Tips on using real coal required please

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Ex-Pat
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Tips on using real coal required please

Postby Ex-Pat » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:04 pm

I’ve just broken up a lump of coal, and can’t get over how much dust there is.

I’m very interested to know how you all go about using it. For example:

Do you wash it to get the dust off?

Or do you use the dust as a “sprinkle”?

What sort of glue do you use? (PVA or what?)

Any other tips gratefully received – thanks in advance.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby flying scotsman123 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:47 pm

To glue it down I've used neat PVA in the tender, put the coal in then a watered down PVA with fairy liquid on top, as with ballasting.

Don't worry about dust, put it all in! There was a discussion about coal quality back in real days on another forum and the consensus was it was much worse than the stuff that reaches tenders of preserved locomotives today, with descriptions of a few lumps about 2 foot in size in vast quantities of dust, and little in between. I shall try and find it and return if I do....
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Bigmet
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby Bigmet » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:54 pm

Dust levels vary enormously with coal type: hardest bituminous coal very little, soft coal an awful lot. If you can find a harder coal use it, because soft coal just sheds dust all the time. If that's not possible, gently sieve it. Regular PVA or 'white glue' works very well to secure coal. Check before use that the version you have dries clear so it 'disappears' when gone off.

My favourite trick for use in wagons and bunkers, line the space the coal is to go into with cling film well overhanging the outside faces of the space. Let it go off fully, I often allow a whole week in a warm place. Then the coal load can be lifted out, the clingfilm removed and is thereafter a removeable load.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby flying scotsman123 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:58 pm

https://www.national-preservation.com/threads/where-does-the-best-and-worst-coal-come-from.845303/page-4

The main discussion here is about coal quality, but a few posts on size on pgs 4 and 5. Hope it's helpful.
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carnehan
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby carnehan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:38 pm

I can't add anything further other than to say watered down PVA works a treat for me. If I'm making permanent loads in wagons, such as the Airfix mineral wagons, I use the moulded load included in the kit to reduce the depth needed for actual coal and therefore reducing drying time too.

Paul

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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby Ex-Pat » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:31 pm

Thank you gentlemen all.

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End2end
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby End2end » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:06 am

Bigmet wrote:My favourite trick for use in wagons and bunkers, line the space the coal is to go into with cling film well overhanging the outside faces of the space. Let it go off fully, I often allow a whole week in a warm place. Then the coal load can be lifted out


I actually sink a piece of balsa wood (around 5mm thick-ish) into the cling film lined wagon, paint neat pva on the balsa top and sprinkle the load scatter on top to the amount I want.
I then use a 50/50 pva/water mix with a couple of drops of washing up liquid to break the surface tension of the mix and pipette this over the load.
Once dry this gives a thick and strong load without having to use a lot of scatter and can also be used in wagons of the same size.
I sometimes add some flat card feet to the underside of the balsa to get upto any extra need height.
I also add a piece of lead flashing under the load the size of the inside of the wagon to weigh the wagon down.

Word of warning!!!....As Bigmet says you must leave them long enough to dry. I mistakingly put my wet loaded wagons into the airing cupboard to dry for 3 days. Thinking they had dried I turned one upside down and the wet mix came pouring out and all over the wagons sides creating a complete mess. I hade to completely clean the wagon and start from scratch. :evil:
Lesson learnt the hard way! :lol:

One thing pointed out to me was to have a look at how coal etc is loaded into wagons to see the heaps the loading mechanisms would make.
Thanks
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby Ex-Pat » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:14 pm

Thanks E2e.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:00 pm

Bigmet wrote:My favourite trick for use in wagons and bunkers, line the space the coal is to go into with cling film well overhanging the outside faces of the space. Let it go off fully, I often allow a whole week in a warm place. Then the coal load can be lifted out, the clingfilm removed and is thereafter a removeable load.

My twist on the idea:-
Bury a nail in the coal before adding the PVA, remove load with a magnet!
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End2end
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby End2end » Mon Jul 05, 2021 11:09 am

Bufferstop wrote:My twist on the idea:-
Bury a nail in the coal before adding the PVA, remove load with a magnet!

I should have done this. Now I have to remove the wagon from the rake/track to get the load out. :?
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Mountain
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby Mountain » Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:14 pm

There is a problem with using PVA as a glue and that is especially an issue when it comes into contact with lead or liquid lead and that it can over a period of around 20 years distort the plastic bodies of models. PVA can also do this where it does not come in contact with lead. I have seen wagons with coal loads where the plastic has distorted in shape for sale secondhand after PVA has been used, so I have decided to go easy on the PVA. I have used glues like UHU in the past. The only issue with UHU is that it does eventually (Takes a good 10 years usually) go hard and lose its ability to bond. I used to use UHU for everything as a teenager as it was the only glue apart from Bostic which I could buy via our travelling hardware style shop which came to us on wednesday evenings. He usually kept UHU in stock. If not he had Bostic in the pink tubes.
But the things I have glued in the past from those days have needed re-glueing around a decade later. I did not use so much Bostic so I can't comment on that. I preferred UHU as it had a nicer smell, not that I went around sniffing glue!

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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby Bigmet » Tue Jul 06, 2021 11:36 am

'PVA' covers a multitude of product. Buying a branded product intended for woodworking from such as Unibond may cost more, but it cures reliably and is clear, and won't corrode metals or do any other damage. Go for cheap and who knows what you are getting? Often not pH neutral for a start...

As for contact adhesives, old faithful is original formulation Evostick. Still in production, because among other applications it is used to attach laminate finish to MDF kitchen worktops, and you can tell it's the real thing by the powerful reek of alkanes. Use in a well ventilated location. I use this to attach lead because it holds for as long as required - over forty years in some of my models - but remains elastic and thus the bond can be released at need. (I have been known to glue in motors where the provided mounting is wimpy, and you want to be able to replace these !)

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Lysander
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby Lysander » Tue Jul 06, 2021 5:56 pm

PVA and lead shot ballast is widely accepted as bad news but in 40 years of modelling I haven’t experienced any adverse reactions when PVA is used alone with plastics.

Tony
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Re: Tips on using real coal required please

Postby gppsoftware » Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:13 am

Mountain wrote:There is a problem with using PVA as a glue...of around 20 years distort the plastic bodies of models.


In 40 years of modelling, I have never heard of or experienced PVA having that effect - and I use it regularly.

However what I have noticed is that some plastics from some manufacturers can and do distort over time. Now that may be due to the warmer climate here and the level of UV light being higher so things like plastic garden chairs are absolutely hammered by sunlight. While most plastics seem to tolerate this these days and not go brittle, they usually end up going matt on their surfaces after 5 years or so.
Of course, we don't operate model railways in direct sunlight, but I am convinced that the warmth and humidity combinations here do have a long term effect, not just on models!

Other models, such as the original Mainline/Replica collett coaches were made distorted in the first place because they were removed from their moulds before properly cooled. I always check any models I purchase because it is still surprising the number of coaches and wagons which are not exactly straight.


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