Hello with a question about ballast

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by johnny g, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. johnny g

    johnny g New Member

    Hi Everybody,:wave:

    Sorry to Cross post but I want to say hello as well as ask a question.
    I've been reading this board for some time but just registered. Anyways
    I think this is a great place. I'm new to this hobby and am really enjoying it. I've already made one of the first mistakes, much to big a layout!!!:oops:

    My questions is what would happen if you DID NOT glue the ballast
    down. I've glued the track down and I don't think it will move. What is the reason to glue the ballast if not to help keep the track from moving?
    What happens to the ballast if not glued--does it move out of place,get between the wheels?:confused:

    Sorry if this seems like a dumb question, but I've yet to see it asked/answered.
    And to answer the question why would I want to do this-- so I can save time and finally run some trains on my layout.
    The layout is a dogbone, around and through the walls on three sides, with a small yard in the center. Overhead view would look like an E shape. I got a digital camera for xmas so I hope to be able to post some pics as soon as I figure out how to use the camera.:)
    My goal is to have trains running by the time of the HUGE January train show at the Big E in Westfield Mass.:thumb:

    Thanks All
    johnny g
  2. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Welcome to posting at the Gauge Johnny
    Well if you are standing next to your layout and an uncontrolable sneeze came along, where do you think your ballast may end up?
  3. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    LOL Robin!!! Good answer. :thumb: Fred
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You don't need ballast to run trains. You probably should run for a while before you put it down. (I usually run for 10 years.)
    Most of us glue scenery items down to keep them in place. Any major bump on the benchwork will start things shifting. Also, they stay in place when you vacuum up the dust.
    It's really important if your layout is portable.
  5. dhutch

    dhutch Member

    yeah, after i've spent hours geting the balest "just right" the last thing i want it it all moving out of place!!

    - and my layout hinges up out of the way, so it would all fall off, even if i didnt hoover it!!
  6. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Indeed, the glue is there to keep the BALLAST from moving. It does also help keep track in place.

    And if a sneeze is one thing, imagine the chaos that would ensue when a model railroad with unglued ballast is turned on its side to be taken to a train show!
  7. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Welcome to the Gauge Johnny. I've heard that some people don't glue their ballast down, ever! Obviously they don't move or vaccuum their layouts either.
    Gluing ballast is very time-consuming, that's for sure, and if there's a way around it, I'd sure like to hear about it!!!

  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Ballast helps keep the track in place, and looks better. After spreading it out very carefully, I don't like to have to re-spread it..therefore...glue. Some people run "live loads" in their hoppers, why not "live ballast"?

    ( I run "live loads" of coal in some of my steamers.......I've spilled a lot of coal, removing the loco from the tracks)
  9. jcami

    jcami New Member

    Hi all,

    I use a "Woodland Scenic" product called Scenic Cement - item No. S191. This is sprayed in a mist some 2 or 3 times over the carefully prepared ballast. Before dry, all you have to do is to wipe the surface of the track with a cloth. If any of the cement remains, it could be removed with an abrasive rubber - for example a ROCO rubber item No. 10002

  10. dhutch

    dhutch Member

    yeah, there are various methods to sticking it down,

    - i first bruch into place, dry.

    - then i mix up a bit of a 50:50 PVA and water mix (with the drop of fairy, to reduce surface tention)

    - and then i get 30ml syringe full and gentaly driple it on.

    other methods include to the same, but using a mini garden sprayer, not much use if your balesting after your dont the green around, but usallay quite good in a shunting yeard i'd imagen. Or else ive seen some people put down neat PVA, then lay the track , then applie the ballest, before it drys! (and then they used the same technique as i do around points etc, where you dont want to make a mess)

  11. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    For me? Getting the ballast "just right" is the hard bit. And not for nothing am I gunna have it shift after that bit!! Glueing it down is the easy bit!! Just spray it with water, and get a glue bottle (with a nozzle) fill with 50/50 mix of white wood glue and water, and drizzle it on (use the nozzle cap to get "drips"). Let dry over night, and then sand/wipe/scrape the glue off the rail tops. You don't have to do it all at once. :thumb: The glue dries clear, and you wouldn't even know it's there. Don't worry about the white and water flood look when you are putting it on. It'll dry up. :)

    Oh, and if you are wondering about NOT glueing it? Just hammer a nail into the woodwork of your layout, and you'll soon change your mind!! :p :wave:

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