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> Ballast adhesive - Yes or No?
FiatFan
post Sep 25 2011, 06:51 PM
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What's your opinion?

I've been research types of adhesives but haven't stumbled upon any discussion of whether or not to even use it. I would greatly appreciate some discussion on the topic. In other words, do I really need a ballast adhesive?

Tom


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IMhauler
post Sep 25 2011, 08:36 PM
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I wouldn't unless or until loose ballast becomes a problem. I'm sure it depends on the size and density of ballast. My mind is on landscaping stone and how some moves in a heavy rain storm, like that porous dark red "lava stone." If it's small stuff it could move around a little bit. If you have an easement between the ballast and any lawn it shouldn't pose much problem for lawn maintenance if ballast gets a few inches out of place. I recall you saying that you don't have any turnouts, so no worries of those getting fouled. It's just something to look for (stray ballast) when inspecting track for obstacles like twigs, etc.

I'm sure that if needed down the road, you could pour in some dilute cement mix or something that will seep into the ballast. IMO better doing that than doing it now and wishing you hadn't.

But let it be known, I'm not a G Scaler or outdoor railroader, so take it with some salt.


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rhpd42002
post Sep 26 2011, 08:41 AM
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Tom, If Tompm, John or Neil see this, they might be able to help you out beter than most of us "small" scale railroaders.

Not having any experience with this, I can only say that having a good, solid, slightly raised roadbed would be most helpful, as a base for your ballast. In addition, whatever rock you use, ought to be sharp edged, so the rock can "lock" together, instead of sliding around like rounded, decorative stone would.

I'd think you'll get a good answer or two shortly. In any case, good luck and keep us posted as to how it goes. Successes and those that didn't work out so well.



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bkw
post Sep 26 2011, 10:50 AM
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As a former 16mm'er, outdoors, with live steam and battery diesel, I have had both loose chippings
and also cemented it in. No real preference, depended on how the track was supported. I found that
in cuttings or similar then I just left it loose, but where it was elevated then I did cement it in.
Hopefully someone else will offer more (and current) advice.

Brian


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cjbrock
post Sep 27 2011, 05:33 AM
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A little bigger size, but we use limestone with the fines. This has some binding properties once it gets through a few wet-dry cycles. With the midwestern temperature swings and frost heave you are always going to have to do some tamping and re-leveling in the spring, so I wouldn't use adhesive. We try to get it tamped in the spring after the frost is out but before heavy spring rains wash the fine stuff under any lifted ties.


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New Haven Neil
post Sep 28 2011, 05:30 AM
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Welllllll.... wacko.gif

We use both here, my ballast is loose, as it is sharp edged horticultural grit it stays mosty in place, but it does have 'curbs' to hold it in terms of width.

My pal uses a mix of quarry fines and some cement, making a firm mix but it is friable, so if you need to adjust things a poke with a screwdriver loosens it. Re-sprinkle with cement dust and water in, and it goes firm again.

Horses for courses!


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Mr. SP
post Oct 2 2013, 01:29 PM
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Since I'm in HO I use Woodland Scenic's ballast. I mix several colours together. On my home road I mixed medium size Buff two parts along with one part dark brown and light brown. If I were doing it again I would add one part medium grey.
I use the bonded ballast method to glue the ballast down. The ballast is applied dry and after getting to where I like the result I use a spray bottle with soapy water to dampen the ballast. The glue is Elmers Carpenters Glue(the yellow stuff) cut 50% with water along with a few drops of liquid soap. Wet the ballast completely through and allow to dry for about two days. Check for any places where the glue didn't go and reglue these areas. After the ballast is completely dry clean the track using a Bright Boy on the rails.
The ballast should kook loose but will be stuck in one place.
Some washed MasonerySand could be used instead of Woodland Scenic's ballast. Be sure to run a magnet through the sand before using it on the railroad. Then glue it as described above.
Hope that helps

This post has been edited by Mr. SP: Oct 25 2013, 11:13 AM
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dti406
post Oct 3 2013, 10:07 AM
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Cliff, the same on our club layout in Alaska, except we used Matte Medium for the fixitive on the ballast, as it does not dry rock hard!


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k9wrangler
post Oct 16 2013, 03:28 PM
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I've always used Woodland Scenics, medium, but in the future will use fine. I use the two tone grey for mainline and cinders for branchline and yard. I use wet water followed with 50-50 wet water-Elmers dribbled in until it's running out. It has served me well.

At our last Division meeting I heard our semi-pro layout builder say he used a stone based ballast, Smith and Son, and used very dilute matte medium to glue it with an alchohol spray as a wetting agent. It is supposed to be easier to loosen up and remove the track if needed.





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