Ballast and goo

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by shamus, Apr 22, 2001.

  1. George

    George Member

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    Now for something completely different.....

    Has anyone ever used the cylindrical ballasting tool? It slides along the rails and you're supposed to pour ballast into the top. It allegedly spreads the ballast evenly. Yeah, right! Forgive my skepticism!

    I have one that I've never used and am curious as to what anyone's results have been with this doo-dad.

    George.
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

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    George,

    Never seen such a tool. Only one way to find out I suppose. And that's for dad to do the doo dad I suppose!

    TOOT!
  3. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

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    Georgr and Woodie:

    I have seen that little "doo-dad" but the local hobby shoppe owner doesn't reconmend it! He sells the darn thing! [​IMG]

    Woodie:
    I use a speice shacker to lay my ballast. I pour a pile of it on the tracks. Then I use a clean paint brush to smooth it out. If there isn't enough on the out side of the tracks. I add a little more.

    I hope this helps.

    Andy
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

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    Yep. You do need something to pour the ballast with. Just cant use pinches or sprinkle with your hand. NBG. I'm using an old table milk jug. Has a good pouring lip on it.

    TOOT! [​IMG]
  5. George

    George Member

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    Last time I ballasted and was satisfied, I painted on Elmers at full strength, took a table spoon and scattered the ballast, then when dry, vaccumed up the excess. Boy, was that a wasteful way of doing it or what?

    At a club in '85, I did a ballasting job with a couple of "experienced modellers" with the crappiest ballast I've ever seen. For adhesive, we used matte medium. The result looked like a Missisippi river flood plain. It resembled dry mud! Glad I had help so I didn't get blamed for it!

    George.
  6. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

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    Well, I've done half my layout now. Got it down to a fine art. Spread the dry ballast mix using a pourer, brush it into shape making sure none is near the track edges and sides, and under the railhead is clear, where individual stones can jam, and turnouts are clear and work correctly. Spray with water to wet it thoroughly. Mix 50/50 PVA glue (wood glue) put it back in the bottle, and use the nozzle to drip it along the railhead. This is sufficient for it to soak through the ballast. GIve it a light spray with water again. Give it about two hours or so, and completely stuck ballast, with no loose bits. Clean the railhead with wet/dry paper and VOILA!! Trains run smoothly all the way! Looks fabby too. Sprinkled black cinder along the centre of the tracks before wetting if a weathered look is needed. I had already weathered the sleepers and rail using artist acrylic paint (red oxide + burnt umber for the rails) and burnt umber for the sleepers.)

    Thanks to all who pointed me in the right direction with ideas. [​IMG]

    TOOT!
  7. George

    George Member

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    Sounds good, let's hope it holds!

    Where you live, do you get high humidity, or is it very dry, or does the humidity yo-yo seasonally?

    George.
  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

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    George,

    I'm in Sydney Oz, so the weather is quite mild. eg. today is around 20C (70F) and never goes below about 16C in winter. Sydney gets a bit humid around Jan/Feb, but not oppresively so. This country has no idea what cold is!

    TOOT!