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HO Scale Coal

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HO Scale Coal
Posted by Namerifrats on Thursday, January 10, 2008 5:55 PM
Anybody here know of anywhere online where a large quantity of HO Scale Coal can be bought for a reasonable price? Looked around earlier and just seen the same things most hobby shops have for roughly the same price + shipping. I'm looking for enough to fill about 50 coal hoppers.
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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Thursday, January 10, 2008 6:19 PM
Is there any reason why you couldn't make your own and save buying it already at HO size?
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Posted by locoi1sa on Thursday, January 10, 2008 6:23 PM

  Make your own. Small bag of coal from woodland scenics and some sheet styrene and some glue. Maybe about 1/4th the price of ready made. I filled some tenders with real coal crushed with a hammer in a canvas bag. You cant get more realistic than that.

   Pete
 

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Posted by Namerifrats on Thursday, January 10, 2008 7:47 PM
Well, I don't wanna make removeable loads using the Styrene method. I was the cars to be fairly heavy and realistic. I'm thinking of doing what I saw elsewhere online. Line the inside of the cars with wax paper to prevent actually sticking the coal to the plastic it's self. And then pour in a loose load and use a glue mixture similar to laying ballast to secure my loads. I found some on ebay just now thats 10 lbs of coal. I may end up buying that, should be enough. I see that the seller "Teachnshopgirl24" has sold quite a bit of it in the past. Anybody bought any of it before, experiences?
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Posted by 3155944 on Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:07 PM
I used some fine chicken grit from the feed store a 40lb bag for about  $5
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Posted by ndbprr on Friday, January 11, 2008 11:25 AM

Buy a bag of real coal and beat it with a hammer was done back in the 40's.  A really good substitute and is under $5.00 for a 50 pound bag is a grit blast media called Black Beauty.  It is an aluminum oxide material (read does not conduct electricity) used for sand blasting and is very common at sand blast supply houses.  My one bag has been sprinkled on my driveway after yearly tarring twice and  filled over fifty hoppers.  I still have ten pounds left.

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Posted by MIKE0659 on Friday, January 11, 2008 8:16 PM

Try Smith and Son Ballast, you'll find they have an ad in Model Railroader. Scenic Express sells some of their stuff, but only some and they charge a little more. You can deal directly with Smith and Son Ballast and get it in quantity. They sell it in small bags or inbilk by the pound. You can also get small bags of the various grades/sizes to see what it looks like in person for a small charge per bag.

We use their unit train coal for the live loads we run and their ballast and cinders too.

They're really great folks to deal with and like their ballast, it is real coal that they crush. I think they have a little rock crushing rig in their garage.

This is their address: Smith and Sons Ballast 13630 Gar Highway Chardon, OH  44024

Roanoke & Western Railway Company
aav
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Posted by aav on Friday, January 11, 2008 8:26 PM
          Namerifrats,      i don't know how long of coal drags your going to have, but i'm wondering if it is possible to make the cars too heavy.
aav
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Posted by DavidBriel on Saturday, January 12, 2008 1:01 AM
 I would like to know how many packages of Life-Like or Woodland Scenics coal is required for the Walthers O. L. King and Sons Coal Yard. Do you have this coal yard on your HO layout as a destination for your hoppers.
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Posted by Wikious on Saturday, January 12, 2008 1:17 AM
What you could do is the already mentioned styrene sheet topped with coal powder/bits but add a weight to the car to make it heavier. This way you can get the weight you want and the coal you have will go that much further.

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Posted by wedudler on Saturday, January 12, 2008 4:29 AM

In earlier times I crashed real anthracite. Now I use Walthers coal:

Wolfgang 

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Posted by Lillen on Saturday, January 12, 2008 5:23 AM

I bought ten packs of life like coal when it was on sale. That way i can fill my hoppers cheap.

 

Magnus

Unless otherwise mentioned it's HO and about the 50's. Magnus
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Posted by smart on Monday, February 11, 2008 12:12 PM
use crushed charcoal
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Posted by Lillen on Monday, February 11, 2008 4:14 PM

There is no coal(except charcoal) in Sweden so I was forced to get the Life like but I think it looks OK in hoppers.

