Whilst idling the time away waiting for the tree man, began some tentative steps into the mystic sphere of scenery! Earlier this morning after completing the daily domestic chores, nipped down to our local sand quarry and blagged a couple of take away containers of our local red sand.
Never have been a fan of mixing ballast with, washing up liquid and PVA , always struck me as exceedingly messy, floods of water and diluted PVA glue going into places it is not wanted.
Those of a certain age will remember woodworking lessons at school, for others a brief over view.
Urea Formaldehyde glue came into use just prior to World War II in the aircraft industry. It was used to laminate wood structures and fabrics in air-frame applications.
Borden's Cascamite is a waterproof glue and is probably the must effective glue of all. It is a white powder and is resin based. The dry form which I am using has a much longer shelf life than the liquid form. But, in all other respects, it is the same as the L-100 resin. It just lacks the water.
Urea formaldehyde mixtures cure completely in about four days at temperatures between 75 and 90 F. They can be heat cured very rapidly.
Please note, using synthetic glues can produce dermatitis, follow the procedures and guidelines that are supplied with the product.
Using a bag of Model Scenics Coarse Light Grey Ballast, mixed 1 part red sand with 1 part ballast and 1 part Cascamite.
The sand, first I wanted to keep my modules local in terms of their geographical layout and red sand abounds in my corner of Devon.
Second, sand when damp holds just enough water, that when the Cascamite is added the curing process starts immediately. Because the whole mix is basically dry, spreading onto the track and between sleepers is easy, it goes where you put it, and of greater value is as the mix is starting to cure, it stays put!
All that is required, when a length of track is completed with the ballast mix, is a light dusting of water from one of those atomiser sprayer things that women use, in the case of the piece of track shown, less than a thimble full of water was required.
No more bunged up hand sprayers, ballast shooting off in all directions because of the force of water hitting it, no floods , pools and rivulets of sticky PVA getting into places it shouldn’t!
Test piece of Hornby track, every other sleeper removed, gone over with a wire brush to dull the shiny plastic finish, ballast mixed applied.
This was taken within a few minutes of adding the mix to the test piece, notice the lack of water!
As the mix stays tacky, can be reshaped etc., had to hand some yellow flock which was randomly sprinkled over the top, added bonus the flock stayed put, no wastage and no surplus to hoover up!
The remainder of the mix in the container is as it was mixed, no added water, some of those pieces are already rock hard!