gluing down ballast
#1
Having a hard time gluing down my ballast it seems. I spent a good deal of time getting it to look how I wanted and decided to give it the water/detergent spray and then some glue. The water mix seems to be working fine as far as not messing anything up too much but no matter how much I seem to spray I still get the glue pulling the ballast back onto the rail ties and just generally making a mess. I'm using woodland scenics scenic cement, and when my bottles empty plan on diluting some white glue to use. I'm I not. Spraying enough of my detergent water? Just is a hassle, I spend so much time getting the ballast off of the ties and the glue wants to bring it right back.
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#2
The air from trying to spray certainly moves the ballast around ......I tend to "dribble" the water /white glue solution out of an old glue bottle . It is more time consuming but I have a fairly small layout ......the dribbling method gave me better penetration too .

T
To err is human, to blame it on somebody else shows management potential.
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#3
I was using an eye dropper to dribble the glue on. What ratio are you mixing your glue/water to?
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#4
Ha , I don't measure it ..........about 3/4 full of water in the bottle and fillup with glue from there but I don't fill it right to the very top ,....I use a product called Weldbond which holds very well but if you want it to release for some reason , a heat gun will do the trick . Weldbond dries clear .
To err is human, to blame it on somebody else shows management potential.
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#5
I put down the ballast, mist it with Windex (do not aim at the ballast, spray over it and let the mist settle, and make it wet) I then liberally apply a mixture of 50 percent Elmer's white glue and 50 percent windshield washer fluid. I mix it in an 8 oz craft paint bottle with the squirt cap and then I let it flow onto the ties and surrounding area (using the paint bottle). I even put down some grass and brush if it flows out too far, don't want to waste it. It looks white and soggy but don't touch it. It might take a couple days to dry, but it is done but for wiping the railhead and then I paint the sides of the rails. If I ever need to pull the track I wet it with Windex and it comes right up. I hold the track in place with small pins or brads until the glue has set, then I remove them. Once everything is dry the little bit that gets on the ties is easily knocked off with a small screw driver. then I vacuum the track. I do not use much glue around switch points. that is where you go slow and low. I do have a large layout and I had over a 1000 feet of track to ballast.

Charlie
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#6
I mist the ballast with rubbing or isopropyl alcohol which I have diluted down to 70% (I think). I have a misting bottle that was some sort of hair spray. Anything like WS's spray bottles gives a bit too much force, like a scale fire hose. After it's noticeably wetted, I use an eye dropper to add the glue; I like WS scenic cement. I have a bottle that's been diluted -- possibly 50%. The glue is added along the side of the ballast and then between the ties, a couple of drops between each pair. If I didn't have the webs in the flex track I would try to add it all from the side.

On the current layout, I've not added much ballast yet. I use the same technique to fasten the track to the roadbed. I use T-pins or other pins/spikes as required to position the track, then I put more pins in at an angle to hold the track down tightly on the roadbed. The WS cement can be relaxed with water if anything needs adjustment.
David
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
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#7
Charlie,
This is exactly the same process I use for ballasting...I must'a learned it from you... Thumbsup
Gus (LC&P).
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#8
Steamtrains Wrote:Charlie,
This is exactly the same process I use for ballasting...I must'a learned it from you... Thumbsup
Well when you get you ballast by the truck load and have lots of track to do you just have to get it done, and if you really look at the prototype for my era it was not fussed with much. I worked with our track for 14 years and pretty much got to know what it looked like.     Icon_lol
Charlie
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#9
KevinKrey Wrote:The water mix seems to be working fine as far as not messing anything up too much but no matter how much I seem to spray I still get the glue pulling the ballast back onto the rail ties and just generally making a mess.

Water / white glue mix will do that. Why ?, Because there is no surfactant. ( no, that's not an Ant who rides a surf board, for entertainment ) The surfactant counters the surface tension of the water, so it can flow more quickly into the ballast, instead of beading. it's that "beading" that causes "the glue pulling the ballast back onto the rail ties".
The use of Windex works because the Windex is a cleaning agent, and as such has a surfactant as one of its ingredients.

I use water/white glue/and dish detergent, premixed in a bottle, and applied with an eyedropper.
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#10
For the surface tension issue , yes dish soap or Windex will do ....I used windshield washer fluid because it is so cheap compared to the other products . Since I shake up my plastic glue bottle with the glue/water solution , I don't use soap because it will foam up a bit when I shake the bottle .

There , you have several choices and methods ....pick your favourite !
To err is human, to blame it on somebody else shows management potential.
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#11
KevinKrey Wrote:.....I spend so much time getting the ballast off of the ties and the glue wants to bring it right back.

The wet water should keep the ballast in place, but you need to spray enough of it to penetrate right through the ballast and down to the base. The purpose of the wetting agent is to draw the glue mixture into the ballast and insufficient wetting will result in the glue forming only a hardened crust on top, with still-loose ballast underneath. Don't be afraid to get the area wet - it will look like a big mess, and may take a few days to dry, but will result in a solid ballasting job which will appear loose.
I wonder, too, if you're leaving too much ballast in place: it should (in most cases) be no higher than the tops of the ties. I use a soft 1/2" brush to do the levelling, dragging it at a very low angle - don't use a brushing motion, as it will throw ballast all over the place. Wallbang Misngth Once the ballast level looks about right, you can remove stray ballast from the tie tops by lightly grasping the metal ferrule of the brush between the thumb and forefingers of one hand, laying the handle across the rail tops, then, as you move the brush along the tracks, lightly and rapidly tapping the brush handle with the fingers of your free hand. The stray ballast will "magically" bounce off the ties and into place between them.

There's some more info on ballasting HERE

Wayne
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