.5") also at 2.4 metres (approx. 8')
125mm x 250mm (approx. 5" x 10") at 2.6 metres (just under 9')
Other timbers are kept in 75mm and 100mm cross sections at greater lengths that might also be useful in landscaping projects.