 

Magnus

Unless otherwise mentioned it's HO and about the 50's. Magnus
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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Monday, February 11, 2008 5:54 PM
Back when I had my coal mining layout I used charcoal that I had broken up on a concrete block with a hammer. I didn't have to hit it really hard, just enough to fracture it. After that the smaller peices broke up easily.

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Posted by Lillen on Monday, February 11, 2008 6:18 PM

 jeffrey-wimberly wrote:
Back when I had my coal mining layout I used charcoal that I had broken up on a concrete block with a hammer. I didn't have to hit it really hard, just enough to fracture it. After that the smaller peices broke up easily.

 

Do charcoal look good as coal that comes from a mine? I have never seen "real" coal in my life. As I said, we do not have any coal in Sweden? If so that is great!

 

Magnus

Unless otherwise mentioned it's HO and about the 50's. Magnus
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Posted by dehusman on Monday, February 11, 2008 6:24 PM

You can buy bags of sandblasting grit that is black if you need 20-50 lbs of it.

Black aquarium sand also.

If you use something out of the ordinary, be sure to bring 3 things to test it:

A magnet - magnetic particles will get sucked up into the motors.

A ohmmeter - electricly conductive particles will short out the track.

A bottle of water - it can't dissolve in water.

Dave H.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, February 11, 2008 6:25 PM

Magnus, 

I use Pennsylvania coal on my Pennsylvania layout. There's a Buffalo and Pittsburgh track about a 1/2 mile from my house through the woods and the daily coal drag doesn't keep it all in the hoppers.

You pay postage and I'll ship what ever you want.

It'll be quite the conversation piece.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by bogp40 on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 6:39 AM

Sand blasting grit, "Black beauty", can be bought in bulk and actually scales out to look like coal as good or better than the real thing. A previous club member who does all sorts of loads professionally now, uses this in the different sizes for his Motrak Loads. I would like to show these, but it is an Ebay link to the store.

You need to be careful with the weight of the load. It sounds like you want to fill the entire hopper. Any of the methods described already will weight the hopper plenty. Too much weight will not only make the train too heavy to pull ,but you will wear out the trucks in no time.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by Lillen on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 6:51 AM
 SpaceMouse wrote:

Magnus, 

I use Pennsylvania coal on my Pennsylvania layout. There's a Buffalo and Pittsburgh track about a 1/2 mile from my house through the woods and the daily coal drag doesn't keep it all in the hoppers.

You pay postage and I'll ship what ever you want.

It'll be quite the conversation piece.

 

Thanks for the offer. How much does coal weigh? As I said I do not have a clue about what real coal is like? It would be quite good and actually fun to have. Say, how much would a litre of coal weigh? Since shipping would be rather high if it's heavy. Could you check how much shipping would be on say a few litres? I might be mad but I always imagined coal to be rather light.

 

Magnus 

Unless otherwise mentioned it's HO and about the 50's. Magnus
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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 7:45 AM

I guess light and heavy is a relative term. Carbon is #6 on the periodic chart. It's going to be lighter than the same volume of water or gold. On the other hand, a kilo of coal weighs the same as a kilo of sugar.

I will check it out and get back to you. However, I realized after I sent my offer that the coal we talked about is sitting under a blanket of white stuff. It will probably be a month and a half before I can do anything.   

Chip

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Posted by Lillen on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:29 AM
 SpaceMouse wrote:

I guess light and heavy is a relative term. Carbon is #6 on the periodic chart. It's going to be lighter than the same volume of water or gold. On the other hand, a kilo of coal weighs the same as a kilo of sugar.

I will check it out and get back to you. However, I realized after I sent my offer that the coal we talked about is sitting under a blanket of white stuff. It will probably be a month and a half before I can do anything.   

 

I got that white stuff over here to.

 

Don't worry about it taking time. I'm in no hurry, it would be fun if the shipping isn't to much.

 

Thanks again,

 

Magnus

Unless otherwise mentioned it's HO and about the 50's. Magnus
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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 5:59 PM
 Lillen wrote:

 jeffrey-wimberly wrote:
Back when I had my coal mining layout I used charcoal that I had broken up on a concrete block with a hammer. I didn't have to hit it really hard, just enough to fracture it. After that the smaller peices broke up easily.

 

Do charcoal look good as coal that comes from a mine? I have never seen "real" coal in my life. As I said, we do not have any coal in Sweden? If so that is great!

