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Instant Track-Tackit Ballast Adhesive Questions

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Instant Track-Tackit Ballast Adhesive Questions
Posted by FRRYKid on Monday, October 10, 2016 3:27 PM

Got yet another question for my forum friends: Has anyone used the above referenced product? I came across it looking at a Walthers flyer online. Given that ballasting is one of those things that presents me a challenge and anything to make it easier is always a help.

As usual, any help the forums can give would be most welcomed.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, October 10, 2016 3:38 PM

For those unfamiliar with the product  http://jmdplastics.yolasite.com/instant-track-tack-it-ballast-adhesive.php

I've not used it.  What challenge do you have in ballasting?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

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Posted by floridaflyer on Monday, October 10, 2016 3:51 PM

Reading the instructions, other than dribbling on the white glue, or mat meduim, all the steps are are the same. May be fine for some but I really don't see an advantage in using it myself. I personally don't find ballasting difficult at all.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, October 10, 2016 4:10 PM

Hello all,

This appears to be a re-branded version of a powdered adhesive.

I found a 1-lb tub of DAP @Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue on Amazon for $10.18+S&H.

This product is water activated, so you could mix it in with your preferred ballast, spread the mixture over the tracks, dress it and then spray with water.

The color of this product is listed as Tan.

I would still use "wet watter" or Isopropyl Alcohol for the hydration step, to break the surface tension of the water. 

After researching this post I am ordering a tub of this product. I'll follow-up this post with my results.

Hope this helps.

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

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Posted by FRRYKid on Monday, October 10, 2016 4:38 PM

I can never seem to get the ballast to adhere properly, hence my interest in the item. Given the opinions, I will remove the item from my list.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, October 10, 2016 5:12 PM

Well you sold jj on the idea. 

Given recent posts, neither the concentration of alcohol nor the mix of water to glue is all that critical. 

On my prior layout, I used a big spray bottle, maybe it held 12-16 oz.  It went missing over the last 10 years and my wife gave my an eyeglass cleaner spray bottle.  Unlike the larger bottle, this mists instead of sprays, so you don't gets drops of water or large streams that washes the ballast away.  The bottle itself is very small so if you wanted to half the basement layout in the next hour, it would be a pain.  I work in smaller distances.

If your water-glue puddles, it may indicate that you haven't used enough wetting agent and you are going to get a surface crust that is not going to glue the base of the ballast.  70% alcohol breaks the surface tension right away.  I intend to try more dilute alcohol, but that's what's in the sprayer now.

If you decided to tear up track, or even the whole layout, white glue dissolves.  We don't, or at least I don't know, if this product will redisolve if it is wet.

I'm not sure about what I'm about to write.  In one of the free MR videos, they applied the glue mixture from the edges of the ballast (?) to avoid washing/blasting it away.  They used one of those testors paint pippetes.  https://www.amazon.com/Testor-Corp-50642-Pipettes-Testors/dp/B0006O5DIE  I can't tell you which video it was.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, October 10, 2016 5:15 PM

FRRYKid

I can never seem to get the ballast to adhere properly, hence my interest in the item. Given the opinions, I will remove the item from my list.

 

What do you use. You should use matt medium because if you need a second coat, it will not reliquify the first. With matt medium you can put on as many coats as you want.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, October 10, 2016 10:47 PM

rrebell
...You should use matt medium because if you need a second coat, it will not reliquify the first. With matt medium you can put on as many coats as you want.

If you apply enough wetting agent (water with a few drops of dish detergent added or alcohol, or an alcohol/water mixture) there will be no need to make more than one application of the glue/water mixture (or of a matte medium mixture, if you opt for that more expensive choice).  I've used both matte medium and white glue, and, in my opinion, the advantage goes to the white glue mixture:  cheaper by volume-used than matte medium, equally as quiet (or as noisy) as matte medium, and easily removed should you need to pull up some (or all) of your track.  If you need to add a second coat of either, it won't penetrate the already hardened first coat, only add to the crust atop loose, unbonded ballast.

Lack of sufficient wetting agent is the prime reason why ballasting is an unsatisfactory experience for some modellers.  Done properly, with whatever might be your favourite materials, is both relaxing and rewarding....probably more bang for your buck than anything else in model railroading.  Painting rail is a close second. Smile, Wink & Grin

Wayne

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 10:34 AM

doctorwayne

 

 
rrebell
...You should use matt medium because if you need a second coat, it will not reliquify the first. With matt medium you can put on as many coats as you want.

