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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just in the process of making a small layout 8' x 4.5'. and have nearly chose configuration. I'll be glueing track to cork road bed, my question is do I ballast before or after laying scenery (grass etc)?
 

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First; Go very light on the adhesive that you use. Just
a dab here and there will be sufficient.
Pin curved track until the adhesive sets.

Second: Have you fully tested your trains on the
track to be ballasted? Make sure all the electrical
connections are good and the trains run smoothly
over joiners.

Ballasting is a very close to the job chore. For that
reason, you'll want to do it before any buildings or
other scenic effects are on the layout.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Don, on my fist foray into ballasting on my switching yard I had a few problems although I didnt used roadbed and its non DCC.
 

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Grass or ballast first. I don't think it really matters one way or another. I've done it both ways with no problems with either one first...or last.

My current yard project was grass first only because it's faster than ballast and easier to do a good job with a minimal amount of fuss.

Ballasting is time consuming and tedious work and must be manipulated to get it looking good.

 

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I'm using a method my brother used on O tinplate.
Paint the roadbed gray before laying track, ballasting can wait a long time if you don't see cork!
 

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You still have those big ties sticking up though. That kills it for me, so as much as I hate ballasting, I do it, and try to do a good job at it.

Ballasting is the chore of model railroading for me. It's the task I never want to do but I love the results.
 

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Grass or ballast first. I don't think it really matters one way or another. I've done it both ways with no problems with either one first...or last.

My current yard project was grass first only because it's faster than ballast and easier to do a good job with a minimal amount of fuss.

Ballasting is time consuming and tedious work and must be manipulated to get it looking good.

Good job! But I see USAF on the wall. SAC, ATC and?
 

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SAC isn't on there. I was SAC for my whole eight years.

Those are the commands my Dad worked for during his 25 years in the Air Force.

Those are MAC, AFCC, ADC, 20th AF, 5th AF, and Air Forces in Europe. Air Forces in Europe is the one that looks like ATC.
 

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I'm using a method my brother used on O tinplate.
Paint the roadbed gray before laying track, ballasting can wait a long time if you don't see cork!
In my opinion, anything can wait a long time. It's not a race!

I personally like to get it out of the way, because I hate doing it, so I tend to do it sooner rather than later... but then, on my layout, "stand in" buildings or mock-ups can have a rather long shelf life...
 

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I'm just in the process of making a small layout 8' x 4.5'. and have nearly chose configuration. I'll be glueing track to cork road bed, my question is do I ballast before or after laying scenery (grass etc)?
As with everything else in this hobby, there is no right answer. Do if first, do in last, do it at the same time.

Real railroads build track where there is already grass and vegetation, so in that respect, the ballast is on top of the terrain.

On the other hand, Mother Nature tries really hard to take that right-of-way back, so there is almost always vegetation encroaching on the outer edge of the ballast, so the scenery ends up on top of the ballast.

It really doesn't matter from a realism perspective. Do it when it feels like the right time to do it. Get it over with, or put it off forever. Your layout, your rules.
 

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I'm just in the process of making a small layout 8' x 4.5'. and have nearly chose configuration. I'll be glueing track to cork road bed, my question is do I ballast before or after laying scenery (grass etc)?
ballast and weather the rail before you go to scenery work, you will have less chance to disturb the trees or buildings or whatever you mean by scenery.

however it can be done afterwards as well.
 

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I like the last two responses. I do my ballasting and electrification as soon as the track system is 'closed' (I always have a loop), and as soon as it is tested and tweaked for every locomotive I own. The ballast protects the tracks from movement. Then, as CT Valley says, let nature throw and blow seeds back into the edge of the ballast and dust those edges with a bit of weeds, grasses, some small shrubs.

From there, you can construct structures, trees, roads, poles...and not have to reach into them to brush the ballast and spray.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for all the replies, I tried mixing an amount of isopropynal with my white glue and ended up with a mixture like lumpy porridge . Back to the drawing board.
 

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Thank you for all the replies, I tried mixing an amount of isopropynal with my white glue and ended up with a mixture like lumpy porridge . Back to the drawing board.
I always used distilled water mixed with the white glue thin enough where the mixture would flow through an eye dropper. This also had a small amount of Dawn dish soap added.
I only used the alcohol/water mix to spray on the dry ballast before adding the glue solution. The ballast needs to be wet thoroughly.
Everyone seems to have their own method.
 

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I always used distilled water mixed with the white glue thin enough where the mixture would flow through an eye dropper. This also had a small amount of Dawn dish soap added.
I only used the alcohol/water mix to spray on the dry ballast before adding the glue solution. The ballast needs to be wet thoroughly.
Everyone seems to have their own method.
Same here. 50/50 white glue/water. I use the isopropyl alcohol straight out of the bottle.

For major ballasting sessions I use a piping bottle or wash bottle for both the alcohol and glue/water mix.

https://www.amazon.com/Economy-Bottle-Squeeze-Medical-Tattoo/dp/B00WTHLR18
 
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