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· Premium Member
2,951 Posts
Yellow carpenter's glue. Dilute it with water by about 80%, and add two drops of liquid dish detergent. Place a couple or three small clean pebbles in the mix to help shake it.

Once you have done a nice clean job of gluing the ballast, spray it with 70% isopropyl alcohol from the drug store. Don't soak it, just wet the top 1/8". You want the glue solution to wick down into the sand right away. Go easy with the don't want it running out the bottom edge of the ballast...just enough so that you know it's there.

As a tip: tap the rails with the handle of an artist's brush lightly along its length. Any grains of ballast remaining on the tops of the ties will settle off those surfaces inside of maybe four taps.

· Registered
12,871 Posts
Regarding the E6000 for ballast, do you use only it directly or do you prewet the ballast? After spraying assume you immediately clean the rail heads?
Despite MichaelE's answer, I would pre-wet the ballast. Otherwise you end up with a hard crust over loose ballast, which isn't a good thing.

I use acrylic matte medium, diluted with 3 parts water and two drops of dishwashing liquid per cup of solution. For best results, allow the talc (added as a dulling agent) to settle out overnight and decant the solution.

Matte medium is much more expensive than glue, but it is more flexible when dry and resists discoloration better than glue, so it's worth it to me. I buy it at Michael's when the have 40-50% off one item coupons.
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