Topics

Cleaners & Lubricants

PennsyNut
 

In other posts & forums, I had participated in discussions involving this subject. And although not directly related to newbies/nocices, is of importance to modelers. Radio Shack may be hard to locate brick & mortar, but is still in business. ONLINE. I have no personal attachment to them. Just to let y'all know I received an email today and here's their web page: https://www.radioshack.com/collections/cleaners-and-chemicals?utm_campaign=2019-02-16%20Cleaners%20%26%20Lubricant%20BACK%20IN%20STOCK%20%28Hd9ZvS%29&utm_medium=email&utm_source=E-08&_ke=eyJrbF9lbWFpbCI6ICJwZW5uc3ludXRAZ21haWwuY29tIiwgImtsX2NvbXBhbnlfaWQiOiAiSktjZWVUIn0%3D
So, for those of you that are interested, check it out. And if moderators permit, I'd like to see comments from users of any of these. Specifically for cleaning or lubricating track or other model railroad uses. And which product works best for which application.
Thank YOU!
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Jay
 

Hi!
On my DCC N Scale layout, I used CRC 2-26 for my rails.
It was amazing, after 3 applications, all the dirt was sucked out of the track.
I have not had to clean my track in over 2 years.
My layout is in a dusty basement with a 70' mainline.
It made my life so much easier not having to clean the track every month!

Jay

Brad Bunnin
 

How do you apply the CRC 2-26, Jay? Do you spray it on directly, or do you spray it on a rag and use the rag to apply it? Or is there another method?

Brad

On Feb 16, 2019, at 11:01 AM, Jay <jayfmn@q.com> wrote:

Hi!
On my DCC N Scale layout, I used CRC 2-26 for my rails.
It was amazing, after 3 applications, all the dirt was sucked out of the track.
I have not had to clean my track in over 2 years.
My layout is in a dusty basement with a 70' mainline.
It made my life so much easier not having to clean the track every month!

Jay

Jay
 

Hi Brad!
I actually repurposed my Tidy Track Track Cleaner kit.
Using the Gray pad set, I wetted the soft pad with the CRC. 
Then cleaned the track like normal
It did take a bit to get my track clean.
If the Tidy Track is not locally available, you might try Ebay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Woodland-Scenics-TT4550-Tidy-Track-Rail-Tracker-Cleaning-Kit/392186580262?hash=item5b50244d26:g:UpMAAOSwy2pcBs32:sc:USPSPriority!51104!US!-1:rk:14:pf:0
Replacement pads:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Woodland-Scenics-Tidy-Track-Replacement-Cleaning-and-Finishing-Pads-TT4553/173796463720?epid=13012071509&hash=item2877139468:g:~RoAAOSwHYpZ~g2L:rk:27:pf:0
Trying so many different track cleaning methods, it was tough to clean, but worth it.
It took me about a month & 5 applications. But since then, no track issues.
Like I said 2 years ago I did this, zero track cleaning since then.

Jay

Alex Hempel
 

Hi Jay,

just making sure because I live on a different continent: is this the CRC2-26 you're talking about?

https://www.repco.com.au/en/brands/crc/crc-2-26-electrical-spray-400g/p/A3698939

Cheers

Alex

Jay
 

Hi Alex,
I am not sure.
The CRC 2-26 here in the states is "Plastic Compatible"
I am not sure yours is, I would check for that because it could damage the ties in the track.
Amazon has it here: https://www.amazon.com/CRC-Plastic-Multi-Purpose-Precision-Lubricant/dp/B07GBD9GZ7.

Jay

Alex Hempel
 

Yeah, gotta be careful. The stuff I linked does not specifically state that it is plastic safe, so I'll probably refrain from using it until I know more.

Thanks

Alex

Greg Elmassian
 

It was recommended long ago by Lewis Polk of Aristo-Craft.

I tried using it as a track cleaner, and it did "break down" all the junk on the rails and wheels on my outdoor G scale loco.

It also reduced friction so locos would not climb grades and made an even dispersal of black goo on all my rails and wheels.

Took a while to clean it off. My recommendation is that it makes rails too slippery, and if you use it, clean it off completely after, and don't get it on your wheels.

Greg

Don Vollrath
 

I agree. CRC 2-26 is listed first as a lubricant tnen as a cleaner. Putting on the track will help remove unwanted residue, But... it will also act as a lubricant which will reduce the friction and therefore the pulling power of locos. Works great for other sliding type electrical connections.  
DonV 

Glenn
 

It also makes a good glue.

I have a friend with a 30-year old layout. 90% of his switches are Atlas Custom Line with the attached switch machine.

I like to call him quick draw. It seems he always a can of CRC in his hand and uses it liberally.

On one visit he asked me about a stuck switch.He admits to spraying CRC into the slot on top of the switch machine.

"It worked three times. Now it will not move, even by hand."

I gave him a tube of lock graphite.

