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Track ballast
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 Posted: Wed Dec 28th, 2011 01:08 am
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Paladin
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Is their anybody out there that has good method for adding ballast.

I have been playing around with Woodlands fine and medium ballast, looks OK but it wants to move around when working with it.

Thinking I should use a fine natural stone,as it will be heavier and stay put when doing the final spreading. ( I sneezed and removed about 6 inches of ballast prior to gluing)  Not a happy little camper.

Estimate about 300 feet of track

I am working with Peco On30 track, so will need to paint the ties. Rails have been weathered.

Don



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Don McL
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 Posted: Wed Dec 28th, 2011 02:08 am
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Herb Kephart
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Don- I would paint the ties before ballasting.

I spread the ballast by taking a small can, or jar, and pouring a continuous heap down the center of the track--enough to cover the ties in the center, and extend out to about 3/4 of the width between the rails. Than a take a cheap paintbrush (in O scale I use a 1") and prod the ballast under the rail on each side, and let it spill away from the track. After the first couple feet, you will figure out  how large a pile between the rails to start with.
Brush any excess ballast off the top of the ties, then with a spray bottle with 25% alcolhol and 75% water soak everything down liberally--small puddles are OK. Take yellow carpenters glue (Titebond or similar) and make a mix of about 30% glue and the remainder water, and apply liberally with an eyedropper or fine tipped plastic squeeze bottle. Some people use white glue (Elmers) but it dries to a more brittle bond and the track seems noisier than with the yellow stuff. Don't worry about getting too much glue on the track, when dry it will turn clear and dull, as long as it was diluted enough. Another reason for yellow glue, and dilution, is that if a change is wanted, the ballast and dried glue will scrape up easier with a putty knife.


  Herb



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 Posted: Wed Dec 28th, 2011 05:16 am
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down under
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don buy australian get 'chucks ballast' his range is the best in the world.try model railway craftman here in sydney.
cheers kim

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 Posted: Wed Dec 28th, 2011 01:42 pm
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W C Greene
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Ahhh, ballast! I only use the finest crushed stone from the alley behind the house. As Herb said, Titebond works the best. I use TB2 since it is "waterproof" and can stand up to Mother Nature. The yellow color doesn't show up in the ground color...and if it does it don't bother me a bit. Remember that I have the best lighting expert available for my layout.
Woodrow



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 Posted: Sat Dec 31st, 2011 02:59 am
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chasv
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saw a post somewhere they layed the ties then ballast then the rails



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 Posted: Thu Feb 2nd, 2012 09:18 am
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bigtony
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Chas,
Paint of staining the sleepers first works well for hand land track.
Don is using Peco track.

Don I have used Peco track a lot and this works well,
  1. first I give the tops of the rail a light wipe with some oil.
  2. spray the track with a cheap Matt Grey Auto primer (outside) ensuring you cover it from both sides, allow to dry. coat the rails as well. Nothing to fancy
  3. I mix up about 4 to 6 different thin shades of greys, tans and browns etc....colours you want your sleepers (ties) to be. I use Tamiya thinned with what ever I have available Rubbing Alcohol works as long as its paint compatible but whatever you have will work, these just thin washers
  4. them randomly wash the sleepers along the whole length than move on and on, Just make sure you cover the ends as well as well. 
I don't even worry about rinsing the brush just let it all flow, you will end up with a nice randomly coloured piece of track. Don't forget must of it will be covered with ballast.

Once you lay the track you can use either the Floquil colour pens to paint your rail, it is primed now (remember) even with a brush it will flow on nicely, you only need to paint the rail you can see, this will also paint the spikes and some of the plates.
When you are done apply your choice of Ballast, I agree with Kim, Chucks is good, I get mine from Christmas Everyday. and follow the others as far as applying and glueing the ballast is concerned.

I use a piece square sponge like you get in some HO box car kits and trim it to fit over the rails and slowly drag it along, every now and then a gentle tap will settle the ballast. over flow can be brushed up or pushed back into place.

When the glue has dried you can just wipe the tops of the rails (remember the oil you applied) and away you go.
Good luck with it, I find it quite relaxing to ballast track and enjoy the finish, of cause once your scenic up to the track any odd bits you missed can be covered.
Go forth with out fear, no guts no glory.


Tony Reidpath
Still narrow minded in Bali but currently in PNG


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 Posted: Thu Feb 2nd, 2012 03:03 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Excellent "how to" Tony--

Obviously you have been ballasting for a while.


Herb  



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 Posted: Thu Feb 2nd, 2012 08:30 pm
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bigtony
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Thanks Herb,

Done right your track will just blend into the scene and look natural.
Once in place the Peco code 100 doesn't appear to be to big or chunky.
Of cause you use the same methods for the points, I plan to use hand made points for my layout with wood sleepers treated to blend in.

Another great tip for keeping your track clean...run trains, its real fun.

Tony Reidpath,
So to be back in Bali:rah:

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