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Author Previous Topic: Crossing with different size rail? Topic Next Topic: Subroadbed, Roadbed and Track
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plbab
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/06/2004 :  7:00:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anybody ever use sand for N scale ballast? If so was it sifted? Paul

Country: | Posts: 137

Will_Annand
Crew Chief



Posted - 03/06/2004 :  7:10:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Will_Annand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have found a product at the local Dollarama store called "Decorative Gravel". It is non magnetic and silver gray in color. it comes in a plastic jar and the cost is $1.00 for 670g.

There is a coarse and a fine grade. I use the fine grade for Ballast and the coarse for where I wish to show a rock slide or crushed rock.



--
Will Annand
Modeling the CVR in N Scale.
www.muskokacomputes.com/CVR-Home.html

Country: Canada | Posts: 732 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 03/07/2004 :  6:24:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I work in HO, so have never used it for N. I do use quite a bit of sand for various things on my current layout. I would think finding the correct sand would be the point. Sand comes in a neverending bunch of types and sizes. I have never felt the needto sift any I use. Are you thinking of getting lumps out or thinking of the metal potential? I have read about problems of it getting into the magnets of motors, but after running a magnet through the first half dozen bunches I used, I decided it was not worth spending time. I have never had trouble with metal. It can get into gears and stick to wheels if they have oil on thenm but regular ballast does also. Has anybody else had personal experience withmetal in sand? Maybe it is an area thing that just hasn't bit me yet. I get sand from rural type ares that are less prone to dirt and pollution but really like having a wider range of sizes and colors so that I can do yard tracks different than my mainline ballast. Richard


Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page

plbab
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/07/2004 :  11:09:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was going to sift it to remove junk. I just wonder if it will take glue. Paul


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billb
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/07/2004 :  11:51:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How do you glue ballast?I've tried spray bottles,eye droppers,even my airbrush to apply wetting agent and diluted white glue with no success.

Have a good one.

Bill Burge
Marion,Iowa



Country: USA | Posts: 376 Go to Top of Page

Will_Annand
Crew Chief



Posted - 03/07/2004 :  11:53:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Will_Annand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by billb

How do you glue ballast?I've tried spray bottles,eye droppers,even my airbrush to apply wetting agent and diluted white glue with no success.


On the club's N Scale layout, we use the glue bottle, half and half mixture of glue and water.


--
Will Annand
Modeling the CVR in N Scale.
www.muskokacomputes.com/CVR-Home.html

Edited by - Will_Annand on 03/07/2004 11:54:05 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 732 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 03/08/2004 :  10:42:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use wet water and spray from a distance so that the larger drops don't rearrange the dry ballast and then move closer as it gets wet and less likely to move. Really soak it good all the way down through. Then I flood the area with 50/50 glue and water. I add this with an old Elmers glue bottle on the side of the rails so that it runs down and under rather than on top. I go clear to the puddle stage to make sure it is all glued. If it doesn't soak down you will have acrust on top that is easy to break through when cleaning track, etc. I think most common error is not using enough to wet all the way down. I buy Elmer's in the gallon jug from the home center. Much cheaper that way. Richard


Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 03/08/2004 :  10:50:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For Paul. There is no problem with the sand taking the glue that I have found. Since ballast is a hard nonporous item, the glue really just coats it on the outside forming a shell that holds it in place. That is one reason that you need to really have lots of glue on it. On porous items you can soak just one edge and it works but for ballast it works a little different. For yard areas that are going to be dirty, I like to find somewhere that the sand is already dirty to collect some. I use a lot of plain dirt and natural materials and it all glues well if it doesn't dissolve back to mud. Richard


Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/08/2004 :  11:12:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill, I have seen several posts here and on other forums about using plain rubbing alcohol as the wetting agent. I have never tried it myself, but most of the folks who have say it's much better than trying to wet ballast with "wet" water. They claim it soaks right in (when applied with an eye dropper) and doesn't disturb the ballast doing so. After the ballast is thoroughly soaked, they apply the dilute glue or matte medium and let it soak in. Like I said, thought, I haven't tried it, so I can't give you a "first hand" review of it. Might be something worth experimenting with, though.






Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

irishbull
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/08/2004 :  12:31:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit irishbull's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Good AM all,
I have used the alcohol method with an eyedropper and it works for me rather well...maybe I did soak the heck out of the ballast, but I didn't have any of the "crusties" that can ruin what seemed at the time, a real awesome ballasting job


Scouter first, railroader second

Country: USA | Posts: 168 Go to Top of Page

Will_Annand
Crew Chief



Posted - 03/08/2004 :  12:36:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Will_Annand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think I missed something..

I have read several references to "Wet Water".

What is wet water?
I thought all water was wet?
On the other hand I have never heard of "Dry Water"


--
Will Annand
Modeling the CVR in N Scale.
www.muskokacomputes.com/CVR-Home.html

Country: Canada | Posts: 732 Go to Top of Page

irishbull
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/08/2004 :  6:10:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit irishbull's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, "wet water" is water that is mixed a few drops of dish soap. The soap helps break the surface tension of the water to make your gluing mixture flow a lot easier...there is a tutorial on ballasting on the forum....here's that address...it's on page 3 & 4...

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3885

hope this helps


Scouter first, railroader second

Country: USA | Posts: 168 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/08/2004 :  6:26:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another method for making "wet" water is to add a few drops of Kodak Photo-Flo (if you're into photography and film developing) to your water. It's formulated specifically to break down surface adhesion and water tension. (In photography freshly developed/fixed film is treated with Photo-Flo so that water will run off the film and the film will dry without water spots.) It's excellent for wetting ballast or other scenery in model RR'ing, but it's also more expensive than ordinary dish detergent. I used it to wet the tile grout I used for ballast on my "railroad camp" diorama.




Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

bpate
Fireman



Posted - 03/08/2004 :  7:01:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have used fine sand for ballast and have had no trouble with it. There is very fine sand on the river beaches where we go camping. I have not found any metal (including sadly any gold) in it.


Country: Australia | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

Drew
Fireman



Posted - 03/08/2004 :  9:17:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Paul! I built this tiny N scale layout (24"x30") a few years back...I used regular Atlas track, & ballaeted it with play sand...the kind you use in a kid's sandbox...it's very fine...I used a black wash of alcohol & India Ink as a wetting agent...this wets the ballast, & gives it a nice grayish color...I thought it turned out fairly well...



-Drew-

"Life is all the stuff that happened while you were making other plans."

Country: USA | Posts: 1173 Go to Top of Page

Will_Annand
Crew Chief



Posted - 03/08/2004 :  10:10:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Will_Annand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Shawn and Mike.

That is what I like about this forum, I learn something new every day.


--
Will Annand
Modeling the CVR in N Scale.
www.muskokacomputes.com/CVR-Home.html

Edited by - Will_Annand on 03/08/2004 10:11:11 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 732 Go to Top of Page
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