Glenn

-----Original Message-----
From: Don Vollrath
Sent: Feb 18, 2019 12:25 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Cleaners & Lubricants

I agree. CRC 2-26 is listed first as a lubricant tnen as a cleaner. Putting on the track will help remove unwanted residue, But... it will also act as a lubricant which will reduce the friction and therefore the pulling power of locos. Works great for other sliding type electrical connections.  
DonV

Jay
 

Hi!
Spraying the CRC directly onto the track is not a recommended practice.
It is best applied in a thin layer on the track.
Then let it dry.
There are 3% grades on my layout & I have no slippage issues when I run 25 unit trains.

Jay

Don Vollrath
 

Any body want to comment on using Aero-Car ACT-6006 Track & Rail Cleaner? Good or Bad?

DonV

scott toro
 

Are use the truck cleaning cart does a pretty good job I’m happy with it so far but I need to come up with another option on cleaning the truck as a second option but the first one works pretty well




On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 10:34 AM, Don Vollrath <donevol43@...> wrote:

Any body want to comment on using Aero-Car ACT-6006 Track & Rail Cleaner? Good or Bad?

DonV

John White
 

Sorry guys for got to put my name on my Goo-Gone post
John White

John White
 

I have a couple of the old AHM track cleaning cars that I use. I have been using Goo-Gone with these for several years. It has worked well for me, How often do I run my cleaner cars, no specific time frame, only when I notice sketchy performance or just feel the need to clean my track. It also cleans the wheel pretty well too. As for the engines specifically, I use the paper towel laid on the rail with Goo-Gone and run my engine on it to clean the wheels. All of this works pretty well. Now, if I feel a certain spot is acting up, I will take a small piece of Styrofoam and slightly wet it with G-G and rub it on the track and it cleans very well, as the Styrofoam comes out very very nasty. None of this leaves any slick spots to interfere with traction.  My two cents.

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

My two cents comes with a caveat – choice of cleaning solutions may vary with the kind of dirt.  I am still actively building in N code 55, so I end up with a lot of rosin flux and sawdust on my tracks.  I also have a lot of plastic wheels that wear and deposit residue on the rails.  Plaster, scenery and ballast may change my thinking.  I also run long coal drags up heavy grades, so traction is critical.

 

To date, I have found that Bright Boy type abrasives are rough on the track, clog up, and tend to transfer the problem along the track.  Masonite pads under a box car are ok for keeping dust off of track that is already clean.  But they don’t do much for flux or plastic goo.  My current answer is a brass CMX cleaner car with isopropyl alcohol, which does a great job of removing flux, glue, plastic residue and oxides.  The downside is that alcohols (and other active solvents like ketones) may leave the track susceptible to faster oxidation after cleaning.  It hasn’t been a problem to me, because I’m otherwise so messy that I have to clean frequently.  I hope eventually to do less soldering, and replace my plastic car wheels with metal.  That should let me settle into a longer maintenance cycle using the same CMX cleaner, but with odorless mineral spirits (branched aliphatics) with low odor, low toxicity, and no lubricating effects.

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of John White
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 5:52 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Cleaners & Lubricants

 

I have a couple of the old AHM track cleaning cars that I use. I have been using Goo-Gone with these for several years. It has worked well for me, How often do I run my cleaner cars, no specific time frame, only when I notice sketchy performance or just feel the need to clean my track. It also cleans the wheel pretty well too. As for the engines specifically, I use the paper towel laid on the rail with Goo-Gone and run my engine on it to clean the wheels. All of this works pretty well. Now, if I feel a certain spot is acting up, I will take a small piece of Styrofoam and slightly wet it with G-G and rub it on the track and it cleans very well, as the Styrofoam comes out very very nasty. None of this leaves any slick spots to interfere with traction.  My two cents.

Scott Kremer
 

i have found that the main problem is dust, even in a basement with finished floors and ceiling. I was lucky enough to get one of the Korean Brass vacuum cars. It is amazing. Absolutely incredible how much dust it picks up even in one day. I now use it and pull a CMX cleaner with mineral spirits in it. I changed from isopropyl alcohol to mineral spirits after reading about polar and non polar materials and the experience of the La Mesa Club. The two cars seem to remove everything and leave the track clean and dry. It takes about 25 minutes for me to clean the majority of the track this way and it seems to stay clean for a good period of time. if I need a quick turn around I just run the vacuum. When done I have absolutely no problems with track pick up. The layout scenery is done and I run metal wheels on everything. After years of trying various fluids for cleaning and coating track I now have a method that seems to work perfectly.

Scott Kremer

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Good points. Something else I should have mentioned. FLAMMABILITY.
Regular isopropyl alcohol that you buy at the drug store is 91% alcohol, 9%
water (both of which are highly polar.) The water is there because it is
expensive to remove, but a side benefit is that it reduces flammability.
Denatured ethyl alcohol, and higher purity isopropyl alcohol, are more
flammable (and still polar), as are MEK and many other ketones & esters.
Lacquer thinner is usually a mix of non-polar hydrocarbon solvents and polar
solvents like MEK.

