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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 7

I am taking a short break from track laying to prepare the ballast.

I came across a video recommending pumice as a ballasting medium. The great benefit of this is its cost being only about £3 for 3 litres from Ikea (in the garden section).

The raw bag of pumice is shown top left in the photo. For 0 gauge I sifted this through approximately 1.75 mm mesh and then again through 1mm mesh to remove the dust.

About a third of the bag is usable as 0 gauge ballast  (shown in the plastic container). The dust, comprising 1mm chips and dust, amounted to less than a quarter of the bag and this could be sifted again for 00 gauge and N gauge ballast) The remainder, being the bulk, are 'rocks' that may be suitable for larger railway gauges.I dare say the 'rocks' could be crushed to make more 0, 00 or N ballast. I have not tested that yet.

There is good colour variation from light to dark fawn. I usually use grey ballast, which is characteristic of new or lightly used track beds. Looking at photos though I see that well used track beds appear brownish, perhaps darker than the pumice.

The depth of my track sleepers is quite deep at 3mm so I will lay a bed of the 'rocks' between sleepers to bulk out the areas followed by a covering of the prepared 0 gauge ballast. The glue will be diluted PVA, with a little washing up liquid to release surface tension, either dribbled or sprayed over.

To Part 8.

To Part 1

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