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Ballast vacuum?

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EDZ
  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Salisbury, MA
  • 158 posts
Ballast vacuum?
Posted by EDZ on Friday, February 04, 2011 7:27 PM

Hi,

I saw this neat gizmo on YouTube earlier. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r472H_eYmg&feature=related

Has anyone ever tried using/making one?

The archives here don't go back to Jan of '78.

Thanks

-Ed

 

"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."  -Aristotle

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Muskoka, Ont.
  • 194 posts
Posted by BigG on Friday, February 04, 2011 7:42 PM

 Wowzers!  Can it really be that easy??

Thanks for the tip.      George

  • Member since
    May, 2007
  • From: East Haddam, CT
  • 3,192 posts
Posted by CTValleyRR on Friday, February 04, 2011 7:48 PM

BigG

 Wowzers!  Can it really be that easy??

Thanks for the tip.      George

Sure looks easy.... I'm sure there's some provision for reclaiming the excess ballast (it drops out of the airstream in the bottle, perhaps?).

Still..... I use WS Fine ballast.  If I blasted away with a spray bottle the way that guy does, I'd spread the ballast over half of my layout. 

So it may work for the product he's using (looks a little coarse to me), but maybe not quite as wonderful as it looks.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

EDZ
  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Salisbury, MA
  • 158 posts
Posted by EDZ on Friday, February 04, 2011 8:13 PM

He goes pretty crazy with the wet water and glue, and it looks like he's speading lawn fertilizer and not ballast - lol -  but the overall idea looks pretty cool.

"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."  -Aristotle

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 3,400 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Friday, February 04, 2011 10:16 PM

What's he using for a vacuum? I know if I tried that with my shop vac, I'd have NO ballast left on the track.

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 11,970 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 05, 2011 5:43 AM

Medina1128

What's he using for a vacuum? I know if I tried that with my shop vac, I'd have NO ballast left on the track.

Yeah, that is a good question that I would like an answer to. What's he using for a vacuum?

The vacuuming results were impressive.  However, the wet water spray was not even and caused some problems with the ballast.  He probably should have used a better quality spray bottle, used less spray, and used rubbing alcohol instead of wet water.  Also, the glue mix spray was very rough in its application, leaving pits and runs in the ballast.  Rather tha n spray the glue mix on, I believe that there are better methods for applying the glue that don't wreck the groomed look of the ballast.

Rich

 

  • Member since
    May, 2007
  • From: East Haddam, CT
  • 3,192 posts
Posted by CTValleyRR on Saturday, February 05, 2011 8:19 AM

richhotrain

 

 Medina1128:

 

What's he using for a vacuum? I know if I tried that with my shop vac, I'd have NO ballast left on the track.

 

 

Yeah, that is a good question that I would like an answer to. What's he using for a vacuum?

The vacuuming results were impressive.  However, the wet water spray was not even and caused some problems with the ballast.  He probably should have used a better quality spray bottle, used less spray, and used rubbing alcohol instead of wet water.  Also, the glue mix spray was very rough in its application, leaving pits and runs in the ballast.  Rather tha n spray the glue mix on, I believe that there are better methods for applying the glue that don't wreck the groomed look of the ballast.

Rich

 

But of course, the idea was to demonstrate the vacuum, not the wet water and glue.  You have to wonder, though, whether the finished track was actually the one he showed in the video, or another one he'd prepared earlier.

No matter how careful I am applying the adhesive to my ballast (I use an old glue bottle to dribble it on after wetting with 50/50 mix of water and 70% rubbing alcohol), I still get some pits and runs which I either patch up with a pallet knife while the ballast is soaking wet, or fill later.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 423 posts
Posted by eaglescout on Saturday, February 05, 2011 8:55 AM

I don't know about vacuuming before gluing but after gluing I use one of my wife's panty hose held in the nozzele of my shop vac with a rubber band to reclaim any loose ballast and it works great.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: New Brighton, MN
  • 4,377 posts
Posted by ARTHILL on Saturday, February 05, 2011 9:00 AM

I build a few of those this fall for my self and for the Division Christmas sale. I made a paper model for the pickup end and then cut them out of copper sheet I got at the hardware store. I soldered the seam and then soldered the end to a 6 inch piece of 1/4 copper tube. The copper tube fit inside a plastic tube that connected to the pick up bottle that I also got at the hardware store. I then ran a second tube out of the pickup bottle and found a plastic hose connector than fit the plastic tube on one end and the vacum hose from my regular vac on the other. It took about an hour to make and works well, though it takes a little practice. I could be more specific, but it all seemed so intuitive. I can't show a pic because I am in the motorhome, but I can talk more if anyone is interested.

If you think you have it right, your standards are too low. my photos http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a235/ARTHILL/ Art
  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • 4,612 posts
Posted by Hamltnblue on Saturday, February 05, 2011 9:00 AM

If you look, what he did was take 2 tubes and put them in a jar. One tube  goes in the vacuum hose and the other to his nozle.  The design recuces the suction significantly and the jar catches the balast using good ole gravity. 

Springfield PA

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 11,970 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 05, 2011 10:58 AM

Hamltnblue

If you look, what he did was take 2 tubes and put them in a jar. One tube  goes in the vacuum hose and the other to his nozle.  The design recuces the suction significantly and the jar catches the balast using good ole gravity. 

Yeah, I see that, but the tube that goes in the vacuum hose stops short of answering the question: what's he using for a vacuum.  Is it a Shop Vac, a household vacuum cleaner, or does it matter.  Will any type of vacuum cleaner work?

Rich

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: New Brighton, MN
  • 4,377 posts
Posted by ARTHILL on Saturday, February 05, 2011 11:18 AM

As I said, I use my regular floor vac, but my shop vac would work. The difference is the connector size on the flex hose between the vac and the pickup bottle. Duck tape will enlarge the connector to fit what ever vac hose you are using. When I first saw one at our Division meet, it looked easy to build. It was. All you need is the pick up tool, a collection jar and flex hose to connect the jat to the vac and the pickup tool.

If you think you have it right, your standards are too low. my photos http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a235/ARTHILL/ Art
  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 11,970 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 05, 2011 3:52 PM

ARTHILL

As I said, I use my regular floor vac, but my shop vac would work. The difference is the connector size on the flex hose between the vac and the pickup bottle. Duck tape will enlarge the connector to fit what ever vac hose you are using. When I first saw one at our Division meet, it looked easy to build. It was. All you need is the pick up tool, a collection jar and flex hose to connect the jat to the vac and the pickup tool.

Thanks, Art.

Rich

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