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'Magic' Ballasting (2)



So after last nights failed attempt with the new 'Ballast Magic' product, tonight I started again.


To recap, late last night I was feeling hopeful, after the board and its ballast survived 'the lift' onto its end from the lounge floor. This morning though I touched a patch of supposedly fixed ballast, only for it to come away instantly.


A quick hoover dealt with most of what had been laid last night, though a couple of sections were stuck fast, offering some encouragement (picture below). I then went back into 'mad professor' mode, mixing the layout ballast from three colours, then decanted this mix back into the cup using a teaspoon, meaning I could then use a teaspoon to put the right amount of powder in as well.




I mixed it tonight for a good 3-4 minutes, making sure it was all thoroughly coated, before spreading across 'in the usual fashion'.




Again, I've just attempted the one section tonight, and of it doesn't work I will go back to other methods. We'll see in the morning!


EDIT - picture after 24 hours. See comments!





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Have you thought about using copdex/carpet glue, MHO I have found that the ballast do's not chip off and do's not set like concrete, thus giving the track work a little bit of give to it.


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Darren: Thanks, I may try that but will also try the methods in Gordon S' thread.


Update 25/3


So a careful prod this morning resulted in the same thing happening - the ballast crumbling when touched. That between the rails did seem more secure though, so I decided to see how it looked tonight.


The result? Disapointing. After a quick waft of the hoover to remove anything loose, I am left with four short sections where the ballast has held, and several.gaps where it clearly hasnt.


I wont be trying again tonight, for my sanity!

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  • RMweb Gold

Sorry to hear about the poor results - but thanks for trying it out and posting the results here. Good to know for the rest of us.


Out of interest, is there any particular reason you don't like the old PVA and washing liquid method?

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Hi Mikkel


The only reason Im not a fan of the traditional method is that I find the act of applying 'wet water' tends to blast the ballast out of place. I have also gunked up points with it in the past

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  • RMweb Gold

Ah, ok. Yes the points are so tricky when it comes to ballasting. With a syringe for the PVA I haven't had the problem of ballast moving, but I wonder if it also has to do with the type of ballast (eg how heavy it is?). 

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PVA thinned with water and a paint brush (a cheap one with a reasonably fine head)worked really well when I did mine. Next one I do however will be a case of having all the track ready first in one hit, and then doing the glue, track and ballast in one hit. It takes preparation but is faster in the long run I think.

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  • RMweb Gold

The key is wetting the ballast with a mist sprayer, then the pva/water mix flows better using a syringe to apply it.It shouldn't float the ballast.

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  • RMweb Premium

Another option for applying the PVA mix is a paint pipette , less chance of accidentally

getting a ' blast ' instead of a drip if using a syringe .

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