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Just another modeller
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** Alan, looking good!

If you aren't going to brace that chipboard, do at least give it a good coat of sealer top, edges and bottom - it'll keep it more stable as its when the hunidity changes tha tit will become "less flat" otherwise.

Re the dowells being tight, take a rat tail file and just twist it in the holes a wee bit to slightly relieve the holes, then rub the dowells with a bit of wax or a bar of plain old soap. They'll become smooth and it'll be easier to get the board on and off...

(keep the soap bar in the tool chest - a bit rubbed on a handsaw blade makes it glide through the wood more easily as you cut too...)

Richard
 

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Just another modeller
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9,983 Posts
***Cheers Alan - the soap trick is from my dad, who did his apprenticeship when it was 7 years to qualify as a cabinetmaker, pre WW2.

Richard
 

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Just another modeller
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9,983 Posts
*** Try it this way. Its really no big deal and can be relaxing if you take your time and put on a bit of good music. It takes hours to do a whole layout of course but they don't need to be unpleasant if you use the method below.

The glue:

mix 1 part glue with 2~3 parts water, then add about 2~3 parts meths and shake really well. 50/50 is often mentioned but its plain wrong... It is far too much glue / like making concrete!

DO add and mix in the water before the meths and if its really cold, wait until it isn't to ballast (or warm up the trackage / room for a couple of hourrs and warm the water mixed into the glue as well). Leave the heater on for at tlast 3 hours after spreading glue too.

Spread and tidy the ballast. stay 2 sleepers away from point tie bars (we can do that bit later). Tidy up the edges too. if you tidy up as well as you can the edge still looks "prototypically ragged" but if you don't it looks like a disaster.

Rather than too much, apply ballast steadily and sparingly a soup spoon at a time and spread with the fingers. When spread properly, tap the rail gently with the back of spoon (just letting it fall uner its own weight when held between two fingers and it'll bounce particles away from the rail and settle the ballast between the sleepers.

Be fussy - 2 added minutes per foot to make it tidy is worth the effort. Don't use a brush - it always flicks ballast everywhere!.

squeeze a cotton bud really flat with pliers and put a wee bit of vaseline (onloy a wee bit) on it. rub that between the point blades and the stock rails for the last 30mm of the point blades. That will stop stray glue sticking them and can be left or wiped off later.

when its ready put meths in a window cleaning spray bottle and from far enough away to no blow the ballast give it a goot wetting wit the meths. Just do a few feet at a time... don't try to do too much at once!

re-shake the glue (in a plastic sauce bottle with a small cut nozzle is good) drip on the glue. not too much is needed. It goes a long way and flows surprisingly far.

Most will just soak in to the "meths wet" ballast immediately!

when glue is spread, the re-mist with the meths - the rest will soak in.

Now, get a bit of pine offcut and dip the end into a bit of meths. rub along the rail tops and this will remove the worst of any glue accidentally dropped there. be careful but press down slightly as you do it

Now.... walk away and don't touch until dry, even if you see a misplaced bit here and there... Be patient! It will dry quickly because of the meths, will not clump and will be nicely matt in look - and firmly held too.

When dry, run a fingernail along the inside of each rail and then rub any mischievous bits off sleepers or anywhere it shouldn't be.

quietly and carefully vacuum up the excess.

Now. those last bits by the point tie bars. Get a stiffish fine brush. dip in neat PVA and paint the area between those sleepers. Not too much!! Now add a pinck of ballast and tap it down into the glue. wait several hours and vacuum off excess...

Job done.

Give the rails a bit of a clean and play trains

kind regards

Richard.

QUOTE (The_Docster @ 16 Apr 2010, 05:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yep you were right, Expat. but not after a few metres just 6 inches.

Tonight I decided to do a little test area to see what it was like. I did it all by the book 50/50 pva/water and a dash of squeezy. A little syringe to apply the mixture and a little brush to push the gravel into the right position. I also used a wooden tea stirrer from a certain fast food company to tamp it down.

I found that when I applied the pva it still sat on the top (surface tension I believe) but if I dabbed it with the brush it mixed into the gravel quite well but then I found I had to re-position the gravel as it began to clump. I'm definitely a novice at this one. However I do believe that I got it right eventually. I will take a pic and post in the morning when the pva has dried and cleared (I hope).

So yes the novelty has worn off already. This is one job I'm not enjoying.

Cheers

Alan
 
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