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Paudie Riordan

Using Roof Flet as a Ballast Underlay..... Good or Bad idea?

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Hi everyone.

 

Can anyone advise me here. Has anyone used roofing felt as a ballast underlay? and if they have how did you get on with it? The thoughts of ballasting the layout and making a "Balls" of it is frightening me to say the least. I was thinking it might be easier to felt the required areas, lay the track and then put a very fine ballast on that.

 

Any suggestions / thoughts are welcome.

 

thanks

Paudie

:confused:

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Hi Paudie. I have to start blasting this winter too. It's over 40years since I last did it. An issue to consider is sound insulation. Having a layer of a material such as cork or dense insulating foam under the track will reduce 'base board' noise which can be irritating. I don't know how felt would work. As ever try a few feet of spare track on a bit of off cut base board to see how IT works out.

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Hi Noel,

I was going to try that. I should have said I was going to put a strip of cork under the track as well and put a felt strip over that if you know what I mean. But yeah I will test first. Thanks man!

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Hi Paudie, steer well clear! It moves about and is not stable enough. Ballasting is easy enough, take you time and make sure the rails are clear before applying the PVA.

 

Here's a few video's from Everad Junction showing how it's done.

 

 

 

I ballast points in as I am ballasting the track, I have developed a technique to do it without the points sticking.

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Agree with the others. No escaping the fact that ballasting is a chore, so best done little & often. Alternatively, what about the foam ballast strip and bases? Good for running & sound insulation, while with a bit of careful painting, can be made fairly realistic too. Beware real granite, as it can turn green with PVA glue. Woodlands Scenics the best for me, and always use a grade finer than might be suggested - so 00 for 0 gauge, N for 00 and finer still for N.

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Ive used several types of underlay. personally Cork is very poor. It starts off great, but absorbs paint, PVA etc and becomes almost ridig. Im going to experiment with high density 3-5mm closed cell polyurethane foam, ( like camping mats etc). Suggestions elsewhere seem to suggest it does not go rigid.

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The cork sheet that I've seen is actually made from reconstituted cork - cork granules in a binder matrix - and is a good bit 'stiffer' than plain cork sheet would be.

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this is an interesting topic that has come up before,. My vested interest is that I am trying to design a layout and will inevitably have to ballast it. Foam insulates well against sound but I think that someone stated (probably on a previous thread) that this sound-proofing effect is lost once the PVA glue on the ballast dries and establishes a rigid layer that transmits the sound back to the baseboard (now, I don't know if anyone has stuck an audiometer on there and measured the noise in decibels so it probably worse to some extent but maybe not as good as before ballasting)

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this is an interesting topic that has come up before,. My vested interest is that I am trying to design a layout and will inevitably have to ballast it. Foam insulates well against sound but I think that someone stated (probably on a previous thread) that this sound-proofing effect is lost once the PVA glue on the ballast dries and establishes a rigid layer that transmits the sound back to the baseboard (now, I don't know if anyone has stuck an audiometer on there and measured the noise in decibels so it probably worse to some extent but maybe not as good as before ballasting)

 

Yes, once ballasted the sound deadening properties of the foam is lost. But there is a way around it, if you cut the foam much wider than normal then ballast without the ballast touching the baseboard that reduces the sound considerably.

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Yes, once ballasted the sound deadening properties of the foam is lost. But there is a way around it, if you cut the foam much wider than normal then ballast without the ballast touching the baseboard that reduces the sound considerably.

That's it exactly - just don't 'connect' the track to the baseboard in a 'hard' manner.

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Yes, once ballasted the sound deadening properties of the foam is lost. But there is a way around it, if you cut the foam much wider than normal then ballast without the ballast touching the baseboard that reduces the sound considerably.

I guess I was thinking of the preformed foam that fits between the sleepers, so do you use just a sheet of foam that is cut to width and do you taper off the edges eventually wide of the ballast? and how do you taper that edge, and what foam would you recommend?

Questions, questions.....:confused:

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I guess I was thinking of the preformed foam that fits between the sleepers, so do you use just a sheet of foam that is cut to width and do you taper off the edges eventually wide of the ballast? and how do you taper that edge, and what foam would you recommend?

Questions, questions.....:confused:

 

You need closed cell foam, cut it to width you can taper the edges by cutting a block of wood at a 45 degree angle and screw on a blade works a treat. The preformed foam breaks down over time so stick with the closed cell pu foam.

I buy from here

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You need closed cell foam, cut it to width you can taper the edges by cutting a block of wood at a 45 degree angle and screw on a blade works a treat. The preformed foam breaks down over time so stick with the closed cell pu foam.

I buy from here

 

Thanks, Dave! Good tips

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I used green mineral felt as an underlay before, it looks ok on OO gauge would would be more at home on O gauge. It does have some affect on sound damping but as I have never used cork before I cant compare them. I found the best way to fix it to the base board was using hot glue.

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I used a paper backed polystyrene sheeting as underlay before ballasting. It comes on a large roll for insulating a wall before papering it. It has several advantages. 1. A suitable depth of 2 or three mm raises the track nicely. 2. It has sound insulating qualities. 3. the paper backing makes it easy to work with / accepts glue and paint. 4. Super cheap compared to cork / foam etc.

 

I then used a noch ballast spread using the little clear ballast spreader from ... cant remember the name now. will dig up a pic. V. Happy with results.

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Flet roofs, man? You cawnt criticoize us Saath Effrikaans..... and you must trevel in the coach mawked eithah "blankes" or "nie-blankes"....

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I used a paper backed polystyrene sheeting as underlay before ballasting. It comes on a large roll for insulating a wall before papering it. It has several advantages. 1. A suitable depth of 2 or three mm raises the track nicely. 2. It has sound insulating qualities. 3. the paper backing makes it easy to work with / accepts glue and paint. 4. Super cheap compared to cork / foam etc.

 

I then used a noch ballast spread using the little clear ballast spreader from ... cant remember the name now. will dig up a pic. V. Happy with results.

 

Always interested in cheaper when you get a chance to post:tumbsup:

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Flet roofs, man? You cawnt criticoize us Saath Effrikaans..... and you must trevel in the coach mawked eithah "blankes" or "nie-blankes"....

 

Or 'net nie blankes' ...

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Or 'net nie blankes' ...

 

I worked in a switchgear factory that made some circuit breakers for Zimbabwe Railways - we had two chaps come to the factory to learn about them - the two biggest people that I've ever seen - Max Dhliwayo and Alex Makomva - each the size of a telephone box and without an ounce of fat on them - it would have been interesting to see somebody try to get them to sit in the 'blek' section...

 

I've tried for many years to track them down, but I just can't find them.

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