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@rail posted:

found this in a search:

Crushed limestone will attract and hold moisture, leading to potential rust problems. As far as the limestone itself causing rust/corrosion, that's more of an urban (or suburban) legend.

I’ve heard that too, but the moisture has to be present first for the lime stone to attract it….I think Joe has that covered with his train room…..😉

Pat

What you will have for sure, is a dust problem. When you crush limestone fine enough to use on our model railroads, you also create a lot of dust. You would have to thoroughly wash the product, then let it dry. If still dusty, repeat process. I used to work in the stone crushing business, but never wanted to use stone from our plant, due to trying to clean it before use.

Also, some limestone is so soft, that it will dissolve if you add water, say, as in securing the ballast.

Jeff

I was going to reply to this last night and then decided not to.

My builder told me we live under heavy limestone and that it acts as a conductor.  A lightning strike a mile away could fry my well pump.

That actually did happen once over our 19 years in the house.

I was talking about this last night over dinner and evidently one of our devices must have been listening.

This popped up in my YouTube feed today without any query.

So what happens when the limestone touches the outer and middle rail???

Last edited by Ron045

Ron,

That's the first time I have heard about limestone being conductive. I wonder if it is only conductive under extreme conditions like lightning.

As far as the moisture is concerned, that should not be a problem because the basement is very dry. And I think wetting the ballast one time to glue it shouldn't be a problem. The glue should also seal any residual dust issues.

@NJCJOE posted:

Ron,

That's the first time I have heard about limestone being conductive. I wonder if it is only conductive under extreme conditions like lightning.

As far as the moisture is concerned, that should not be a problem because the basement is very dry. And I think wetting the ballast one time to glue it shouldn't be a problem. The glue should also seal any residual dust issues.

Joe,

The dust will not be an issue after it is glued down, as you mentioned. It will be very nasty and quite evident while placing and spreading the limestone ballast. Very similar to people's experiences using dusty cat litter.

Jeff

remember 1/4" = 1 foot  in O and 6-9"s in standard gauge or Gauge 1,  still a bit oversized

True, however standard gauge is not set to a particular scale. I used some G scale items with standard gauge that looked okay while others were way oversized. In my case, it's more about capturing a certain look versus being scaled completely accurately. As mowingman stated, without sifting the ballast with a correct sized sieve, I have to settle with what is readily available.

For the past 35+ years I have always used sifted Kitty Litter.  laid it down and the basic water with a few drops of soap or better yet alcohol and then a 50/50 mix of Elmer's glue and water.  Let dry and then I air brush some detail paint to it.  Very inexpensive and fun to work with.  Enlarge any one of the photo's I have posted here and you can see that the average size of the litter is 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch.  Perfect size for me and I do get a lot of compliments on it.IMG_7113IMG_7132IMG_7161

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Limestone, Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3, is basically inert, non reactive. Lime, CaO, Calcium Oxide, usually made from Limestone, is reactive, a base, when hydrated,(water added), becomes CaOH, Calcium Hydroxide, which can be corrosive.  It takes heat, usually in a commercial rotary kiln, to produce Lime.

Most galvanized coating, is zinc plated on metal/steel tubing. Galvanize is to inhibit rust, though galvanize can be removed mechanically, wheel-ware on track, and abrasive cleaning, to polish track, for better electrical conductivity.

Last edited by Mike CT
@mowingman posted:

Joe,

The dust will not be an issue after it is glued down, as you mentioned. It will be very nasty and quite evident while placing and spreading the limestone ballast. Very similar to people's experiences using dusty cat litter.

Jeff

The dust might be a problem because it could change color once it is glued down. I used crushed stone for ballasting a test track and didn't wash it first, and all the dust mixed with the glue solution and dried a much lighter color than the actual rock.

@NJCJOE posted:

True, however standard gauge is not set to a particular scale. I used some G scale items with standard gauge that looked okay while others were way oversized. In my case, it's more about capturing a certain look versus being scaled completely accurately. As mowingman stated, without sifting the ballast with a correct sized sieve, I have to settle with what is readily available.

I’ll tell ya Joe, for standard gauge, the best looking ballast I’ve ever seen was dark gray aquarium stone, …..it really looked like it belonged as part of the whimsical charm that is standard gauge ……the fella did such a nice job, he had to tell us it was aquarium stones…..he made his own add-a-ties out of trim wood from the lumber stores……wish I could find the pictures, cause it was the best looking standard gauge track dressing I’ve ever seen,….

Pat

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