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Cheap ballast and coal

2755 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  glgraphix
I was in Jo-Ann's Fabric and Craft store over the weekend and found in the flower/ florist area some colored sand (but the grains are more ballast size) for $2.99 a bag. I bought white and black.. The black makes great coal for the trains.. depending on how deep the car is, either fill with "coal" or a little styrofoam and the coal to save weight, a little elmers-water mix and let try, then spray with some dullcote. For ballast I dyed the white with some black and grey to give it the grey ballast rock look. It came ok, a little too shinny for my liking but might be worth mixing in with some woodland scenic ballast to spread it out farther.
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The cheapest ballast/coal per pound is sand blasting grit. The auto parts store I work at sells a 50Lb. bag for $10.36. Sell it to or share it with your friends. A cemetery monument lettering company will probably sell you some too.
The sand blasting grit we sell is black. It is made from pulverized coal ash from power plants. It comes in different grades but we only sell medium, great for HO.
The auto parts company I work for is in New Hampshire and Vermont. We sell "Black Beauty". I don't know if it's available in North Carolina but I'm sure there is a comparable product down there.
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