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Formula for White Glue And Water To Glue Ballast

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Formula for White Glue And Water To Glue Ballast
Posted by caldreamer on Saturday, September 18, 2021 8:02 AM

I have not done this for a long time and forget the formula.  What is the percentage of white glue to water to glue down ballast.  I know that you add 2 drops of detergent to mix.

          Thanks In Advance

             Caldreamer

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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, September 18, 2021 9:37 AM

I use a 4:1 ratio of water to glue. That works just fine. Be sure to spray or dribble 70% isopropyl alcohol on the ballast first for better absorption of the glue mix.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, September 18, 2021 9:48 AM

I did some experiments, and found 6:1 worked.  Much more thinning, and it wouldn't make a strong bond.  This was for Arizona Rock Ballast.  Different ballast might need different ratios.

It's VERY easy to do yourself:  you make some little piles of ballast on a test space.  You apply different ratios of the mix.  You let them thoroughly dry.  You poke at them with your finger or a stick.  You make a decision.

 

 

Ed

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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, September 18, 2021 9:52 AM

7j43k

I did some experiments, and found 6:1 worked.  Much more thinning, and it wouldn't make a strong bond.  

Ed, that is good to know. I have not tried anything more diluted than 4:1, but if as much as 6:1 works, that is a money saver especially if you use matte medium as I do. I use Scenic Express real rock ballast.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, September 18, 2021 10:53 AM

What got me started on the experiment was remembering a layout where the ballast looked like it was coated with the glue.  Looked BAD.

Once the ratio is chosen, I do urge folks to do a test, first.

I expect the same ratio I used on the Arizona would work on any real rock ballast.  I was thinking more of the Woodland Scenic stuff, which MIGHT absorb something, which MIGHT influence the ratio.

 

Ed

 

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, September 18, 2021 11:30 AM

I use Woodland Scenics ballast.  I use a 3-1 ratio of water to glue.  I apply a lot of isopropyl alcohol from a pipette.  I don't add dish detergent.  I use a small Elmer's Glue bottle to both mix and apply the dilute glue.

The pipette application of alcohol and Elmer's bottle application of glue gives neat controlled application of both.  Spraying either just makes a mess that has to be cleaned up.

I have been using 90% alcohol just because that's what was available.  I do find that this alcohol plus glue dries faster than glue-detergent mix, probably because the alcohol evaporates so quickly.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, September 18, 2021 12:27 PM

I've found in other contexts that it can matter what the brand of glue is.

I advise using 'Ed's Method' for a given brand of glue to determine what works best -- then perhaps posting here to see what ratios are most economical or best in appearance for specific types.

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, September 18, 2021 1:15 PM

Overmod

I've found in other contexts that it can matter what the brand of glue is.

 

 

In my case, it was Liquitex Ultra Matte Medium.

I did not add detergent or alcohol to my mix.  Maybe I should have, but I didn't.  I put the drops down next to the wetted ballast, and it scooted right in.

 

For wetting the ballast, I misted it with nominal 99% alcohol.  I thought, perhaps incorrectly, that the less water the better.  Plus, it's what I had.

I used a fine mist sprayer for the alcohol, similar to these:

https://www.amazon.com/Amber-Glass-Bottles-Essential-Bottle/dp/B08252DJHN/ref=sr_1_24?dchild=1&keywords=fine+mist+spray&qid=1631988780&sr=8-24

 

 

 

Ed

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, September 18, 2021 11:40 PM

I don't recall for sure, but I think that I used three parts water to one part of white glue.  I don't add dish detergent, though, but do thoroughly pre-wet the area to be treated using a sprayer capable of spraying a fine mist.  I use plain tap water for that, with a few drops of dish detergent added, and thoroughly wet the areas that will be receiving the glue, until the "wet" water permeates the entire depth of the scenic material, which is often quite deep...

For my first scenery work, I used matte medium, diluted slightly, simply because I had it on hand from an unrelated project.
Due to the cost, I switched to using white glue, which is considerably cheaper, but works just as well.
It's also a better choice if one day you decide to redo parts of your layout, as a thorough spray with wet water will soften the areas where scenery needs to be removed.
Here's an example:

This turnout, at left, needed to be moved in order to accommodate a new trackside structure...

I unsoldered the turnouts which needed to be moved, then sprayed the entire area with "wet" water, which allowed the track to be lifted from the ballast and surrounding ground cover...

...then scraped-up the left-over mess...

...then re-aligned the existing track, and re-installed the turnout, along with some new flextrack, then re-ballasted most of it...

This particular town is the third one that's getting close to being "done"...

Wayne

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