Author Topic: Smith & Son Ballast  (Read 6321 times)

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GaryHinshaw

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Smith & Son Ballast
« on: January 17, 2018, 02:04:10 AM »
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As many of you know, I'm a ballast snob.  I've been using Smith & Son Penn-Ohio blend for Tehachapi BC and I love it, but my stock is nearing the end, and I still have half of the layout left to ballast.  I purchased my previous stock from Scenic Express, but they no longer carry the line, so I hit the internet and found an old listing for Harley and Dale Smith in Chardon, Ohio in old NMRA Western Reserve Region web page.  They listed a phone number, so I gave them a call about 3 weeks ago and got a vanilla "please leave a message" recording.   I told the machine what I was looking for and that I hoped they were still in business (not knowing if this was even a correct number).  Two weeks passed with no response, so I figured either the number was incorrect, or they had moved on.  Lo and behold, a few days ago I got a call from Dale Smith apologizing for the delay -- it turns out that he's a snow plow operator in the heart of the Lake Erie snow belt and he's been working overtime for the last two weeks, but the ballast business is alive and well.

Sadly, his dad Harley passed away last May, but Dale still has the equipment and some stock on hand and he's happy to keep the operation going for fun money.  I told him what I wanted and he called me back today (after waiting for some snow to clear) to report that he has a gallon of Penn-Ohio #50 ready to go for me, so the MOW crews on TBC are elated!  This is enough stock to finish TBC and "my next layout". 

If your looking for quality stone ballast, consider supporting him.  You won't regret it.  Here is his contact info, including an email address:

Dale Smith (Smith & Son Ballast)
440-286-4890
dhsmith73@windstream.net

(He called me back on a different number, but I'm not sure he wanted that one published.  He was happy to have the email listed though, as long as it was made clear that he only checks it every few days.)  I don't actually know what his full line includes, but he would be happy to tell you, and maybe send you photos.

Chris333

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 02:51:08 AM »
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The abandoned B&O line at the end of my road (that started off as narrow gauge) goes through Chardon, Ohio on the way to lake Erie (Fairport Harbor).

I remember one of the Z scalers visiting him to get ballast and said it was just a small spot in his shed.

Penn-Ohio is my fav as well  8)

ljudice

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 06:33:03 PM »
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Gary:

Thanks for the info - I still have several pounds here but this is good to know.

What size do you use?



- Lou

jpwisc

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 11:14:47 PM »
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That’s sad that’s we lost Harley. I loved his old school way of doing business. He’d only take orders by mail. I would get the Ballast first and then the bill. I’ve been using the Penn-Ohio #50 for my layout. It is the best out there.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 08:47:19 PM by jpwisc »
Karl
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GaryHinshaw

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 01:05:55 AM »
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Penn-Ohio #50 for me too:



A bit more back-story:
Dale said that Harley only took mail order because he was hard of hearing and he mis-transcribed the buyer's info on the phone too often (and of course no email for him).   Dale lives next door to Harley's house and his mother is still living there.  Harley had a layout in the basement that hosted ops sessions every month and Dale is keeping that tradition alive for as long as possible.  I bet it is a well ballasted layout!

ednadolski

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 10:01:28 AM »
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Great info, Gary, thanks for sharing!   Tehachapi CO is grateful too  ;)

PS nice couplers in that last pic   :D :ashat:

Ed

ridinshotgun

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 07:34:13 PM »
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Hey Gary so in your opinion if one was modeling SP trackage the penn-ohio blend is best to get?

seusscaboose

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 07:43:41 PM »
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Left message
Talked to Dale last night
Got my Penn Ohio coming


"I have a train full of basements"

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ednadolski

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 01:05:18 AM »
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Penn-Ohio #50 for me too:



How well do you like this ballast for hiding the plastic flextrack web between the ties?   I don't see any webbing in this low-angle pic (definitely a good thing), but what about other angles, as well as inside the rails?

With the lighter colored concrete ties I find it's harder to hide the webbing, compared to brown/black ties.

Thanks,
Ed

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 08:17:43 PM »
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Hey Gary so in your opinion if one was modeling SP trackage the penn-ohio blend is best to get?

It probably depends where on the SP system you are modelling, but for California, I would say yes.  This photo gives an example of the track I am trying to model on the present-day (nee-SP) Tehachapi line.

How well do you like this ballast for hiding the plastic flex-track web between the ties?

Probably about the same as any ballast really.  I've gotten better at applying it (read slower...) so that I can hide the strip pretty well.  But there are spots here and there which could probably use another pass.  I'll try to get some sample pics posted when I get a chance.  :)

DeltaBravo

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2018, 09:05:39 PM »
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Left message
Talked to Dale last night
Got my Penn Ohio coming

How many tons did you order?? :D
David B.
 
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seusscaboose

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2018, 09:09:40 PM »
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Mmmm

You’re the Math Whiz on the Team

What does 10 lbs come out to in N scale?

Lol


"I have a train full of basements"

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DeltaBravo

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2018, 09:30:33 PM »
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No way am I the math wiz, that is more Steve than anybody else I know.
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Point353

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2018, 10:15:11 PM »
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With the lighter colored concrete ties I find it's harder to hide the webbing, compared to brown/black ties.
Paint the webbing in a color similar to that of the ballast before you apply the ballast.

chicken45

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Re: Smith & Son Ballast
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2018, 08:56:16 AM »
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Is there an N scale PRR blend?
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