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Old 15th April 2007, 11:25   #1
jhh72
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Default Ballast

Hi to all

I have heaps of "crusher dust" in a real nice dark grey color left over from a new house..its what was used when laying all the storm/water pipes in the ground etc..and its so close a color match to the real stuff!! problem being i have to filter handfulls at a time to get the required size etc..so ill be at it for years as i need tons of it...

I have 2 qstns,,(1) has anybody had any bad effects from using it or heard of bad reasons not to use it ? (2) is there an easier way to grind/crush it all even smaller..? as there will be a lot left over that will always be to big for me to use,,Im doing HO and HOn3 so i would like a suitable size etc

I am presently searching for a shop/company that may be able to do this so see what i find and im also looking into anyhting at all such as drill attachement,,rolling device,,hand grinder of some kind OR the wifes good electric blender!!! there must be something out there that will crush it even smaller??

Cheers,,,Jason.AUS.
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Old 16th April 2007, 07:43   #2
frank47
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You could buy yourself a windmill, or maybe a stone pessel and morter but I dont envy you grinding all that.
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Old 20th April 2007, 11:49   #3
jhh72
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Actually im going to trial 2 methods. 1st is the good old cement mixer with 2-3 cannon balls inside..dont laugh as it may work i hope?? run it for say 20-30 min at a time...and 2nd is a petrol/fuel powered "plate compactor" one would use to compact gravel/screenings etc in the yard or on a job site...just going to lay some screenings/crusher dust down on a concerete slab area i have and use it for say 1 min to pulverise it all!! Than i have 3 sifters ready to sift out the required sizes...

See what happens...
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Old 21st April 2007, 07:28   #4
frank47
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Hope it works for you.
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Old 26th April 2007, 07:49   #5
LancashireFusilier
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Default Re: Ballast

That sounds like a lot of faffing around to me. Do you have a cement mixer and a plate compactor already do you? It is taking the civil engineering aspects to a great level though. What will be next, setting up your own model furnace so you can extrude your own rail. Now there's an initiatve for the Scale 4 society to adopt. Home made rail with a difference. Scale trees to be cut to sleepers on you operating scale lumber facility. The foolishness just gets better and better. LoL Nah, only kidding along, what ever works is great and if the result is what you want there go for it and do show us how it turned out. Maybe a video of the plate compactor...
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Old 26th April 2007, 12:23   #6
MooUK
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Default Re: Ballast

Having a cement mixer isn't that unusual, I'd have thought. The female parental unit and the male stepparental being have a second-hand cement mixer he picked up cheap, and it really does make life easier when building things in the garden.

I wonder whether the sharp sand I use (partly filtered) for basing figures is a suitable size for n-gauge ballast...
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Old 27th April 2007, 14:46   #7
jhh72
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I have the cement mixer and big heavy round steel ball to go in it! and the compactor has been donated for my use.The crusher dust allready has a considerable amount of "smaller" grain through it,so once i sift it all i will produce 3 sizes for my use as ballast as well as some general scenery application..If i need more than i have the means to do so..whats left over will be used in my backard on another project for the house..I am also soon to sift and then dye my own sawdust in various colors and various sizes to be used as scatter.So far,all up cost is $5 for the sawdust dyes.Need i say the savings i have accomplished are worth the time and effort to do so.So far the ballast is just like what can be bought at the local hobby shop.I have done my own scatter b4,,just takes time and good sunny days to dry it all out than into a cheap blender i have to seperate again and presto its the same as you also buy..All i did was go around to any milling/lumber yard and spend 10 min collecting more than enough.I will also make my own trees out of various methods in the future such as dowel,thick wire with lichen,,rope frays also on wire and believe it or not certain plastic xmas tees that have removeable leaves/branches etc,,just saturate with pva solution and sprinkle whatever scatter color you like etc..As for civil engineering,i dont think so,there will be no furnace and no home made sleepers from trees but thankyou for your suggestion!Is this foolishness? not to me anyway,,im saving heaps and you know what im enjoying every minute that it takes to make it all and then use the end product on my layout.I will have heaps left over to which i will donate to my local train club.To me this is all the fun and enjoyment of my model railroading.
Thankyou for your comments.
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Old 28th April 2007, 10:44   #8
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Pleasure jhh72 we all have different things we hope to gain from our great hobby. Well done!
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