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In HO, I use crushed walnut shells I dyed black. I got them from Harbor Freight. They had two grades for abrasive blasting when Black Beauty is too aggressive. I used the finer grade but maybe the more coarse grade would work for O. It's pretty inexpensive, I think about $20 for 25lbs.

Paul
I just looked up how the Lionel coal handling equipment works and I think the walnut shells would make a bigger mess. The equipment I saw was using very large pieces, almost like pea gravel. I'm not very familiar with Lionel but I like that it does stuff.
Paul
 

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I thought that would happen, with the coaling station, coal ramp, coal loader, and the elevator, i think i will use something else.

Thanks..
Good call. Coal dust isn't something you want to mess with. You have heard of Black Lung Disease, right?

I would try some aquarium gravel.
Coal is a messy substance and for that reason I wouldn’t use it in my home. It’s highly doubtful that a few handfuls on a model railroad would lead to Black Lung Disease, however.

That develops after long term exposure to high levels of coal dust. There was a time when many homes were heated with coal and there were tons of it present in basements. Some old homes still use coal.

I would be more concerned with the reaction of my wife after I spilled coal on the carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Coal is a messy substance and for that reason I wouldn’t use it in my home. It’s highly doubtful that a few handfuls on a model railroad would lead to Black Lung Disease, however.

That develops after long term exposure to high levels of coal dust. There was a time when many homes were heated with coal and there were tons of it present in basements. Some old homes still use coal.

I would be more concerned with the reaction of my wife after I spilled coal on the carpet.
Yeah, i get it about the wife thing, and i don`t need the dust, i get enough of dust on the layout from normal activity.
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Good call. Coal dust isn't something you want to mess with. You have heard of Black Lung Disease, right?

I would try some aquarium gravel.
It's also highly explosive if sufficiently dense in the local area. Even rock dust will explode in the right conditions, which is why mining operations treat dust so carefully.
 

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Coal is a messy substance and for that reason I wouldn’t use it in my home. It’s highly doubtful that a few handfuls on a model railroad would lead to Black Lung Disease, however.

That develops after long term exposure to high levels of coal dust. There was a time when many homes were heated with coal and there were tons of it present in basements. Some old homes still use coal.

I would be more concerned with the reaction of my wife after I spilled coal on the carpet.
I wasn't implying that it would. Just showing that it's not something innocuous that you want drifting around your layout room.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I wasn't implying that it would. Just showing that it's not something innocuous that you want drifting around your layout room.
That`s true, the wife would have me sleeping in the tool shed with my trains if that happened.:smilie_daumenneg:
 

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At the recent York train meet, Al Zamorski of Millhouse River Studios demonstrated his new rotary coal dump using Brennens real coal. There is no dust, and the coal is large enough and heavy enough to dump without flying all over. The coal is a bit larger then the more common 'Chestnut' coal, but all different sizes of coal were hauled in hoppers. A material I use is Black Beauty sand blast grit, which can be found at building supply places. The fine grit is scale sized for Chestnut. However, there are some different colored bits, and some tubular shaped bits that I remove when making loads.
 

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Blankety blank Coal

That is why I sold my coal ramp and loader. Just got tired of the mess.:smilie_daumenneg:
 

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Discussion Starter #33
At the recent York train meet, Al Zamorski of Millhouse River Studios demonstrated his new rotary coal dump using Brennens real coal. There is no dust, and the coal is large enough and heavy enough to dump without flying all over. The coal is a bit larger then the more common 'Chestnut' coal, but all different sizes of coal were hauled in hoppers. A material I use is Black Beauty sand blast grit, which can be found at building supply places. The fine grit is scale sized for Chestnut. However, there are some different colored bits, and some tubular shaped bits that I remove when making loads.
Great information here, i always went to the York train show when i lived in Maryland and Delaware, living in Florida is just too far away, and i miss that.
Thanks for your message.
WMnut
 

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Great information here, i always went to the York train show when i lived in Maryland and Delaware, living in Florida is just too far away, and i miss that.
Thanks for your message.
WMnut
You're welcome. Good luck with your project, what ever material you finally settle on.
 
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