Cribbing

A cribbing wall resembles that of a basket-weave or latticework structure, and while cribbing retaining walls are a more involved landscaping construction project than building a traditional retaining wall, for those who are not afraid of spending a few more hours working outside, the natural beauty of cribbing retaining walls is well worth the extra time and effort.

Wooden landscaping timbers from railway ties is a cost-effective and easy-to-use material that add an attractive and distinct look to a wall enclosure and create curved walls. A cribbing retaining wall using railway ties are built using these no-longer-in-use planks that are layered on top of another in a crosspatch formation. The empty spaces are created by cutting shorter pieces of railway ties that have been cut from longer planks. The structure requires that for every two or three timbers that run lengthwise along the retaining wall, there is one timber that goes deep into the wall to anchor the other planks in place, creating a very structurally sound wall.

Constructing a cribbing retaining walls is accomplished by using planks of railways ties of different lengths. Railway ties made from softer woods, like spruce and pine are sometimes preferred because they crack slowly, whereas stiffer woods may crack or splint easily. While for other structures using railways ties, hard woods are best used, cribbing walls are more stable and durable when built from softer and more pliable wood types. In addition, the softer woods signal you when they are just about to fail, usually by a creaking noise, whereas hard woods simply crack without such notice, leaving you with an abrupt landscaping emergency.

Most railway ties are creosated in order to retain their integrity while being exposed to outside elements. This then makes them a formidable material to use for cribbing walls since the timbers must be able to withstand not just weathering but also the temperature changes, which can result in the dried and brittle wood, insect infested wood and rotted wood.

As you develop the design of your cribbing structure, keep in mind that the security of the structure is influenced by a number of factors, including the material used – hard timbers or soft timber, - the number of contact points between the structure and the supporting area and the area of contact from the crib, to the ground to its supporting area.

There are three general types of cribbing structures that can be made using railway ties. A box crib is generally the most common and also the most stable. It is constructed by arranging sets of railway ties in log-style cabin formation to create a rising rectangle or square. As you add additional railway timbers on top of another, the structure becomes increasingly stable and secure. Box cribs can be used to house small gardens and flower beds as well as enclose a larger plot of land.

The next type of cribbing structure that can be built from railway ties is a triangle or "A" formation. This construction is built in the same way as the box crib, except that it is formed in a triangle. The third type of cribbing structure that can be built from railway ties is a parallelogram.

All three of these cribbing formations can be used for a variety of landscaping purposes. Railway tie cribbing structures offer a decorative and simple DIY solution to create an attractive enclosure or construction on your property. Plus, as long as you are selecting quality railway tie timbers, you will create a durable and long-lasting landscaping feature to your home or business.

Railroad ties create a raw and natural beauty to your outdoor landscape. R+R's railroad ties are lightweight, can be nailed without drilling and can be painted or stained to compliment the color scheme of your outside scenery. Once they are installed, they require very little maintenance, as long as you use the right kind of wood.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact R+R. Our timber and landscaping experts can help you select the best ties for your cribbing needs.