IanR

Ballast

34 posts in this topic

On the Kirkfield & Warmthorpe railway I have used Gaugemaster granite ballast, a 50/50 mix of OO and N gauge. This is put on dry in the usual way. I have then dribbled Johnsons 'Klear' floor polish onto the ballast using a pipette, it runs into the dry ballast very easily. This sets the ballast hard and is very waterproof. The first section I did, which is the section in front of the tunnel, has been out for two winters and is still ok.

The downside of this is that Johnsons no longer produce 'Klear' in its original form. Their new product is called Klear with Pledge but I understand that it isn't suitable for ballasting although I haven't tried it.

I have also used 'Astonish' Wood Floor polish, which is available from discount stores and some pound shops, although I don't think it is as hard wearing as 'Klear'.

Rustins produce floor products too, they could be worth investigating.

I haven't seen original 'Klear' in the main stores for some time now but you may find some in the smaller independent ironmongers.

 

Klear.JPG

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Astonish are now calling their floor polish 'Flawless'.

It is in a bigger 750ml bottle and is Tangerene and Cinnamon scented!

I bought a bottle from Poundworld in Castleford and would imagine it will be widely available elsewhere.

I have tested 'Flawless' on a small area and it does set the ballast although a second application after the first has dried makes it much better.

I don't know if it will last as long as the ballast that I have fixed with Johnson's Klear but I don't see why it wouldn't.

It smells rather nice too!! :)

I should point out that all the ballast I have done is on top of the roofing felt i.e. non-porous. Fixing ballast on a porous surface with the floor polish may be a different matter as the porous surface would probably swallow up much of the polish.

DSCF3921.JPG.225e8a4a2d237bed7743a8e8a641b241.JPG

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Here's another product that appears to be an excellent waterproof fixative for granite ballast.

DSCF3946.JPG.973728bfc631a01e220768493349bfee.JPG

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Have you used the 'Rustins' brand Ian and would you recommend using that one to the 'Astonish: Flawless' brand mentioned/pictured previously?

It'll be some time before I need to use either but I certainly intend having at least part of the SGR fully ballasted.

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I've used the Rustins recently to repair a small section near the girder bridge. It has set very well with just one application.

I used the Astonish on a small section earlier this year and that too is sound.

The Rustins may be a bit stronger but the Astonish is much cheaper and is good value.

I got the Rustins from Yorkshire Trading Co in Selby, they only had three bottles left, reduced from £5.99 to £2.99.

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If any of you find original Johnsons 'Klear' in any of your local shops snap it up.... it's fetching between £20 and £25 a bottle on eBay!!!!

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This will definitely solve our problem of sticking the ballast down.... as an aside, if you've got a porous surface like we have (paving slab wall, paving blocks etc) then a few of the exterior paint makers do a rubber paint which makes an ideal undercoat and also smooths out the surface making for a flatter trackbed!

How on earth did you come up with the idea of floor cleaner as an effective adhesive??!?! :shock:

:D

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I have been reading this thread with interest and have considered using polish to fix my ballast, instead of doing it the traditional way with pva and water. My question, to those who have used polish is, has anybody tried lifting the ballast and track afterwards? A strange question to ask you may think, but remember, I am the person who has already laid 2 different scales in my garden and its always useful to know if what you are doing is permanent or removeable.

As said above, on my previous 2 versions of the HFR, I have used external grade pva, water and washing up liquid, just as you would on track indoors. It has stood up to the weather ok and was easily removeable when I wanted to lift the track - all that was required was a kettle of boiling water poured on and hey presto!, you can lift it and clean off the track for re-use or resale.

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Track lifts quite easily from the ballast. You can soften it with a solution of household ammonia if you prefer but last time I did some track alteration the ballast crumbled quite easily dry.

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Unfortunately, due to the heavy rain we have had recently, I have noticed some of my ballast has been, literally, blasted away (or eaten by mice!?!). Its only in a few areas and really only on the ballast shoulder at the end of the sleepers. Most of this is also where I accidently used fine grade ballast rather than medium, which seems to glue better. I have now covered the trackbed over where it seems to be worst affected. Oh, well, a little job I will have to attend to in the spring :!:

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Yep, sure was. As I said though, I dont think this is the problem. 99.9% of the trackbed has held up well - this issue is mostly where ive used the wrong grade ballast.

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I was looking on another forum and they mentioned Future as a clear coat for decals. It triggered a memory that someone had mentioned future as a ballast bonding glue here. One guy on that other forum mentioned that Future is now being sold as Pledge with Future. Maybe you guys knew this already, but I thought I'd pass it on.

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When I used to driver coaches for a living we had to clean them as well and we use to use a liquid polish to do the floors with which was pretty hard wearing. Although white when applied it dried clear and was available as a gloss or semi gloss (sort of silk finish) you also didn't have to mix it with water just apply neat. The other thing being that you could get a stripper solution as well if you needed to remove it. Didn't seem to harm any of the plastic either. Used to get it from commercial cleaning outlets.

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I am planning on using a mixture of waterproof PVA and water (50/50?) dribbled on to the real granite chippings, possibly "misting" the dry ballast first from a fine spray of water and a drop of washing up liquid.

When it has all dried I would then pour or paint on some floor polish as recommended by others.

Is 50/50 WPVA and water about right and is pre-wetting unnecessary? I thought a mist spray first would help the WPVA and water soak in more easily and stop it washing the ballast away.

I'm always interested in learning from other peoples experiences.

Riddles

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ba14eagle said:

Mist / soak the ballast with water first - it will help the pva mix no end

Thank you for that. Does 50/50 sound right for the waterproof PVA / water mix?

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ba14eagle said:

Mist / soak the ballast with water first - it will help the pva mix no end

Yep, and a drop of dish soap in the spray bottle doesn't hurt either.

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Sorry to resurrect a really old thread, but I am currently at this stage where I'm thinking about ballasting some stretches of track.

I've laid everything onto concrete, so I'm thinking about making up a mixture of ballast and rapid setting cement powder. I'll lay it on dry and once I'm sure it's all off the track with a soft brush, I'll spray it with a mist of water.

In theory it should set and be as hard as, er, concrete........

If anyone's tried this and it failed miserably, please let me know now :D

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