3rd Rail, Lionel, MTH, does anyone know what type of glue they use to glue real coal in tenders?

I recently purchased a very large bag of anthracite (2mm-4mm pieces) to make hopper loads with.  This coal I bought is sold as a filter medium.  To me I think it is exactly what is used by the O scale train manufacturers for the coal in the locomotive tenders.

I have made coal loads before with activated carbon fish tank filter medium, but it does not have the shine and glimmer of real anthracite.

So far for this project I have made a base from carved pink foam, painted black with acrylic, coal on top and treated in the car like I would do track balast (spray wet water (water and dawn), and spray diluted matte medium) .  It is drying now.  Two things I am watching for are 1. Will the glue dull the shine too much, and 2. How strong will it be.

Glued track balast is not held very strongly and I expect the same on the hoppers, but want to be sure it doesn't come loose too easily with use on running trains.  My other home made jobs have held up well, so I am not expecting any problem with the adhesive strength, more so the shine, which I will report back on later. 

Looking at the tender coal loads on my 3rd Rail, Lionel, and MTH tenders, I find that the coal is glued in very strongly   While it can be picked out, yes I did it, the glue seems stronger than diluted white glue or diluted matte medium, and the coal shines well.

I think the matte medium will be fine, but before I mass produce these cars for my train, I figured I would take a shot here and see if anyone knows and is willing to share what kind of glue 3rd Rail, Lionel, and/or MTH use(s) to glue the real coal in their tenders.

Thanks! 

 

Original Post
pennsy484 posted:

I think the matte medium will be fine, but before I mass produce these cars for my train, I figured I would take a shot here and see if anyone knows and is willing to share what kind of glue 3rd Rail, Lionel, and/or MTH use(s) to glue the real coal in their tenders.

Thanks! 

 

Very likely they get the glue from a local (Chinese) industrial supplier.

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted:
pennsy484 posted:

I think the matte medium will be fine, but before I mass produce these cars for my train, I figured I would take a shot here and see if anyone knows and is willing to share what kind of glue 3rd Rail, Lionel, and/or MTH use(s) to glue the real coal in their tenders.

Thanks! 

 

Very likely they get the glue from a local (Chinese) industrial supplier.

Rusty

I hope it's not the stuff that AML used on their bethgons last year. It's sticky yet it never dries. All the coal was inside the box!

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

you can also use RTV and it comes in black so that would help blend in and not so much as other colors might stand  out and not look natural. can purchase that from any automotive car parts store like pepe boys,  AutoZone , Advanced Auto and possibly even Walmart.

 

I mask everything and spread a layer of Tacky Glue on the tender first. Then place the coal. Tamp the coal into the glue with your fingers, or a sponge. It is allowed to dry overnight. Then I use Woodland Scenic cement and an Infant Nasal Syringe to dribble glue over the entire coal pile. After it is thoroughly dry, I shoot it with a coat or two of Dullcoat. IMHO, this looks even better than anything I have seen from the major manufacturers.

Matte medium will "work", but over time it turns milky.

I build my own, so I have extensive experience.  I form a block of pine to the exact dimension and contour, coat it with black shoe dye (important - lacquer-based dye), insert the block in the tender coal bunker, and then carefully apply a heavy thick coat of Weldwood contact cement (like Walthers Goo, but cheaper and better).  Then I quickly spread coal or fake coal in a thick layer over the glue, and go away for 24 hours.

Next day I turn the tender upside down over the same newspaper that was under it when I spread the coal, and return most of it to its container.

During painting operations, if I am spraying black or Dullcote, I let the paint hit the coal.  Photo if you want.

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