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Ballasting - Glue and Drop method :)

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I'm trying a few ballasting methods on Amiens Street, so thought I'd post a few 'how tos'


Here is a method I call 'Glue and Drop'


1 - Prep your foam/cork underlay and track as normal (I drill for the dropper at this point, etc).


2 - Plaster the underlay entirely with copydex / foam tack glue. i use a small glue spreader and 'paint' the foam sides and all under the track. Then lay the track on the glue. I use this opportunity to also add back in any cosmetic sleepers.



3 - Dump ballast liberally over the lot, and use a finger / small black of wood to tamp it down.



4- Weight the track down so it sets in shape and level



Fast forward 24 hours.


5 - Remove the weights and use a small hand held or computer vacuum to remove the excess ballast.





All done :)



- It's a one step process, and as I am gluing the track down anyway, it's making laying, ballasting, cosmetic sleep repair all one job

- It's very neat, as ballast will only stick where you plaster the glue - I'm using this method for points, just not applying glue to the moving tie area

- You use a LOT less ballast



- Ballast only sticks to the glue, so you don't get much 'depth' You might want to go over the area again with the traditional dropper method to model fresh ballast or deeper ballast.


Any feedback or thoughts let me know!

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A Railway Society in England did tests on the various methods of ballasting some years ago to find which one reduced the noise levels and your suggestion of Copydex plus Woodland scenic foam was found to be most effective. I was going to use it but thought it would be too messy but after seeing your efforts Stephen I’ll give it a try.

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Using woodlands flex glue, you have about 15-20 minutes before it goes off / too tacky to work with - plenty of time to adjust and tweak the track alignment, slide in cosmetic / replacement ties and pour the ballast over.


As you say kirley, the noise reduction properties should also be excellent.

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Guest hidden-agenda
Talking about ballasting, has anyone seen this guy before, even though he's talking the queen's english, I cannot understand a word, but watching may help when putting down track, :-bd




A Yorkshire man (muck and brass lad and a mug o Tetleys member mind NO SPILLAGE).

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The sound deadening effect is vital if the layout is built in the upper part of a house. Copydex when cured dries rubbery, add this to the rubber foam and the rubber cups on the ends of the leveling feet should help eliminate a lot of noise. Of course this doesn't really matter if the layout is in a purpose built shed. It all looks tidy and neat which is down to your method, super stuff.



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I have read a lot about the different methods of Ballasting. Diluting PVA etc. I dont dilute just drizzle between rails and on the sides. Whack on the ballast let it dry and brush surplas off with a dry paint brush. Seems to work for me. With the PVA I find less is more.

I do not use any cork under the rails or anything like that because initally I was lazy but like the "Clickty Click" of the trains running on the track.

I am very careful with points and do not use glue at all just let it fall naturally, ensuring the point mechanism is not hindered in any way. If you look at my pics of Kilcoole you can decide for yourself if this is ok.

Just thought I would throw my tuppence worth in.

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