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PVA Glue for ballasting


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I've just tried to complete some ballasting, laid ballast,  wet with water spray with a drop of Fairy Liquid(other detergents are available), then used Wilko PVA diluted 50/50 with water through syringe with needle. As soon as pva touches water it sets like a gel.

To test it I added some fairy liquid to PVA it sets like goo (Think bad snot).

Has anyone else noticed this?

Is it just fairy liquid?

I've used thus technique for years and not had thus problem.

Any recommendations?

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My mixture is roughly 50% PVA, 25% water and 25% IPA. I've never felt the need to spray, but I would dilute the IPA with at least 50% water.

The PVA itself can vary in strength, I found Wilko's fairly dilute to start with.

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8 hours ago, Isambard Kingdom Brunel said:

I've just tried to complete some ballasting, laid ballast,  wet with water spray with a drop of Fairy Liquid .......

It sounds as if you’re trying to spray the ballast with water and Fairy Liquid, then adding the PVA/ water mixture.
Just spray the ballast with water alone to dampen; pointing the spray upwards so it falls like rain will reduce the chance of displacing the dry ballast.
Add a the tiny drop of Fairy to the PVA/water mix to reduce surface tension.

Personally, I couldn’t master the syringe method; my little plastic syringe was too stiff in action, tending to blast the ballast all over the shop.

Sucking the mixture up in one those glass droppers with the rubber “squeezy” tops and gently dribbling onto the ballast worked better for me.

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10 hours ago, Right Away said:

It sounds as if you’re trying to spray the ballast with water and Fairy Liquid, then adding the PVA/ water mixture.
Just spray the ballast with water alone to dampen; pointing the spray upwards so it falls like rain will reduce the chance of displacing the dry ballast.
Add a the tiny drop of Fairy to the PVA/water mix to reduce surface tension.

Personally, I couldn’t master the syringe method; my little plastic syringe was too stiff in action, tending to blast the ballast all over the shop.

Sucking the mixture up in one those glass droppers with the rubber “squeezy” tops and gently dribbling onto the ballast worked better for me.

Agreed. Try a tiny drop of Fairy in the soak too. Look on the internet for plastic pipettes. Multiple uses for modellers especially if you have an air brush.

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Rather than using PVA, I would suggest floor polish such as Pledge Klear Multi Surface Wax. This may sound like an odd suggestion but it is actually very low viscosity acrylic varnish. This means it is easy to apply and easily seeps through the ballast without disturbing it. I add a couple of drops of acrylic matting agent to kill the shine and it is virtually invisible when dried.

 

I used it on my Chew Magna layout and it has lasted pretty well, even withstanding several periods stored on its side.

 

CIMG6326.JPG

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3 hours ago, Karhedron said:

Rather than using PVA, I would suggest floor polish such as Pledge Klear Multi Surface Wax. This may sound like an odd suggestion but it is actually very low viscosity acrylic varnish. This means it is easy to apply and easily seeps through the ballast without disturbing it. I add a couple of drops of acrylic matting agent to kill the shine and it is virtually invisible when dried.

 

I used it on my Chew Magna layout and it has lasted pretty well, even withstanding several periods stored on its side.

 

CIMG6326.JPG

Will try that next time,  I've got a couple of bottles

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18 hours ago, Right Away said:

It sounds as if you’re trying to spray the ballast with water and Fairy Liquid, then adding the PVA/ water mixture.
Just spray the ballast with water alone to dampen; pointing the spray upwards so it falls like rain will reduce the chance of displacing the dry ballast.
Add a the tiny drop of Fairy to the PVA/water mix to reduce surface tension.

Personally, I couldn’t master the syringe method; my little plastic syringe was too stiff in action, tending to blast the ballast all over the shop.

Sucking the mixture up in one those glass droppers with the rubber “squeezy” tops and gently dribbling onto the ballast worked better for me.

It was adding the Fairy Liquid to the PVA which caused the problem.

Didn't have any IPA at home but tried a little vodka.  Result!

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4 hours ago, Isambard Kingdom Brunel said:

It was adding the Fairy Liquid to the PVA which caused the problem.

Didn't have any IPA at home but tried a little vodka.  Result!

Wow, IKB. I bet that tasted better!

Seriously, glad you’ve sorted it.

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5 hours ago, Isambard Kingdom Brunel said:

It was adding the Fairy Liquid to the PVA which caused the problem.

Didn't have any IPA at home but tried a little vodka.  Result!

 

Worthwhile test. It sounds like you're aware that IPA has a lot of similarities to edible alcohol!

 

From a chemical point of view, alcohol is a family of chemicals with similar structure & properties. This contains Methanol, Ethanol, Propan-1-ol, Propan-2-ol .....

Ethanol is the drinkable stuff we usually call Alcohol. Although technically still a poison, many of us drink the stuff.  "IPA" is Propan-2-ol. Consumption of Methanol can cause blindness.

Meths is mainly ethanol with the addition of a little methanol to make it inedible & therefore moves it into a different tax bracket. The purple colour is just an additive to warn us not to drink it!

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