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Old 01-20-2016, 11:35 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 32
Two Questions!

Two quick questions:

1. What is your favorite method/tool for cleaning track?

2. What is your favorite method/ tool for ballasting track?

Appreciate any and all responses!
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:37 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Posts: 1,047
Scales Modeled: HO
I have three different kinds of track cleaning cars: Two CMX, Two Aztek Annihilators, Three MNPs.

I like the CMX because it is all metal can I can use just about any cleaning fluid. I use it with lacquer thinner if the track is really dirty.

The Aztex I use with alcohol. The MNP dry for a quick clean and polish.

Everybody seems to have their favorite ballasting method. I watched several videos and tried them all.

What works for me:

- brush full strength white glue on the sloped sides
- sprinkle ballast on glue
- pat smooth keeping ballast off ties,rails
- wait a bit to let glue begin to dry
- sprinkle ballast between sides keeping ballast off ties, rails
- spray gently with "wet" water, ballast should stay put
- add diluted white glue with dropper
- when dry remove any stray ballast from ties, rails

If you can go look at track in your area. Around here, except for some little used sections, it is neatly done.

I should have mentioned that I use ballast from Arizona Rock & Mineral Company.

Last edited by fcwilt; 01-20-2016 at 01:23 PM..
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:04 PM   #3
Yard Master
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
Posts: 6,545
I echo wilts methods...that's the way I do it.

Hold off painting the rail sides until after ballasting.
Sometimes those stray pebbles attach to the rails
and you scratch the paint removing them.

Your finger is one of the best tools to use for
smoothing the track ballast.

You can expect 'floaters' if you use W/S ballast
made of ground and dyed nut shells. You can
substitue products from Arizona Stone which
are actual tiny rocks.

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