Author Topic: Calculating amount of N scale ballast needed?  (Read 655 times)

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ChessieFan

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Calculating amount of N scale ballast needed?
« on: August 22, 2018, 04:12:40 PM »
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I am starting scenery work on My N scale model railroad layout.  So I am trying come up with a approximate quantity of N scale fine ballast I would would need.  Is there simple calculation for this or rule of thumb?  I have approximately 185 feet of mainline track to ballast .  I would like to WS fine grade track ballast.  Can anyone help me.  Thank You

Mark W

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Re: Calculating amount of N scale ballast needed?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2018, 04:42:28 PM »
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I have approximately 185 feet of mainline track to ballast .  I would like to WS fine grade track ballast.  Can anyone help me.  Thank You

With 185 feet, surely you have one or two feet of spare track.  Just lay that track on a scrap 2x4 or something, incrementally measure ballast as you put it on.  However much ballast it took for that foot, multiply by 185. 

The added benefit is that you can make up two one foot test sections and compare Woodland Scenic ballast to a crushed real-rock ballast like Arizona Rock and Mineral.  Real-rock ballast to be so much easier to work with, and the end result will look so much better. 
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Calculating amount of N scale ballast needed?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2018, 12:28:41 PM »
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I would like to WS fine grade track ballast.  Can anyone help me.

I can't help with the measurement, but... don't use the WS stuff my man!!

There are much better options out there. I like grout, but other people prefer real rock.

Either way, those Woodland Scenics walnut shells are for the birds!

Dave V

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Re: Calculating amount of N scale ballast needed?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2018, 03:23:15 PM »
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I can't help with the measurement, but... don't use the WS stuff my man!!

There are much better options out there. I like grout, but other people prefer real rock.

Either way, those Woodland Scenics walnut shells are for the birds!

I don't hate the WS walnut shells.  If soaked thoroughly with alcohol before bonding it doesn't float.  It's also not translucent, it doesn't leave residue in the rail web, and size is uniform.  Ed and I agree on much, but on this point we disagree.  For a well-ballasted mainline, WS ballast works well.

I do think the fine WS is still a little large for N scale though; it's about perfect for HO.  However, when I built the Juniata Division, the oversized ballast looked fine with my oversized rails and oversized ties.   :D
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nkalanaga

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Re: Calculating amount of N scale ballast needed?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2018, 12:36:22 AM »
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WS N scale "Iron Ore" also makes good pine cones.
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ChessieFan

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Re: Calculating amount of N scale ballast needed?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2018, 04:51:38 PM »
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Thank You for the information.