I'm planning to make a deck (~18m2) using oak railway half-sleepers (50mm thick, 200mm wide). They are fresh sawn, so they are pretty rough with splinters, etc. Is this a good idea at all? Can I sand them (with belt sander?) to a decent enough for deck finish? I've read somewhere that it's really hard to sand fresh sawn softwood - is it also the case with oak? If it's possible, assuming I have a decent belt sander, how long sanding may take - would it be hours or days? After sanding, what could I apply to improve the finish and make sure there are no splinters and the deck is "nice to touch"?