what is "wet water"?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by NCMRailroad, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    Just wondering if someone can tell me how to make "wet water" which I believe is a "water/liquid dish soap/ white glue" mixture. Just wondering what the ratios are for this mixture?
    Thanks all that respond.
    NCMRailroad:thumb:
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Wet water is a mixture of water and detergent. It is used to make the white glue flow through ballast more completely than it normally would. Two drops of detergent to a cup of water. Spray it on the ballast and then drip your diluted white glue on the ballast. Can't remember the ratio to dilute the glue right now. Somebody will have the answer for you.
  3. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

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    Some will argue this but I use about 50/50 ratio. Others use a little more water.
  4. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

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    I dont know if you call this wet water are not i called it a cool idea. But i mix 50:50 with a drop of detergent works out great for me. Holds ballast great and a lot of other stuff to.
  5. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

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    Hmmmm why din't I think of that.
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    For very fine ballast (or any scenic material), sometimes water isn't "wet" enough to get the glue to penetrate. In those cases, use rubbing alcohol (in a well-ventilated area!) before adding your dilute glue.
  7. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

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    Hello and thank you for your reply.. I am just curious as to just exactly (or aprox.) how much rubbing alcohol I am to use.
    Thank you again for your reply.
    William (NCMRailroad)
  8. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

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    RE: Wet water...

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my thread: What is Wet Water? I will definatly giv'er a go at it!
    NCMRailroad.:wave: :thumb:
  9. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

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    I put mine in a spray bottle and just spray it in the ballest. not a lot just something to help wet it.
  10. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    Same as with water... you want to completely saturate the material so the glue mix flows through it.

    You're welcome! :)
  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    Same as with water... you want to completely saturate the material so the glue mix flows through it.

    You're welcome! :)
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Wet water does not contain glue. I use a drop or so of detergent in a spray bottle of water. The alternative is denatured alcohol -- isopropyl or rubbing or methyl hydrate -- either at purchased strength or diluted 1:1 with water (not "wet"). I mist this all over my track when ballasting, but add glue with an eyedropper.
    Maybe wet water is a better mix with glue than tap water. I've used WS Scenic Cement as I never get white glue to mix.
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Wet water is simply water to which a few drops of liquid dish detergent have been added. The detergent lessens the surface tension of the water, allowing it to easily penetrate the ballast or scenery material. As mentioned, some prefer alcohol, although some alcohols react with certain paints. Methyl hydrate in particular is an effective paint stripper for older Athearn, MDC, and Train Miniature rolling stock. It is also poisonous if ingested, and is readily absorbed through the skin, causing nerve and kidney damage. Wear latex or rubber gloves if you're handling it. In my opinion, the detergent works just as well and is much cheaper.
    Wet the area to be sceniced thoroughly: it's better too wet than not wet enough. The "wet" water needs to penetrate right down to the roadbed or scenery shell to be effective, as the 50/50 glue mixture, when applied, will only penetrate as far as is pre-wetted. Inadequate wetting will result in a hard crust on top of the material, with the lower stuff neither glued together nor to the scenery base.
    To mix the glue, use ordinary white glue, about 50/50 with tap water. Within reason, the ratio isn't crucial: 40/60 or 60/40 works fine too. Some prefer matte medium instead of white glue. It works just as well, but is much more expensive, especially if you buy the white glue by the gallon. Some also claim that the matte medium dries flat, whereas the white glue may be somewhat shiny. The only reason for the white glue to be shiny is because the area wasn't wetted sufficiently before application of the glue. The thicker the ballast or scenic material, the greater the amount of wetting agent and glue mixture required, and this will obviously result in longer drying times.
    In this photo, the track ballast and the "rock" fill to the left of the track were all applied at the same time. While there is a scenery hardshell in place, the riprap was dumped in place along the track until it found its own "angle of repose" (slope), then cinder sub-ballast was dumped along the edge of the roadbed, until it filled in the gaps between the rock. Finally the ballast was added, then the whole area was sprayed with "wet" water until it literally flowed into the field at the extreme left. After that, the glue mixture was added, again until it flowed into the field. I sprinkled some ground foam into the puddles, then sprayed with more "wet" water to induce it to soak up the glue. This took over a week to dry. The scenery to the left was done at a later date.

    [​IMG]

    Wayne