Securing Coal

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by JR&Son, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. JR&Son

    JR&Son Member

    What can be used to keep the loose coal in the cars?
    I set up an open gondola load with Elmers glue, thinned 300 percent with H2O
    Not entirely pleased with the results.
    Now I need to fill the Coal cars.
    Remember I have the 5 year old who can not leave anything alone.
    Coal needs to stay put!

  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    First, you probably don't want to fill the entire car, so make a floor out of foam or styrene. Build up the load on top of thefloor the way you want it, then do the glue and water trick, but thin it 50:50... 300% is a bit thin. Then once you've got it soaked with the glue and water, sprinkle more coal over the top of the load.

    I'm guessing you weren't happy with the last result because it looked like a solid gluey mass? By sprinkling the coal on top of the already glued stuff, it will only get glue on the bottom, and still look coal-like on top.
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Just checking, but the first time you did it, did you wet the coal down with "wet" water, or rubbing alcohol or something first?
  4. JR&Son

    JR&Son Member

    The open gondo got a load of copper shot
    I did not wet them down prior to gluing.
    And yes the white haze is everywhere.

  5. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    you ned to use rubing alchohol or 'WET' water to break the surface tension of the water glue mix.if not it will all float on top and youll get the white haze.if its till too shiny you can spray it with dull coat or some similar product.
  6. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    I showed my father the wet water followed by 50:50 glue/water mix after I'd had good success with it for ballast. He later used the same process for securing a coal load in one of his brass locomotives he was repainting. It worked very satisfactorily there as well - the coal is secure and shiny (though I don't know if it is secure enough for a five year old!).

    - Build your load
    - Saturate the load with water mixed with a couple drops of dishwashing liquid
    - Apply the 50:50 mix while the load is still wet. The previous wetting will draw the glue mixture into the load.

    Good luck!

  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If you really want to glue the coal in place, the solutions already offered will do the trick.:thumb: However, in my opinion, the best way to keep coal in the tender, or in a hopper or gondola, is good trackwork and careful operation. The problem is not the loose coal: the problem is that kids like to touch stuff, as it's part of their learning process. It didn't take long, after first letting him thoroughly check it out, to teach my two year old grandson that some things are not to be touched, at least without my say-so. (And no children were harmed, either physically or emotionally, by this learning experience.):D :D He is now, at 4 1/2, an able operator of trains (not "operations" though) and is respectful of everything on the layout, an excellent pay-back for taking the time to teach this simple lesson.

    Loose coal in a loco tender, with no spills, and no longer any finger imprints. :rolleyes:

  8. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    For creating a coal load in a tender I've used full strength white glue covering the original load and sprinkling the woodland scenic coal on top. The same can be done with a hopper, just create a false floor and pour the glue on top and add coal. The glue usually dries overnight so don't touch it til' the morning.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One other "glue" that can be used is flat black craft paint. Slop some on your tender's molded coal, or over a styrofoam insert (for a gon or hopper) and sprinkle the coal on. One layer will stick weel, and subsequent layers (if desired) can be glued in place as above.



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