Free ballast...

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by ezdays, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Don: I have the same situation that you do. I bought a 60 pound bag of play sand to use as beach area on a stream. After drying it and making my beach, I still have 59 1/2 pounds of sand. The play sand works well for a beach because of the different size particles.
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I didn't use play sand because it was too light and the grains were too consistent and fine. Once you glue down the stuff I got, it gets even darker.

    Do what I do, when someone comes over to visit, I simply dump a bit of sand it the back seat of their car and they think their kids tracked it in from playing in the sand.:eek: I should get rid if it all sometime around August 2011.:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  3. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Don: I suppose theres no national standard for play sand. Just whatever looks good to the company selling it. I happened to get some that had mini river rock in it which was just right for my purposes. I know that here in Montana, anything smaller than one inch diameter is considered road sand and my windshields all show the effects. Kinda off topic but I guess you folks get the idea.
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    So that's where all that sand came from in my backseat! I wondered what took you so long when you excused yourself to get a glass of water!

    COMBAT Member

    If you really want to give some away I will take some. If your kidding then forgive me :oops::oops:

  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Ooopppps, I thought that was someone visiting my neighbor.:oops::oops:
    Nope, not kidding. I don't have a need for any masonry around the house and I doubt that I'll find a place for 90# of ballast. When I sift it down to N scale, I get about a 50% yield. You could probably use the heavier stuff that I sift out. I'll bring you a bag the next time we get together and let you do the sifting.:mrgreen::mrgreen:

    COMBAT Member

    Thanks..... I appreciate it. :)
  8. Damn Hook

    Damn Hook New Member

    I wasn't sure if I would find something like this, but I did.. A friend of mine gave me about 450lbs (6 big bags) of what he said to be concrete coloring. I used it in the bed of our Dakota in the winter. Having 2wd isn't very fun without weight back there lol.. Well, the bags started falling apart and I was just going to dump them in the dumpster at my sisters apartments. Since 4-5 were pouring out I happened to see what was in them. Thinking of a layout I'm planing one of these days. I just went to cutting them open to see what was in all of them.

    The VERY cool thing was it was all different colors in each bag! A few black, red, white, gray'ish red. Plus, 2 bags were small black rocks and 1 other had the same kind of rocks in white. I'm not sure if the small rocks would be too big for a HO layout or not. So I wanted to post a few pictures and see what all of you thought. If so, I could always take a hammer to them lol... Also, I'm going to head over to Lowe's and see what they have.

    Let me know what you all think of these. And how you think they would work on a HO layout. If these pictures don't show the size well enough, I can just get some more.

    P.S. The black rocks for some reason look a little gray in the pictures, but it's just as black as the fine sand type stuff.

    Thanks, Joah

    COMBAT Member

    Interesting idea.... I might have to look at this... Is this stuff cheap?
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Dunno, concrete coloring is a really fine powder, finer than the cement itself. This appears to be colored rocks maybe used as accent colors to be mixed with other gravel in the cement.:confused: :confused:
  11. Damn Hook

    Damn Hook New Member

    COMBAT: I have no idea how much this stuff costs. I went to Lowe's earlier and I couldn't seem to find what I have. I'll goto Menard's this weekend. And if I have to open bags I will.. lol... I don't see it costing anymore then the 50-75lbs bags of cement though. Those were $4-8 or so at Lowe's.

    ezdays: The coloring stuff is a lot like sand. The rocks I think would work pretty good for certain things. I don't have a layout yet to test with. But hopefully when we move in the new house the 2nd week of July, I'll get a better idea of where I'll have room for one, and how big. :) I took 2 more pictures. One showing all the bags I have, and the other with the black & white rocks on and next to a penny to give you guys a better idea on there size.


    Any input on how these sizes would work, would be great! Thanks, Joah

    If anyone lives in the Indianapolis area, you can have some to test out, and of course use. :cool:
  12. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    I dont know but that doesnt look like concrete color to me. EZ is right, thats normally a powder mixed in, not rock like this is.... Hmmmmm now you got me guessing. LOL
  13. Damn Hook

    Damn Hook New Member

    Lol.. I'll figure out what this stuff is somehow. I don't have enough for even a smaller 4x8 size layout if it works the way I hope lol.. Or maybe someone here that hasn't seen this yet knows.
  14. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I'm wondering if this isn't some rock for the bottom of fish tanks,:confused: or possibly for decorative potted plants.:confused: Nothing that would be used in the construction field that I'm aware of.
  15. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    I thought about that, but isnt that stuff shiny??
  16. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Not necessarily. My wife had some of that white crushed stone that she put around some plants. You can get all colors of stone for fish tanks ranging from fine crushed like this stuff to polished stones about the size of kidney beans.
  17. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    Id guess you were looking at coloured tile grout. More sand like and makes a good ballast. Just spry with water, and sets up hard as rock (good or bad)
  18. diburning

    diburning Member

    taking sand from Hawaii is illegal. Also, if you are superstitious, the sand is sacred and whoever takes it will die.
  19. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    My_ My aren't you cheerful !!

    Something you might try to color sand with might be powdered Tempra paint . I have mixed it (dry) with plaster & then dusted it on scenery for color, a spritz with a water mix will fix it to the layout. Might work with sand too.
  20. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yeah, the same thing is true about taking petrified wood from the Petrified Forest here in Arizona, only they just say it will bring you bad luck if you take any. They say they get mail everyday with chunks of wood that people have picked up and want to return it. Did they really have bad luck or did their conscience get the better of them?:twisted::twisted: Taking cactus, even if you own the land, is illegal in Arizona without a permit, and picking wildflowers along the roads or in the desert is also illegal. These two things may not bring you bad luck, well, unless you get caught that is:eek:....

    Now remember, I started this thread by saying "almost free" and talked about getting some masonary sand and sifting it. But if you chose to scoop up some desert sand somewhere here, well that's not a problem, just more work.

Share This Page