Ballasting HO Track

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Ballasting HO Track

Postby viken » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:35 am

Despite trying to be careful I think I glued my switch points when ballasting track.

I used a fine grade ballast, wet it with rubbing alcohol, then used Scenic Express prepared matt medium. In most cases, I completely avoided putting any ballast between the ties in the switch point areas or under the throw bars.

Still, I've got several stuck points. Before I do anything more stupid than I may already have, I would like to ask for advice on how I can try to free the points without doing any serious damage to the switches or points. e.g. Would old fashioned "tuner spray" (for old fashioned TV channel tuners - which would presumably make the spray compatible with both electrical connections and plastic) act as a solvent for the matt medium?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated as I really would like to run my trains now, not just look at them :-)

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Ballasting HO Track

Postby JamesRR » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:29 pm

Use denatured alcohol. Use an eye dropper and put a generous amount onto the points that are glued. Using an X-acto knife, gently (once the alcohol has had a few minutes to settle) work to break the points free. You may need several applications, but it should dissolve the matte medium.

In the future, you should really mask your switch points well before putting any glue over them. I usually tape the points with masking tape, apply my glue with a sprayer, and later remove the tape. I then brush in the ballast but I don't glue it around the switch points, since it can cause huge problems with the mechanisms.

Good luck!
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