Mineral spirits come in several grades, depending on flash point
(flammability) and composition. Some contain aromatics (mostly toluene and
xylene), which raise the flash point (higher = less flammable) and increase
solvency (good up to a point), but also increase odor and toxicity.
Odorless Mineral Spirits are normally composed of branched aliphatics
instead of ring compounds. They have lower odor, lower toxicity, reasonably
high flashpoints, and good solvency. One small downside is that they take a
little longer to evaporate. You don't want to park a CMX car and let it
drip, especially in a confined space.

ALL of these solvents will burn under the right conditions. Flashpoint
tests are essentially a puddle in a closed space with a spark. Not a test
you want to conduct under your layout. No need to be afraid of them, but
use safe practices including GOOD VENTILATION AND DRIP/SPILL CONTROL.

John J

-----Original Message-----
From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Scott Kremer
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 4:22 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Cleaners & Lubricants


i have found that the main problem is dust, even in a basement with finished
floors and ceiling. I was lucky enough to get one of the Korean Brass
vacuum cars. It is amazing. Absolutely incredible how much dust it picks
up even in one day. I now use it and pull a CMX cleaner with mineral
spirits in it. I changed from isopropyl alcohol to mineral spirits after
reading about polar and non polar materials and the experience of the La
Mesa Club. The two cars seem to remove everything and leave the track clean
and dry. It takes about 25 minutes for me to clean the majority of the
track this way and it seems to stay clean for a good period of time. if I
need a quick turn around I just run the vacuum. When done I have absolutely
no problems with track pick up. The layout scenery is done and I run metal
wheels on everything. After years of trying various fluids for cleaning and
coating track I now have a method that seems to work perfectly.

Scott Kremer

emrldsky
 

How about more details about the vacuum car?


Peace,

Mike G.


On 2/20/2019 2:21 PM, Scott Kremer wrote:
i have found that the main problem is dust, even in a basement with finished floors and ceiling.  I was lucky enough to get one of the Korean Brass vacuum cars.  It is amazing.  Absolutely incredible how much dust it picks up even in one day.  I now use it and pull a CMX cleaner with mineral spirits in it.  I changed from isopropyl alcohol to mineral spirits after reading about polar and non polar materials and the experience of the La Mesa Club. The two cars seem to remove everything and leave the track clean and dry.  It takes about 25 minutes for me to clean the majority of the track this way and it seems to stay clean for a good period of time.  if I need a quick turn around I just run the vacuum.  When done I have absolutely no problems with track pick up.  The layout scenery is done and I run metal wheels on everything.  After years of trying various fluids for cleaning and coating track I now have a method that seems to work perfectly.

Scott Kremer




.

Mark Cartwright
 

Ah Duh Me?
I have done and used all of the above...and yes have two or three of those Altas/Tomix Vacuum Cars as well as the Brass Oil Tank car and then some more as in AZTEC Box Cars.
I have used CRC, No Nox, Bright Boys, Woodland Scenic pads on a stick and even a small industrial type canister vacuum cleaner.
I have even gone as far as to buy Q-tips by the three box on sale at Costco, then wondered over the shelf the sells Iso-Alcohol on the cheap.
======
Warded off the further introduction of grit to my layout by not purposely adding Ballast directly under the path of the locomotives. 
Then further, by completely dismantling several locomotives down to their various components for Accurizng ...Meaning, I took a metal file or modern finger nail sanding rubber strip (99 Cent Store) and gone over every surface of a chassis to a locomotive removing all high spots or blems. Further running toothpaste through the truck gearing further smoothing the operations.
In the end, using the lightest of oils as I move all moving parts with my fingers.
And yes, I have experimented with nearly every oil imaginable or available from Model Railroading sources.
=======
Lowered grades to 1.5% as well as replaced plastic wheels with metal, going as far as to use Body Mounted MTL Couplers at least on Passenger Trains. Traction Tires are banned from my layout.
=========
Did all this help in my Hot Attic or Cold Basement ?
No...plus there is some sort of ASH/Peat Dust which seems to flow down the Central Valley of California....a combination of Forest Fires and Agricultural Dust which can get into near anything.
Except ?
A Family Room in the center of my House. Windows are not allowed to be opened and the chimney is blocked off as well..with a big sheet of metal over the opening.
So ? Yes, I even moved in order to not allow my layout to become dirty in the first place. I gave up fighting the humidity, temperature changes, dust and tiny critters in my other house basement/attic.
=========
To surmise.....
Do I know what I am dong ?
No
Do I have clues to what I am doing....?
Maybe not.
Are my trains running better and better the more effort I put into them ?
I like to think so...
But then 
Why did that locomotive just derail ?
Or the Decoder Glitch and go for a reset ?
What happened to the sound ?
Why did that train begin to uncouple itself ?
Yours in the struggle....
:)) Mark

But yes, I have seen a general over all improvement to my began again layouts over the past 7 years.
I am about to begin again with perhaps fewer basic design flaws.