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Ballast - Preferred Gluing Techniques

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  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 9:36 AM

Hey, Rich, we have a pretty good idea of your age, so don't tell me that your environment is dust-free - when there's old people around, they shed dust - it's all part of their disintegration process.  You might mitigate it somewhat if you bathed in matte medium, though, but make sure you don't then go rolling in loose ballast on the layout room floor.

And, just to brighten your day and show you that my comment is not meant to be mean-spririted....

Wayne

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 10:17 AM

doctorwayne

And, just to brighten your day and show you that my comment is not meant to be mean-spririted....

I didn't take any of your comments to be mean-spirited. But, posting photos of Bertrams, which you know I lust for, was beyond mean-spirited. I will now press the Report Abuse button.  Crying

Rich

P.S. Your track looks dusty. Better get out the Shop Vac!

Alton Junction

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Posted by mlehman on Friday, February 21, 2020 12:42 AM

I use both WS and real rock ballast, mainly AZ Rock & Mineral. I wet it with 90% alcohol, which minimizes the amount of water that needs to evaporate.

I use matter medium as the bonding agent. When dry, it doesn't soften with just water, which helps when doing other scenery around the same area with water-based formulas. If I do need to change it, misting with the 90% softens it reliably.

I do use a eye dropper for bonding more delicate areas. But for most of my ballast, I mist it with 90%, then mist it - yes, mist it - carefully with matte medium diluted with equal amounts of water. I tape over the bridles of the points so they don't get misted. I use a paper towel wrapped wood block to wipe the rails off, misting the towel so it's damp with alcohol. Then you need to clean your mister out so the matte medium doesn't gum things up.

Here's a pic of part of the layout, with the bridles taped over. Here's I'm ready to spray paint the track and rail, mainly turnouts, because I typically use WS weathered track. This will be followed by ballasting. Basically, I finsihed this up in one afternoon.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 21, 2020 4:51 AM

Mike, thanks for your reply.

I have started the ballasting work on my layout, beginning with a 9 foot stretch of double mainline on a somewhat isolated part of my layout.

I am using Scenic Express #40 ballast which I mist with 70% isopropyl alcohol, followed by a 4:1 water:matte medium mix applied with an eye dropper. So far, so good. One reason that I stuck with matte medium is that I happened to have an unopened gallon of the stuff on hand.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by mlehman on Friday, February 21, 2020 11:45 AM

Hey Rich.

4:1 may be a little thin IMO, but if everything stays stuck on the test section, then it works so go for it.

I know some feel matte medium too costly, but it's advantages, mainly that it's impervious to water once set, are worth it to me. If you shop around or use the weekly single item discount coupon that is often available at retailers, the pain is considerably lessened.

And it's not like you're filling the gas tank with the stuff, I probably used around 2 gallons for all the ballast and scenery on my layout, which is on the largish side of mdeium sized.

Good luck with things, be cautious as you develop your techniques and skills and even the big jobs like this are over soon enough as you pick up speed.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, February 23, 2020 12:30 AM

mlehman

Hey Rich.

4:1 may be a little thin IMO, but if everything stays stuck on the test section, then it works so go for it.

I know some feel matte medium too costly, but it's advantages, mainly that it's impervious to water once set, are worth it to me. If you shop around or use the weekly single item discount coupon that is often available at retailers, the pain is considerably lessened. 

Thanks, Mike. The 4:ratio is working well, so no problems there. I do prefer matte medium over white glue for ballasting for the reasons that you mentioned. I am using a water/white glue mix for the ground cover.

Rich

Alton Junction

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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, February 23, 2020 12:59 AM

mlehman
I know some feel matte medium too costly, but it's advantages, mainly that it's impervious to water once set, are worth it to me. If you shop around or use the weekly single item discount coupon that is often available at retailers, the pain is considerably lessened.

Which brand of Matte Medium available at the big retailers that offer 40% off coupons do you prefer?

I have tried Aleen's Mod Podge Matte with poor results.

Help is appreciated.

-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
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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, February 23, 2020 4:53 AM

SeeYou190
 
mlehman
I know some feel matte medium too costly, but it's advantages, mainly that it's impervious to water once set, are worth it to me. If you shop around or use the weekly single item discount coupon that is often available at retailers, the pain is considerably lessened. 

Which brand of Matte Medium available at the big retailers that offer 40% off coupons do you prefer?

I have tried Aleen's Mod Podge Matte with poor results.

Help is appreciated.

-Kevin 

Even without a coupon, you can get a gallon of high quality matte medium from Blick Art Supply for $53.

https://www.dickblick.com/items/00618-3219/

Liquiutex is an excellent product which I use exclusively for ballasting.

Rich

Alton Junction

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    May 2010
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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:53 AM

Just thought I'd pass this on, for applying the glue mixture, I also use a syringe, I have a couple of different sizes, it kind of speeds things up a little over an eye dropper, for bigger areas.

Ballast away!

Mike.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 19,311 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, February 23, 2020 8:03 AM

mbinsewi

Just thought I'd pass this on, for applying the glue mixture, I also use a syringe, I have a couple of different sizes, it kind of speeds things up a little over an eye dropper, for bigger areas.

Ballast away!

Mike. 

Interesting!

Thanks, Mike.

Rich

Alton Junction

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