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Old 04-23-2013, 08:27 PM   #1
MISTER ANDERSON
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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USA Where to get cheap ballast?

My LHS has some, but they are outrageously over priced.. $6.99 for enough ballast to cover 25 inches or roughly 3 peices of track seams a weeee bit high to me! Any suggestions?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
sawgunner
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i sweep the street before the city gets their sweeper out and sift out the rocks then i have sand, dirt, gravel, and ballast to use for FREE!!!!
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
norgale
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Mortar sand at Home Depot.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
RUSTY Cuda
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Location: Emerson N.J.
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How big were the bags, doesn't sound like much?
What color are you looking for, I have more that I can possibly use, I'll sell it to you for the 1990 prices marked on the bags + shipping .(about 2 bucks a bag)
The bags are 7oz, there's a mix of grays from fine to coarse, dark brown medium & cinders fine med & coarse.
I'm using the cinders now, but whats in the can will probably do what I need.
I did the freight yard & the two loops with about half of that big tin on the right,Vaccumned up a lot of the excess too, probably 4 bags. the coffee cans are marked 2 7oz bags, thats how I'm estimating.

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Old 04-23-2013, 09:38 PM   #5
dannyrandomstate
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Do like I did. Go to a gun shop and get either crushed walnut or corn cob for the brass cleaning. Get it home and dilute some craft paint in the color of your choice. Dump in whichever you choose let is soak until it has the shade you are aiming for. I used a coffee filter to drain the liquid out and then spread it out on newspaper to dry. I tried it with the corn cob media and had pretty decent results. At 6ish dollars for 5 pounds for either it will go along way. I tried diluted india ink also, and had good result with that. It's all about the experimentation.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
lears2005
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Hey rusty if he dose not want the bags of balast I will buy them from you thanks
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:50 PM   #7
RUSTY Cuda
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Not lookin to sell it all, but I can spare some, lets see where it goes. Rich.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:33 PM   #8
MISTER ANDERSON
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Honestly I'm not sure the names of the colors or what color I wanna use. When studying my local rails, it appears there are 3-4 different colors of ballast. Has anyone used multiple colors mixed together before?
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:21 AM   #9
NaughtyMonkey
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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I have seen multiple colored ballast on layouts and I'm sure it's like that in real life.

Here is a link to an example: http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/10429
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:43 AM   #10
HVF City
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I do the street/river search for stones (scale rocks) but after spending this much on the rest of the layout, ballast cost is the least of my $$ worries. It comes clean, lays out well and stays put. I do mix different colors for main rails and sidings and with quite a bit of rail to ballast, I don't think I spent as much as one good building (lighted and detailed).

Problem I've found with "collected" or non train prepped materials is it should be washed well before putting down or using. Oils, salts, and other animal or bug remnants remain without a good soap/water/alcohol wash. Something to thing about.
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