My friend Mel has been at it again! This time, he was looking for a ballasting tool to help with the rather tedious task of ballasting track. I’ve not gotten to that stage yet so was “all ears” when he was telling me about his modified ballast spreader.
The ballast tool, as delivered, comes with a small piece of fiber material much like a brush attached to the bottom. The principle is that as the ballast tool is slid along the tracks in the grooves that can bee seen above, the ballast falls through the small round holes then is “brushed” into place with the small brush at the rear of the ballaster. Mel reports that the brush threw bits of ballast everywhere.
His solution was to remove the brush-like material and replace it with a few small pieces of felt as shown in the “After” photo. He tells me that this makes it much easier to control the spreading of the material and is a lot less messy.
From the looks of the photo above, it would appear that Mel’s modification has worked quite well for him. It isn’t the first time that commercially made products can be easily modified to give much better results than the original model. Kudos to Mel for figuring this one out and sharing it with the rest of us.