Bad experiance with No-Ox on Peco switch points

videobruce Aug 31, 2021

  1. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

    Hi Doug,
    Since my layout is a 24" x 80" Hollow Core Door, a couple of minutes with my Cratex cleaning block and I'm good to go. The one thing I'd really like someone to confirm, if you apply NO-OX-ID A-SPECIAL to your track after cleaning, is it really "years" between track cleaning sessions or is this an overstated claim? I understand your issue with certain products used to clean track and their negative effect on traction tires. On a side note have you ever tried Bullfrog Snot instead of replacing the traction tires?

    Since I've been in the hobby I think I've tried all the latest fads, Wahl hair clipper oil, transmission fluid, Rail Zip and none of them were the answer for me. Sadly all of them over time just left my wheels and track a oily mess. I'd also like to mention that my layout is currently in our spare bedroom. I'd prefer not to use any harsh chemicals or solvents in our living space like some of the items mentioned in the above list. So for me for the foreseeable future, I'll be cleaning my track with my Cratex cleaning block and cleaning my locomotive wheels using the Isopropyl Alcohol tissue method. And before anyone tries to tell me Isopropyl Alcohol is a harsh chemical, what do you think they swab you with just before you get your flu shot or any other vaccination? Something to consider, I worked for a few years in the petroleum industry and petroleum products are known to cause skin cancer. This is something to consider while choosing a track cleaning product. The Cratex Cleaning Block and Isopropyl Alcohol method has been working for me, but I'd still like to know if the claims about NO-OX-ID A-SPECIAL are true?
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  2. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    Hi Rich,

    I don't know about the effects of No-Ox because I have never used it but spreading grease on track is just counter intuitive to me and I have seen enough threads like this one to convince me it is not the be-all-and-end all many claim it to be.

    Personally, for some reason, about 10 - 15 years ago, cleaning track became a non issue for me as it didn't seem to get dirty anymore and that continues to this day. The only time I had to clean it was when my layout sat for about 4 years in my apartment before I had it moved to my house and that was 9 months ago. It has been fine, since. It all Atlas track, some of it from the sixties.

    I have tried Bullfrog Snot and it's OK as a last resort (unable to locate anything that works for tires) but it's a pain to use. It really should be thinner so it applies easier. As it is, it globs all up as you apply it and gets flung off, making a mess. It is pretty tough after it cures, however.

    IPA is actually a pretty benign chemical compared to some others and is an excellent disinfectant. It's main negative effect is as an irritant to tissues but that's pretty temporary as it is used.

    The Cratex block appears to be similar to the Perfect block with a very fine abrasive and that's all that's needed, just enough to remove the thin layer of oxide that forms on the surface. You don't even need to rub very hard and the disruption to the track surface is minimal.

  3. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

    I started on No-Ox a couple of years ago and followed the instructions. I used to clean track regularly, like once every few weeks. I'd have to clean the loco wheels and wipe the track every time I went to the flood loader for a load, but to be fair that was running at walking speed. A few days back I ran a train for the 1st time in maybe 3 months and it ran just fine. This would never have happened back when I cleaned with isopropyl. So to me the stuff is the best thing since flywheels.

    I'd say plan on dealing with it once a year. Also when I do scenery work and get liquids like isopropyl/ink washes on the track I have to reapply the affected section. I did re-apply it last year because I was getting occasional stutters but instead of the full instructions I just vacuumed and wiped the track first.

    One creepy thing, when I wipe my finger on the track now it comes up black, yet that doesn't seem to cause a problem. When I cleaned with isopropyl there is no way an engine would run with half that much black.
    Rich_S likes this.
  4. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

    i applied no-ox eight years ago after gleaming the track. the track was as clean as i could get it before application. i used a 1/2 inch out of the tube [toothpaste sized outlet]. after leaving it sit for a day i removed excess with paper towels and then vacuumed up the small bits of fuzz. the layout get a vacuum twice a year [on the track, spring and fall] but no other cleaning is done. none at all.
    say what you want about this stuff, but i'm going to keep using it.... maybe time for a second application .....
    Rich_S likes this.
  5. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    I too have been happy with No-Ox after using it for about a year and a half now. It is always best to wire the frog on a turnout and not to rely on the points making contact with the stock rails. I use both Peco and hand laid turnouts on my layout. On the hand laid turnouts the point rails are part of the frog so there is a solid electrical connection with the frog being wired. On the Peco turnouts the point rails are connected to the frog by an rail joiner which is not soldered. Even if the connection is not good through that rail joiner, the distance through the point rail is short enough that a loco will go though without stalling as long as the frog has been wired.
    Rich_S likes this.
  6. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

    on my layout [HO] i used Atlas number six turnouts, and while the frogs are metal, they are not wired up or powered..... the equivalent of a insulfrog
  7. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

    I used NO-OX back in the 60's with no problems. It was a liquid back then not grease.
    When did they change?
    Shortround likes this.

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