Topics

Cleaners & Lubricants

Keith Elrod
 

Excellent article; very informative.

On Sat, May 4, 2019 at 1:02 PM Tim Johnson <SBB_BLS_Bahnen@...> wrote:
In the May issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist, the Publisher's Musings column, Joe Fugate writes about track cleaning solvents: polar vs. non-polar. He has some really interesting findings. See https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/mrhpub.com/2019-05-may/online/index.html

-- 
Tim
Timothy A Johnson, Tucson, AZ (www.sbb-bls-bahnen.com)
European Train Enthusiasts, Central Arizona Chapter (www.ete.org)

Tim Johnson
 

In the May issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist, the Publisher's Musings column, Joe Fugate writes about track cleaning solvents: polar vs. non-polar. He has some really interesting findings. See https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/mrhpub.com/2019-05-may/online/index.html

-- 
Tim
Timothy A Johnson, Tucson, AZ (www.sbb-bls-bahnen.com)
European Train Enthusiasts, Central Arizona Chapter (www.ete.org)

Flash Gordon
 

I belong to a club in Michigan. We have thousands of feet of track and we use only alcohol in a cleaner car to clean the track. Plastic wheels are a no no; that is the biggest problem for clean track.

Ed S

Mark Cartwright
 

Jerry,
Besides mouse droppings and their pee (which has it's own acid) ....
Has anyone mentioned Never Dull, Brasso, WD-40, Tarn X, Borax, Pine Sol, Pine Oil (Hexol ), Easy Off, Sheila Shine Low, Bar Keeper's Friend, Glycolic or Salicylic Acid, Vinegar *white of course, and Brandy...Maybe Vodka ? ...  and the ever favorite pumice or ground sea-shells into s sort of toothpaste...
Oh and  yes Tooth Paste Too.
======
With all of the above said...I am still a believer in basically vacuuming and leaving it alone; by not letting it get dirty in the first place (HVAC Clean Filters).
I also tend to under lubricate my locomotives so that additional grease/oil does not make it's way down to the track.
======
However...
Between the non soldered joints, and snap connections, I am about to try this stuff.
https://www.sanchem.com/electrical-contact-lubricant.html

but I am not convinced yet to put anything on my tracks.
> Some No Ox Id...may slip up between the joints and be carried along throughout my N Scale Trackage.
I will give it a try.
A toothpick size dab between the rails every 30-36 inches.... Cause Ken suggested it.
:)) Mark

I am stalling...
> I am about to don Cover Alls once again and crawl under my house. (very dirty - near claustrophobic experience)
I have been installing, while allowing the Sun to warm up the Day.
What I thought was to be a simple installation of a Walk In Tub has gone on for the past 3 months.....as I keep telling myself.
I am almost finished ...Just one more day.
When I come up from there...I am gonna need a Cleaner and a Lubricant.

 

If these are truly zinc wheels then the gunk is zinc oxide.  The rails
are nickel silver.  The combination of the two will cause oxidation.  I
is possible that No-Ox-Id will prevent this, but any exposed surfaces
will still oxidize.  Dissimilar metals oxidize when coming into contact
with each other.  Even alloys that are different in their percentage
will oxidize but much less so then the above.  Zinc is not as bad as
Aluminum or copper would be in this case but it still has a pretty high
potential to oxidize.   Brass wheels would be a significant improvement
over zinc.

Best Regards,

Ken Harstine

PennsyNut
 

John White: I'm not afraid. per se. Just cautious. Reluctant to try anything that costs money and might be a waste of my precious income. My income is very low, fixed, and I'm 80 yrs old. That's why when you see my comments, I always refer to being frugal. Like I said: I have a jar full of pencil lead shavings from when I used drafting tools. There's no wood or other in with this graphite. And I can easily check with a magnet. It's free to me now. So, I will try that. This only explains why I will wait to buy any graphite. Pretty much the same with other stuff. All these other ideas that cost more than a buck, just don't tempt me. LOL Alcohol and acetone are cheap. CRC 2-26 is not.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

