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Finishing turnouts

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  • Member since
    February 2017
  • From: Harrisburg, PA
  • 86 posts
Finishing turnouts
Posted by hbgatsf on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7:02 AM

When painting and then ballasting turnuots how do you keep from impacting their performance?  What are the tricks to keep them working smoothly and not locking them up? 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7:27 AM

Just by being careful, and precise in ballast placement.  The little places where the point rail swings, are also electrical contacts. I put a tiny drop of CRC 2-26 on the pivot points.

I've noticed even the prototypes switches aren't pack full of ballast.  They almost seem "empty" compared to the rest.

Make sure the point rail malkes perfect contact with the through (?) rail.

Constantly check the operation while before and after the install.

Keep the frog free of any tiny bits of balast.

Just be careful!  No secret.

Mike.

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 8:09 AM

When I install a turnout I remove the roadbed underneath the throwbar area.

Then I install the turnout, do all the painting, and verify trouble-free operation before installing any ballast.

I apply all ballast with the points not contacting either one of the stock rails.

When ballast is installed, I make sure it does not contact the throwbar.

The throwbar is underneath the rear tender truck in this picture. For good photographs I can easily add a little ballast into the void for the image, then vacuum it up when I am done.

-Kevin

 

 

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    February 2017
  • From: Harrisburg, PA
  • 86 posts
Posted by hbgatsf on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:26 AM

mbinsewi

Just by being careful, and precise in ballast placement.  The little places where the point rail swings, are also electrical contacts. I put a tiny drop of CRC 2-26 on the pivot points.

I've noticed even the prototypes switches aren't pack full of ballast.  They almost seem "empty" compared to the rest.

Make sure the point rail malkes perfect contact with the through (?) rail.

Constantly check the operation while before and after the install.

Keep the frog free of any tiny bits of balast.

Just be careful!  No secret.

Mike.

 

Thanks.  What about applying glue to the ballast?  Since my turnouts are already installed I can't cut out the roadbed under the throwbar.  How do you keep it from getting glued in place? 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:46 AM

Like what Kevin shows, make sure you don't apply ballast and glue on the throw bar, and apply very sparingly to the areas close to the throw bar, and as it all set up, work the throw bar to make sure it is NOT glued down.

Mike.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:47 AM

I use matt medium for ballast except for working areas of turnouts. Here I use full strength white glue and a small brush and sparingly paint  the spaces next to the sleeper ties, lay ballast in, not groomed and apply slight presure and let dry, valcume and do the rest of the ballasting, dose well to stop any creep of the matt medium if done right.

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  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
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Posted by selector on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 2:16 PM

I use masking tape over the throwbar, and then I pour the ballast and groom it with a small artist's brush.  I take pains near the frog, particularly between the frog and its adjacent guards...VERY important.  

Then, I use diluted wood yellow glue, as I do for all types of adhesion on the layout, including scenery, and dribble it onto the ballast.

Later, if you have to remove the turnout, wet the ballast, wait-two-three, and then lift it out of its space.  Simple.

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  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 3:36 PM

I use a fine paintbrush to paint white glue between the ties and use my fingers to sprinkle the ballast over the T/O. Sometimes, not always I may use an eyedropper to add some diluted glue if needed. Once dry, I vacuum the loose stuff up.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 4:14 PM

This is a common problem when ballasting as we depend on the capillary action of the glue to thoroughly glue the ballast down to the roadbed. Unfortunately capillary action makes it possible to glue the throwbar in place even though the glue was not applied directly to the area.

 

In addition to the other advice offered:

 

Option one: Before installation, paint the roadbed the same color as the ballast and use no ballast on the area right around the throwbar.

 

Option two: use glue sparingly in the throwbar area and use a hair dryer to dry the glue around the throwbar quickly while constantly moving the bar to keep it free until the glue dries.

 

If the bar gets frozen from the glue, apply water to the bar and let it soak in until the bar is free (this may take a few minutes and a couple of applications of water). Move it back and forth and use a knife or pallete knife to remove glue residue from the bar area. After it dries it may freeze again so it may take several applications of water and gunk removal to free the bar permanently.

 

 

 

Guy

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by cowman on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 5:32 PM

Since you hae already installed your turnouts, this won't work so well, but if you have more to do it might  help.  Find a textrued paint close to the color of your ballast.  Paint your roadbed before installing or at least before laying the turnout.  If your ballast is a little thin, it is not as obvious with the base a similar color.

With a fine brush I suppose you could paint the edges and between the ties, if you were so inclined.

Good luck,

Richard  

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 11:17 PM

Here's an excerpt from my longer "procedure for ballasting"...

If you're also ballasting turnouts, make sure to keep the level of the ballast below the tops of the ties, and don't place any ballast between the ties surrounding the throw bar. To avoid gluing the points to the ties, place two drops of plastic-compatible oil atop each tie over which the point rails move, one next to each point rail, then flip the points back-and-forth several times to spread the oil. Parking the points in mid-throw will also help to ensure that they don't get glued to the stock rails, either.  If necessary, use strip styrene to keep them in place.

Wayne

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 6:35 AM

My only real attempt at a contribution here: I have used corn oil to prevent 'sticking' or as a kind of release agent when gluing, particularly with silicones or adhesive caulk.  This might be something to apply to the throwbar and ties before the 'finish' ballasting operations.  In my (limited) experience this doesn't affect plastics or cause corrosion, but it might get sticky with age and need a little 'emulsification' and blotting.

Other more stable 'vegetable-type' oils might be used, now that so many are sold for specialty cooking.

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Posted by hbgatsf on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 6:43 AM

doctorwayne

Here's an excerpt from my longer "procedure for ballasting"...

Thank you.  A search turned up your entire proceedure as well as numerous other threads on the topic.  I now have plenty of intructional material.

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