One more question about ballast

Well, maybe it'll only be one more! I think I have found a method of ballasting that works for me and I do appreciate the help and advice
of all of you here.
My question now, however, is: why does it have to be glued down? It seems to just lay there fine and doesn't seem to move or go anywhere. Will it cause me trouble down the road if it's not glued down? Just wondering.
Wayne
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If not glued, the ballast would be extremely easy to distrub. If you have something derail, you'd have to be extremely careful to not disturb the ballast when rerailing the car.
Also, glueing the ballast will help secure the track. Track not secured tends to move, and it doesn't take much movement for bad things to happen.
Puckdropper
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Wayne,
Try using real stone ballast like we provide as it's more stable for the wet and glue application.
Phil Anderson

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Yes, cats will think it's kitty litter and scratch the cork roadbed all to hell. ( sarcasm off )
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

You just THINK your kidding!!!
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We don't have any cats so that's not a problem here. I was just wondering. I laid some down last night and ran the trains around for a while and it seems fine so thought I would ask. I can see that I will have to glue it to the sides of the cork roadbed at least. Anyway, thanks again for the help.
Wayne
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What a lot of modelers do is only lightly fasten the track down and use the glued ballast to actually secure the track. In this case, gluing the ballast is not so much to secure the ballast itself, but to secure the *track*.

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We usually remove most of the nails a week or so after ballesting. Of course I'm talking about the area we must use nail and not spikes.
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Depending on the ballast, even a sneeze can set clouds of loose ballast flying. Just stick it down - you will not regret it. The method everyone seems to use is a light spray of alcohol, followed by a diluted white glue mixture. *
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PV wrote:

Why apply the alcohol separately? Why not add it as part of the water/white glue mixture? Seems like it should work, though I have not tried it myself.
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wrote:

Different people do different things. Some people use a drop of dish soap & water *instead* of alcohol. Some people just include a drop of dish soap (or some alcohol) with the 50/50 water+white glue mixture.
The point of the alcohol OR drop of dish soap is to reduce the surface tension of the water. This allows the water+white glue mixture to soak in (and not bead up) and prevents the ballast from floating. Applying (usually with a misting spray bottle) the alcohol OR water+drop of dish soap separatly is an additional pass done before the 50/50 water+white glue mixture is applied. This takes additional time. It does work, if you are real careful, to skip this separate step if you include either alcohol OR a drop of dish soap in the 50/50 water+white glue mixture. Mainly you need to apply the 50/50 water+white glue mixture more slowly. It is mostly a case of 6 of one or 1/2 dozzen of the other... :-)

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Robert Heller wrote:

I'm aware of the purpose of alcohol (or liquid soap) to break the surface tension. I was just wondering way go through the two passes rather than a single pass, which would be more timesaving.
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wrote:

If you opt for the 2-pass method, eg a with a 'pre-treatment' pass, the second (glue) pass can go quicker (since the ballast will be 'wetter'), if you opt for a 'single-pass' method, you will have to go more slowly (since you are wetting the ballast on-the-fly). Whether the overall time for 2 'quick' passes is longer or shorter than 1 'slow' pass probably depends on the specifics of your layout and your patience. You do have a limited time frame between passes, esp. if you use alcohol rather then liquid soap, so it *might* make better sense to opt for the slower one-pass if your layout is really large.

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l.net> wrote:

Just do it how ver you want, just don't ask for advice Mr Thomas
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Hi,
Rick Jones wrote:

For most, model railroad is a hobby, so saving time only counts on a "timesaver" layout ;-)
Actually I was thinking about spending more time - shouldn't it be possible to build a "MOW ballasting train" - which needs to include a hopper to dump the ballast on the layout (probably in conjunction with) a ballast spreader (*) and a tank car or two to wet the ballast and apply the glue. They may require hand-pushing (you don't want your favorite loco to get damaged by flying ballast and glue ;-)
Sure, building the train will cost time, but then you can enjoy the semi-automated ballasting and after you have a really special train to do "MOW" on your layout ;-) Build a vacuumer and a track cleaner car to complete the train later ;-)
(*) At some place I've read that some MOW crews use old hoppers to place ballast on the tracks, they started by pushing an old tie in front of the following wheels and added a "plow" to spread the ballast later...
Have fun ;-)
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You could scratch-build a dedicated MOW loco. Something old and 'crummy', full of dents and scratches, with peeling paint, broken hand rails, rusted steps, broken windows, missing side doors, etc. :-) You can even add a smoke unit that belches thick black smoke (eg engine long overdue for a rebuild).

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I dunno, but that's what we do. *
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