Ballasting time - Part 1

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Gardenbahner

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Paul M

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OK, now I have my track laid, and it appears to be accepted by my engines. As I have included parts that are floating on the brickwork, is there any ideas on how to ballast it all without compromising the flexibility of the track and without it all immediately disappearing? Would soaking it in diluted PVA work, or am I worrying too much?
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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OK, now I have my track laid, and it appears to be accepted by my engines. As I have included parts that are floating on the brickwork, is there any ideas on how to ballast it all without compromising the flexibility of the track and without it all immediately disappearing? Would soaking it in diluted PVA work, or am I worrying too much?
50/50 Water External PVA and a little washing up liquid will hold it all in fine, Pidgeons tend to nick the stuff for their Crop and of course any livestock will dislodge it when loose also rain. But do the glue at the beginning of a warm day otherwise it is likely to not dry properly and also give a good saoking with a small spray with another drop or two of Washing Up Liquid to help the glue get in place prior to applying the glue. I use a Pint or thereabouts old Glue Container to apply the glue. Keep well clear of moving things by careful application in these area’s, also some Oil will stop humming up moving parts.

Will all be pretty solid when dry but do not worry about that as Floating Trackmin our Scale is an unnecessary pain. To do any changes a few gentle taps with a hammer will loosen things up nicely.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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My ballast is loose, on the bare earth a tench was dug, lined with weed suppressant, sharp sand, ballast, track, then topped up the ballast. I did start by screwing the track (loosely) to post driven in to provide a datum height, but I am now clamping my track and allowing it to float on the ballast. Current work has meant topping up the ballast. Soon I hope to start ballasting the track laid on blocks.
 
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Paul M

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Thanks for the tips, gents. I'll have a little experiment to see whathe happens
 
Rob

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I use Grano dust, mixed 1-1 with cement.

Spread it on dry, give it a soaking with the mist setting on the garden hose and leave to dry.

It’s hard enough to stay in place, but crumbly enough to remove from the trackwork if necessary.
 
FurkaSOCal

FurkaSOCal

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I’ve been ballasting using chicken grit for a while. You have to be careful as some grits use oyster shells which are a bit white for me. I’ve used bags from farm supply stores, but this is from Amazon. It comes in the bags shown and they deliver it (free with Prime), so it’s convenient. I flood it with diluted adhesive. I’ve used external wood glue which has worked well, but now use this concrete adhesive.
Some of the photos show recently ballasted track, but the older ones have been down over a year and survived summer irrigation sprinklers, storms, changes in temperature, humidity and Hurricane Michael last year!
Strangely, some lasts for years, and other bits wash out quite fast. Doesn’t appear to be any obvious reasons for the difference.

View media item 3744View media item 3742View media item 3740View media item 3738View media item 3739View media item 3743
What ratio of water to the quickcrete adhesive do you use?
 
Martino

Martino

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What ratio of water to the quickcrete adhesive do you use?
I started off at a 3 water to 1 adhesive. That worked in some places but not in others. I changed to 2 water/1 Adhesive, which was pretty consistantly good, but recently I’ve gone 50/50 and that appears to be perfect! As a test i also used a brushed layer neat onto a concrete block, stuck the track on that and then sprinkled ballast. That has been outside in all weathers and a hurricane and has remained firm. To be honest, you’d need to experiment with what works with your humidity, temperature and rainfall. It’s not an exact science!
 
FurkaSOCal

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I started off at a 3 water to 1 adhesive. That worked in some places but not in others. I changed to 2 water/1 Adhesive, which was pretty consistantly good, but recently I’ve gone 50/50 and that appears to be perfect! As a test i also used a brushed layer neat onto a concrete block, stuck the track on that and then sprinkled ballast. That has been outside in all weathers and a hurricane and has remained firm. To be honest, you’d need to experiment with what works with your humidity, temperature and rainfall. It’s not an exact science!
great thank you! What do you use to apply it? Do you just paint it on or do you put it in a spray bottle or something?
 
Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
great thank you! What do you use to apply it? Do you just paint it on or do you put it in a spray bottle or something?
I have some contact lens solution bottles which I open up the dispensing hole. They’re sort of squeeze bottles, so i can gently flood the ballast in a relatively controlled manner. It does need to be flooded so that all the ballast sticks to itself. Seems to work. BTW, I don’t have powered track, so not too worried about getting the grunge on the track. I do wipe it of the rail head with a damp cloth though.

I have to confess to finding ballasting quite relaxing and therapeutic- but then I am a strange, odd person!
 
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