 

If you apply enough wetting agent (water with a few drops of dish detergent added or alcohol, or an alcohol/water mixture) there will be no need to make more than one application of the glue/water mixture (or of a matte medium mixture, if you opt for that more expensive choice).  I've used both matte medium and white glue, and, in my opinion, the advantage goes to the white glue mixture:  cheaper by volume-used than matte medium, equally as quiet (or as noisy) as matte medium, and easily removed should you need to pull up some (or all) of your track.  If you need to add a second coat of either, it won't penetrate the already hardened first coat, only add to the crust atop loose, unbonded ballast.

Lack of sufficient wetting agent is the prime reason why ballasting is an unsatisfactory experience for some modellers.  Done properly, with whatever might be your favourite materials, is both relaxing and rewarding....probably more bang for your buck than anything else in model railroading.  Painting rail is a close second. Smile, Wink & Grin

Wayne

 

Wrong, with matt medium you can use mutiple layers but later layers will also need wet water, just not as much. The reason for two coats is the first one can get watered down some if you really soak the ballast with the wet water but by doing that you lose none of the shape you put the ballast into. 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, November 4, 2016 2:43 PM

Hello all,

I received the DAP product powdered adhesive.

Then I mixed it with coarse HO scale ballast according to the directions on the Instant Track Tack Ballast Adhesive; 2 parts ballast to 1 part adhesive.

I spread the dry mixture on a small section of track and roadbed (foam) on a blue foam base, as evenly as I could.

Next I sprayed the mixture with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (that's what I had on hand). I could have used water with a few drops of dish soap. In this case I wanted to see the results of Isopropyl Alcohol. 

I let it dry overnight.

With the coarse ballast I missed a few spots, leaving the foam roadbed exposed.

I went in and reapplied the dry ballast/adhesive mixture to the bare spots and reapplied Isopropyl Alcohol.

One observation I have is that the DAP adhesive, at that ratio, dried with a gloss finish. Not very prototypical.

Another thing I noticed was with the 2:1 ratio was there seemed to be too much adhesive that required a lot of wetting agent to dissolve the adhesive.

Because I harvest my own ballast from local mine tailings, through a wet process, the batch of HO scale fine ballast is currently drying.

I will next ballast another section with the DAP adhesive and fine HO scale ballast. 

In this next application I plan on cutting the adhesive in half, yielding a 4:1 ratio. I am also planning on adding India ink; to shade (darken) the wetting agent, to see if that eliminates the sheen.

Stay tuned...

Hope this helps.

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

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, November 4, 2016 6:21 PM

rrebell
Wrong, with matt medium you can use mutiple layers but later layers will also need wet water, just not as much. The reason for two coats is the first one can get watered down some if you really soak the ballast with the wet water but by doing that you lose none of the shape you put the ballast into.

If you need to do multiple layers, do them all at the same time:  I do rip-rap, coarse stone, cinder sub-ballast and the finished ballast, plus the groundcover alongside the track all in a single application.  Some of those areas are over an inch deep, and every bit of material used is bonded firmly in place, yet looks as if it's still loose.  My track cleaning procedure, usually no more often than once a year, is a thorough vacuuming with my shop vac.

I'd post photos, but photobucket is still down.

I still can't figure why folks try to make ballasting difficult. Sigh

Wayne

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Posted by jjdamnit on Sunday, December 4, 2016 3:42 PM

Hello all,

I finally got around to mixing black ink with the 91% isopropyl alcohol and misted that over the ballast mixed with the DAP plastic resin glue product fixed with alcohol that had set.

Using this mixture over the set ballast did reduce the sheen of the glue and ballast to an acceptable level for me.

The next section I ballasted I used the dry mixture of ballast and resin glue 4:1; ballast to resin. This time I used the ink/alcohol mixture to fix the ballast, rather than fixing with alcohol and then an overlay of ink/alcohol. This resulted in better visual results; less sheen.

Over all I prefer this method of ballasting with the ballast and powder resin glue mixture fixed with 91% isopropyl alcohol and ink over other methods I have tried. 

Purchasing the DAP product versus the Instant Track Tack It product saved money and provided great results.

Hope this helps.

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

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