Idea for Ballasting

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Hoss, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    I posted this on Trainboard so I figured I'd try it here too.

    I recently saw a thread where someone developed a handy ballast application tool made from a film canister and some other stuff. I had a thought about a similar idea and wondered if anyone had tried it.

    Most of us, at some point, use Elmer's wood glue on our layout. Unlike the white glue, the wood glue bottles have a slot opening on the ends. If the bottle were cleaned out well when empty, I wonder if it could be filled with the ballast of your choice and used to apply ballast to delicate areas like turnouts and such. Anyone ever tried it??
  2. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    24 hours and no response. I guess this means no one has tried it.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Can't help, Hoss. My glue bottle is still half full of glue.
  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Me neither, Hoss, my wood glue is in a gallon bottle :D :D :D I dabble in wood working too, so little bottles are not economical. I use one of my wife's good, large, stainless serving spoons to apply ballest, and it offers pretty good control.
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I think the key point here is having to clean out a glue bottle when "empty". I have yet to empty a glue bottle. At least 10% of the contents stick to the sides and dry out or get very thick. Cleaning one out is a chore I wouldn't want to tackle. Secondly, is the opening large enough to allow ballast to come through without jamming up?

    I bought a ballast distributing tool from Micro-Mart and found it so difficut to use and get an even distribution, I just used the tried and true method of pouring the ballast from a small cup and leveling it out with a brush before appying a glue solution to hold it down.

    If you're still intent on using a bottle, try using a shampoo bottle. They are one heck of a lot easier to clean out. :D :D

  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

  7. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    I wasn't really INTENT on using a glue bottle....I just wondered if it would work and if anyone else had tried it. I thought, if flushed out with lots of water, that it might be good for the fine ballast us N scale folks use. Could be wrong though.
  8. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hoss, there are 2 ways to get the ballast to stick where you want it (and not where you don't). One is to be very careful about where you put the ballast and the other is to be very careful where you put your glue.

    I've tried both and I like the second method better, because no matter how carefully you put the ballast, some always seems to stray.

    I use the traditional mix of white glue, water and detergent for my glue. Then what I do is apply it using an eyedropper. The glue pools between the ties and stays there. It doesn't creep up onto the ties or the rails, because there is still some surface tension. Then you can just sprinkle the ballast on a pinch at a time with one hand from the handful in your other hand.

    I posted this technique under "Painless Ballast" . It's so easy the first time I tried it I was hooked. And it's so precice you can ballast turnouts with ease.

  9. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Even the ral railroad gets stray Ballast.Just add a bit more fine turf where your ballast went astray to simulate growth between the thinner stray ballast area's.Add a couple of scrub bushes while your at it.
    I havent ballasted in a while but last few times i did,I used charlies method.I also have an adapter for my vaacum for precision pickup.orks great around turnouts etc.
  10. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Todd, I'm talking more about the ballast that gets stuck to the inside of the rails. I hate picking that stuff out, and if the rails have already been painted they tend to get scratched in the process and then it's more touch-up. I'd rather do it right the first time and be done then get into all that picky work after the fact. But, to each his own. :D :D :D :D :D


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