PennsyNut
 

Jerry: I know there are others who do use a lubricant. But I will not. Never any petroleum product. But I must admit, I have never used much of anything in actual practice. I just have my brain and thinking ability. Use of lubricant just sounds wrong. The subject of graphite is a little different and sounds feasible only because it's something a few of the messages refer to. So, when I get to the point of: after cleaning track, I may wish to try the graphite. And now that y'all have brought up wheels. That's my dilemma. Diesels are easy, just put a paper towel on the track with alcohol and run the diesel. Similar with cars. Saturate a little more of the paper towel and roll the cars over it. But steam. Taking it apart? To clean. I don't think so. The last time I took a steamer apart for the wheels was about 20 yrs ago. I'm now 80, and the eyes and steady hands just don't cooperate. I did try cleaning steamers with toothpicks, Q-tips with the cotton removed, and other things. But it still is a job and a half. Isn't it strange; that diesels took over on the proto and are easier to maintain on the model.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Jerry Michels
 

I am thinking mouse droppings...... it is free and the mice deliver!

Ed S


Hmmm, maybe so.  This winter I went to the museum early one morning, flipped on the lights in the back, and a mouse did run down the staging yard tracks.  You are right, it would be free.  Now training the little critters might be a bit difficult.


Jerry Michels

Flash Gordon
 

I am thinking mouse droppings...... it is free and the mice deliver!

Ed S

On 4/15/2019 2:16 AM, Jerry Michels wrote:
Is there any liquid or semi-solid substance that model railroaders have not used to keep rails clean or increase conductivity?

😂

Jerry Michels

Carl
 

Hi Gang:

My problem isn't keeping the track clean, it is the wheels on my K-Line locomotives. K-Line's MP-15 has trucks with zinc wheels, four plain and four with traction tires. Every three hours of running I have to take these locomotives off the track and clean the black gunk off the wheels. I do not have this problem with my ETS locomotives ( plated wheels ) or my MTH locomotives with knurled steel wheels. I don't put anything on my Gargraves track.

Is the black gunk from the traction tires? Could I tin plate the wheels? Any other ideas?

Thanks, Carl.



Virus-free. www.avast.com

 

Use a graphite stick from an artist supply shop instead of powdered
graphite on the rails.  I only used powder on locomotives where access
to the contacting surfaces is limited. 

I had good success with graphite and still use it on occasion but I now
much prefer No-Ox-Id A.  Thoroughly clean the rails before application
and then clean off the rails with Masonite type boards.  This seems to
work very well and requires only limited cleaning after (1.5 years into
this experiment).

For locomotives I disassemble the trucks and clean all contacting
surfaces until shiny.  I then apply the No-Ox-Id and again clean off
excess. 

To clean the wheel pockets I chuck a round wood toothpick  into a hobby
drill.  I dip the end of the toothpick into polishing rouge to help the
process.  I use electronics cleaner to remove the rouge when complete.

To clean wiping surfaces I use a fiberglass contact cleaner such as sold
by Badger.

For the wheels themselves I chuck them lightly into my Dewalt drill and
turn them at high speed with a light application of the fiberglass
contact cleaner until shiny.  I also use the fiberglass contact cleaner
on the axle ends.

The combination of both track and engine cleaning leads to nearly
completely stall free switching operations in N Scale.  HO should only
be much better.

Best Regards,

Ken Harstine
Holyoke, MA

John White
 

Morgan, your being to afraid of this stuff. I've used it by buying sticks of graphite and just rubbing it on all my rail, including the turnouts. Doing nothing special and everything is fine and engines runs well. So, just rub it on your rails and go for it. I got a set of four at Hobby Lobby. They last a long time. Also get them on Amazon or Ebay if you don't have a Hobby Lobby in your area. And run your trains.

____________________________________________________________
Brilliant Trick "Melts" Body Fat Overnight! Do This Tonight
medjournal.com-publish.net
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whmvd
 

Treacle?

On Mon, 15 Apr 2019 at 07:16, Jerry Michels <gjmichels53@...> wrote:
Is there any liquid or semi-solid substance that model railroaders have not used to keep rails clean or increase conductivity?

😂

Jerry Michels

esimard
 

I too use transmission fluid. Use sparingly and after a day or so wiper the rails. Rails get this treatment once a year nothing else. The layout is in a dusty garage. I have one portion of the layout (about 10 feet long) which was treated six years ago, very difficult to reach and trains run over it without any problems. Note that the oxide from nickel silver is conducive while the oxide from brass is not. I have several locos with brass wheels, they need to be cleaned frequently. Note that all my cars have metal wheels also. No gunk on them ever.

