Scaffold boards are perfect for this sort of use. They're sturdy enough to take the weight of the soil that they're holding, and the long lengths mean you can easily create raised beds at a really functional size. Unlike many railway sleepers, of which reclaimed ones in particular are full of all sorts of nasties such are creosote or tar, scaffold boards are usually complately untreated (ours are always untreated).
End bands are the strips of metal at the end of each scaffold board. They are usually made from galvanised steel and held in place with clout nails. They feature on both ends of a scaffold board and have a variety of functions
If you mention sanding to most people who have had to do it, you'll probably get a groan in response. It's dusty, hard work, and noisy, among other things. It therefore tends to be something people try to avoid where possible, which is possibly why we're often asked if it's even necessary in the first place!
We are often asked about jointing two boards together, more specifically whether or not our scaffold boards are suited to this. Many of you wish to make a table or bar top, or various other projects where two boards will be layed side by side and jointed.