 

Magnus

Looked real enough for me. I was a detail modeler back then so the coal had to look like coal. If in doubt mix in a little thinned black paint and let it dry in a warm place.

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
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Running Bear Enterprises
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Posted by peterjenkinson1956 on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 4:31 AM
why not try B B Q briqettes    put them into a bag or container and break it up...  remember to size your coal to the correct size  very old steam engines and home heating coal was quite large   modern steam engines with auto stokers used smaller coal so as not to damage the stoker    modern coal trains usually have coal of small size  usually 2 to 3 inches maximum   this is the correct size to blow the fuel into the power station furnaces..  i get my coal from work   i am a coalminer and get it from the methane bore holes  it is the right size   ...  i wash it first to remove the dust  then i dry it then i sieve it with a fine kitchen strainer  for older coal hoppers  40 fot  it would be ok to fill the car   however modern cars may end up too heavey if fully filled     ...  remember also to look at photos of the type of cars / loads / era   you will be modelling  modern coal trains are mostly flood loaded and usually have a flat top  not peaked load    thanks peter
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Posted by ndbprr on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:57 AM

I guess light and heavy is a relative term. Carbon is #6 on the periodic chart. It's going to be lighter than the same volume of water or gold. On the other hand, a kilo of coal weighs the same as a kilo of sugar.

 

That is true but it assumes that the object being weighed also has the denisty of solid carbon.  charcoal has tremendous proposity which reduces the density and in turn the weight. It  is the equivalent of saying a pound of cream weighs the same as a pound of whipped cream (which it does).  However a spoon full of cream will weigh more than the equivalent volume of whipped cream due to the air taking up space. 

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Posted by Lillen on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10:58 AM
 ndbprr wrote:

I guess light and heavy is a relative term. Carbon is #6 on the periodic chart. It's going to be lighter than the same volume of water or gold. On the other hand, a kilo of coal weighs the same as a kilo of sugar.

 

That is true but it assumes that the object being weighed also has the denisty of solid carbon.  charcoal has tremendous proposity which reduces the density and in turn the weight. It  is the equivalent of saying a pound of cream weighs the same as a pound of whipped cream (which it does).  However a spoon full of cream will weigh more than the equivalent volume of whipped cream due to the air taking up space. 

 

Which is the precise reason I asked about a litre of coal. Big Smile [:D] Assuming of course the kind Spacemouse is referring to. A litre of charcoal is very light, but I assume that anthracite is a lot heavier. But as I said, I do not have a clue! Having never seen the stuff in real life.

Who would have ever know that I would be interested in having someone sending me a bucket of coal. Had I said so two years ago I would have had my self committed!  Big Smile [:D]

 

Magnus

Unless otherwise mentioned it's HO and about the 50's. Magnus
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Posted by STEVEN L NELSON on Saturday, April 20, 2019 1:26 PM

Namerifrats
Anybody here know of anywhere online where a large quantity of HO Scale Coal can be bought for a reasonable price? Looked around earlier and just seen the same things most hobby shops have for roughly the same price + shipping. I'm looking for enough to fill about 50 coal hoppers.

 

You can buy a 50lb bag of coal slag that is used as a blasting abrasive at Tractor Supply for about $9.00.  It is HO Scale and looks great.  If your modeling N Scale that have a finer grade in a Red Bag.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 4:24 PM

Hello All,

Some have used ashtray sand, a.k.a. Urn Sand. It is used in public ashtrays and can be found in bulk.

It is made from silica sand. Beware there are some that are magnetic and should not be used on model railroads.

I Googled it and came up with many different suppliers.

Most are available in five-pound bags for less than $10.00, some with free shipping.

Hope this helps.

 

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 5:18 PM

SpaceMouse
Carbon is #6 on the periodic chart. It's going to be lighter than the same volume of water

Water is heavier.  It has to do with the dinosaurs stomping on the the palm trees turning them into coal making them denser than the carbon that chemists play with.  Diamonds are also the same carbon, more dense, heavier and too expensive to buy by the pound.

Henry

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Posted by Mark R. on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 6:14 PM

Eleven year old thread ! The OP hasn't been here in ten years ! Wonder if he ever found his coal .... or is even still in the hobby ? Confused

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

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