Subject to fat thumbs and strange spell check changes. _Ernie

Jerry Michels
 

Is there any liquid or semi-solid substance that model railroaders have not used to keep rails clean or increase conductivity?

😂

Jerry Michels

Tim Johnson
 

Model Railroader had an article which talked about using Automatic Transmission Fluid on the rails. I've used it myself and am pleased with the results. Only a small amount is needed. I don't have that issue anymore, but I did find this video where the modeller talks briefly about his experience (good): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC4aLuGhw34

PennsyNut
 

Let me understand graphite: From what I can tell from the few comments above is: Use it sparingly on the tops of the rails. Wipe it off immediately, which leaves a very light coating. Keep any rails of opposite polarity from touching. (How do you do turnouts?) If you wipe all rails except the turnouts, won't the graphite spread via wheels? And that gets to the concern I have with turnout points. Example: if a wheel is a little wider and touches both the point and the rail of opposite polarity, you've got a short, but also it will be worse because of any graphite? What I was thinking and considering is to use a fine paint brush and pencil graphite/where there was no wood, but just pencil lead. (I know, not pure graphite, but certainly cheap.) and carefully touch the tops of the rails. Do about a foot or so and wipe immediately. All this is done after the cleaning - usually with alcohol. And finally, run the trains over this freshly done rails. I also get the impression that you don't have to do the entire layout. Perhaps just a few "foot long" sections, let's say, every 6 feet. Does this sound logical to y'all. Anyone ever try it this way? As I've stated previously, being frugal means using the best method I can at the best price. Drafting pencils use solid lead/graphite and I have a jar full from back when drafting was done on a board, not on the PC.
--
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Michael Snyder
 

Did you use the No OX ID A or just the straight No OX?

On Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 9:23 AM Annette and Dante Fuligni <dfuligni2144@...> wrote:
When I laid my track several years ago, I researched the issue of cleaning and eventually decided to apply the No-Ox system which was thoroughly discussed online at the time. It works like a charm! I have never cleaned my track, and it works fine even after extended periods of inactivity. The layout is in a controlled environment, but it is not completely dust-free. Also, there has been some research indicating a lot of the crud that forms on rails/wheels is due to the minute electrical sparking that occurs between those basic elements and not just on the amount of dirt in the air that settles on the track. Check online for the discussions about No-Ox and try it-you’ll like it!

Dante


Annette and Dante Fuligni
 

When I laid my track several years ago, I researched the issue of cleaning and eventually decided to apply the No-Ox system which was thoroughly discussed online at the time. It works like a charm! I have never cleaned my track, and it works fine even after extended periods of inactivity. The layout is in a controlled environment, but it is not completely dust-free. Also, there has been some research indicating a lot of the crud that forms on rails/wheels is due to the minute electrical sparking that occurs between those basic elements and not just on the amount of dirt in the air that settles on the track. Check online for the discussions about No-Ox and try it-you’ll like it!

Dante

PennsyNut
 

Carl: Graphite. Thanks. That is kind of what I keep referring to. A little goes a long way. Same with cleaners, lubricants, etc. And especially solder. Use a minimum, keep the area ventilated, be cautious. I suppose technically, graphite is a lubricant, or at least acts like one. Also, most of the other "lubricants" may or may not be petroleum based. Silicone comes to mind. Put silicone on your rails and you'll have cars sliding all over, and a long train rolling down hill loose without an engine. Wow! But that goes back to what I think. No lubricant. Or at least not something that might make locos slip or cars run rampant on a grade. I admit, CRC 2-26 sounds good. Just a little pricey for me. The gondola car with a good bit of weight might be good, especially in tunnels, etc. But that is abrasive and the Masonite might be better there. Sketch Bright is too abrasive. Run a liquid car followed by a Masonite car should work in a tunnel. How the heck do you get a Bright Boy in a tunnel? Glue it on the end of a yardstick. LOL Thanks to all for your input. Those of us with questions, suggestions and such can help each other.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC, modeling PRR in 1952