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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm extending my layout. Instead of using posts on the outside as before, I'm drilling into the ties, and driving rebar through and into the ground. It looks a lot cleaner without the outside posts, and it is just as strong. It takes less time and costs less since there is no concrete to pour and post holes to dig. Here's how I do it:

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tools: sawzall with blades for metal and wood cutting. A 9" wood blade cuts the tie really well. 1/2" drill with a 7/16" auger bit, at least 18" long. Tape measure.

I'm using 3/8" rebar and lowest grade (cheapest) ties.

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Here's the gap I'm going to fill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Of course, measure twice - cut once. Measure the shortest distance and that will be the length to cut the tie.
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Prepare the ground, place the lowest tie, position it then stabilize it with dirt on both sides. You don't want it wobbling when drilling. Make sure you pick a tie that's not twisted and the top surface is nice and flat.
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This is how it ends up: work with two ties at time. If going higher, you'll attach the next two to these lower two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Drill the first hole at one end. Go almost to through the bottom of the ties, That way the bit won't touch the soil and dull the cutting edge. When you drive the rebar in, it will punch right through the last inch or so just like spikes are driven. Have a bucket or container of water handy so you can dip the end of the auger in as you drill. I went about 6" at a time. Reverse the drill and pull out as many shavings from the hole as possible. Dip the auger into the water and swirl it around. Also remember to keep that bit sharp - every day after a drill session, file it with an 'auger file'. Good auger bits will last a long time if cared for by losing the heat in the water bucket after each drill, and getting rid of burrs after each drill day.
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Here's a shot of a rebar cut to size and inserted into the fresh hole. Ties are about 9" high on the long side. So I cut a piece of rebar 24" long because the rebar is to prevent sideways movement, not necessarily tilting. The tilt will be handled by the ties alongside. Dip the rebar in the water to lube them a bit. I use a 3lb hammer and it works just fine. Try not to wiggle the top tie after you drill it so the hole lines up into the lower tie. For this reason, you drill and drive the rebar consecutively, not drill all then then drive sequentially.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Finally, you want to stabilize the ties by 'tying' them to their neighbors at both ends. You won't need as long a piece of rebar for this job as when you drove them through into the ground, I've used 1' with good results. So drill at an angle into the top tie and then into the center of its neighbor's center like this:
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Do that horizontal thing for both ends of the top tie. If going higher, do it every two and make sure the top one if not an even number is stabilized this way.

Here's a shot of the roughed in layout extension with the ties and 75 tons of dirt inside it:
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Aster JNR 8550 & Aristocraft live steam Mikado
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“They” make a special nail for this called a timber tie that would probably work to stack on additional layers.
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