I visited my local quarry today and brought home about 300 lbs of 1/4” or less stone dust. I purchased a set of sieves for mining and also got the correct grading screens from McMaster Carr with are sized at 12x12 opening and a 20x20 opening. I read on the forums here how to do it and which size to use as ballast, but I cannot find it again. Can someone please help so that I can get started?
I have a tendency to spend lots of money I don’t have at York, so maybe this time around will be the game changer. I am selling this set to hopefully not go broke again. This set contains MTH 20-20458 Wisconsin Central SD45 in great condition, 6 MTH WC Rapid Discharge hoppers, all in fine condition with a few dings, and an Extended Vision caboose. The smoke stack fell off, but I glued it back on. I have the boxes for all of these, and I can send more pictures if you desire. All sales final,...
I installed one about 20 years ago. Took some extreme modification of the weight. Total mass of weight was about 60o/o of starting weight. Made pulling slightly better. If I had to do it again I would machine the two rear drivers for a traction tire.
I think you are trying to accomplish something that isn't meant to be done, without a lot of work involved. Rob included the paperwork for adding the ballast, and you just have to read the FIRST line (to later models, i.e. 1947 and later). The frame for the 1946 version is totally different from the later versions, and although I don't own a 'Smoke Bulb' version, it appears that you don't have the needed area to drill and tap holes in the frame to attach it. The Smoke bulb would have to be...
No. Yes. Or, to simplify the task and achieve your desired results, just use the tape-a-weights we used to balance mag wheels - they are readily available quite reasonably at Harbor Freight or on eBay .
I did forget to mention that engine already has the smoke unit upgrade done to it. These engines really do need the extra weight added up front. with the boiler body off the frame it almost tips by itself towards the rear. So its really just being driven on the 2 rear drive wheel. I will get this one figured out and post pictures when I'm done. Thanks for all your suggestions. Dave W.
How to do it: Use the coarsest (biggest holes) screen first. Then run the stuff that falls through that screen through the next smaller size hole. Continue until you run out of screens. I would pick a size that looks right. Generally smaller is better (but not too small!). Chris LVHR
No easy way. I have made a cardboard template to spread the ballast evenly across the roadbed. I always pour the diluted Elmer glue mix over the finished job to hold it it place. If you put the glue on first you won't get much ballast attached to glue. Watered down elmers dries clear.
To answer your question at the top of this thread, No. And my reason is that I am not looking for a constant maintenance project. I would be up on the table maintaining loose ballast all the time, if I had it. You can try it if you want, but I don't recommend it unless you have a very small layout. Also, I would not recommend kitty litter under any circumstance. Scale rock from Brennan's looks the best and is scale size. A lot of other products will give you ballast rocks the size of scale ...
When I had a ballasted layout, I glued everything. Occasionally, there would be a loose piece and it would ALWAYS find it's way into the engine gears. Never again. I'll go indoor/outdoor carpet, stone spray paint, or plastic roadbed track.
Funny, I had a modest size (14 x 16) layout and did not glue any of the ballast. Never had a problem. My maintenance consisted of using a small paintbrush every 6 months to keep it perfect. Took all of ten minutes. The obvious advantages are NOT spending all that time gluing it down, and absolutely no mess or problem when changing track plans or packing it up. Serious time savings! Paul
When ballasting time came, I had trouble getting "real" model ballast and began using kitty litter. I found the litter pretty satisfactory in every respect but one. It cracked a lot when put down in larger areas, like a yard. No big deal really. After I was into it, I was able to procure Brennan's product. yes, much better although I am, in no way, unhappy with the "Kitty Litter Division" of my layout. Glued down was my preference. No opinion on leaving it loose although definitely...
Loose ballast is not a big problem, as long as you sift your kitty litter so only the large uniform pieces are used. That said, a light dusting of cheap hairspray or dilute white glue will add to stability without undue permanence. [N.B.: The "kitty litter" reference is a lighthearted joking tweak directed toward the expensive-ballast enthusiasts. ]
I have always glued my ballast down. But I knew a person that was a real engineer and on his layout which I believe at the time was tinplate track he would periodically take a brush and sort of brush the ballast back to the track. His explanation to me was that in real railroading ballast eventually moves down with the passing of trains. To each their own my preference is to glue and I use rubber ballast just in case a piece may make it into the gears.......Paul
I glue my ballast as well. However I also have a good friend with a large layout who leaves his loose. It's real limestone ballast and he's been running for about 15 years now with loose ballast very close to the greasy gears on his diesel wheels yet does not have problems.
When I had temporary layouts, I used to use loose ballast all the time. Other than having to brush it back into place once in a while I never had any other issues. It would move from the vibration of the trains.
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