Layout Track Cleaning Methods

Railheadz Jul 18, 2009

  1. ratled

    ratled TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm with John and all the others... Thanks Gary for bringing back the No OX!!! Funny thing was I still had my 764 Tips book buried at the bottom to read it!!!!!

    The one thing I am going to do.. when the $ free up.... is add an Atlas Track cleaning car. It has a vacuum built into it. I'll add a small magnet up front for just in case in those blind spots. Push it with a loco a couple of times every now and then and call it done!!!


    Thanks Gary

    ratled
     
  2. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

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    I have been using No-Ox now since approximately March 1st. It certainly improves the operation. I am not sure I am doing it all correctly and I will never get all my engine wheels properly processed with No-Ox. I still have a lot of work to do to get it applied.
     
  3. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill TrainBoard Member

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    A not so silly question for the N-scale steam people out here. What does it do to traction tires? And Bullfrog Snot?
     
  4. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

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    Fotheringill: I saw your post some time ago; I was not sure of the answer. I think that the No-Ox will hurt traction tires. That may have been posted somewhere earlier in this thread?

    I am continuing to use No-Ox with good results.

    Why do you have to run engines on the track after you apply the No-Ox? Won't the No-Ox work without engines? Do you run engines to get their wheels treated with No-Ox? Just wipe the track and operate and not run engines? Why not run rolling stock at the same time you run engines? Thanks.
     
  5. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

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    Still using and still working well. I am slowly going over my layout and will eventually have all No-Ox applied to all the track.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2010
  6. phantom

    phantom TrainBoard Member

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    I use old pick erasers. When there old and hard or when there new and soft. Thel old ones work the best.
     
  7. MisterBeasley

    MisterBeasley TrainBoard Supporter

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    I use a CMX car with their recommended solvent, lacquer thinner. They also say isopropyl alcohol will work, but they suggest lacquer thinner as the more "aggressive" fluid.

    I tried alcohol first. It works OK, but it's not as fast as the lacquer thinner and I have to make more passes over the same track. Also, the alcohol takes the paint off of my grade crossings, while the lacquer thinner doesn't.

    The thinner smells more, but if the drip valve on the car is set properly, it's hardly noticeable. I always try to do track cleaning on nice days when I can keep the windows in the train room open, though. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, it's "to promote domestic tranquility."
     
  8. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    No-ox will cause your traction tires to expand and roll off the wheels. I new this and my one steamer with traction tires was left off the layout until I was confident the excess No-ox was gone. I had no issues with it. The freemoN club I am a member of uses it to great success, except when someone fails to remove the excess causing problems for the traction tire equipped locos. The other contact wheels on these locos would have to be treated individually. I simply turn mine upside down on some foam add power and use a scrap T-shirt to apply a minute amount of no-ox. Allow it to sit for a day and go back and wipe off with a clean T-shirt scrap.

    The purpose of running the locos before wiping the rails is to treat those wheels, and this will also spread the no-ox a little to. This would mean if you have an untreated section with time, before wiping the excess off, the no-ox would end up effecting the area to. I ran mine from where they sat including some that were part of complete trains and some individually made up into consists and allowed to run.

    Remember if you can see any globs of no-ox you are using to much. There should not be any excess collecting down the sides of the rails. One jar or tube should last you and 50 of your buddies a lifetime, even if you have monster layouts.

    Hope all goes well for you Flash and it sounds like it is so far.
     
  9. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

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    Still good conductivity on the rails and no track cleaning since March 1st, 2010. No-ox has not helped the electrical contact of my switch points. I still have to clean them periodically. It does seem like a good product.
     
  10. mogollon

    mogollon TrainBoard Member

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    Man-after reading all this, I am glad that I don't clean track or wheels. I put up with that for 40 years until the "answer" hit me in the face. Thanks to all for letting me re live times past and going forward with a smile on my face. I have trains to run and No Ox no more.
    Woodie
     
  11. Chaya

    Chaya TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks for this update, Flash. That's really great to hear! I'm still a long way from being able to clean all my track once and for all--I'd probably just slop plaster on it--but once I get there, I'm looking forward to having truss bridges and not having to clean them (much).
     
  12. donfrey

    donfrey E-Mail Bounces

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    WD-40, solvent cleaners, and rolling stock

    One more caution to consider in using WD-40 or similar solvent-based products - they are SOLVENT-based. I realize many of the newer engineered plastics probably won't be bothered, but I would not let nor want WD-40 to come in contact with styrene or other older plastics, as they will very likely be damaged by the solvent. It sure would seem safer, provided you are careful about sparks, to clean with isopropyl alcohol. I'm also amazed that anyone would consider or recommend using lacquer thinner, again because of the potential damage to plastic parts.

    An important consideration I didn't see mentioned is to be sure that if you use any liquid track cleaner , be sure to have adequate ventilation while applying it and as it dries, not only "promote domestic tranquility", but also to ensure no flammable vapors remain in the area.

    Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful discussions on arguably the least-favorite part of model railroading.

    Don

    :tb-biggrin:
     
  13. Railroad Bill

    Railroad Bill TrainBoard Member

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    :ru-biggrin: NO-OX-Id works ... can screw up the application, though ...just finger touches in a few places is sufficient ... its chemistry, not coating ... get it on, let it cook on the traks, day or two ... gets to an anti-oxidizing molecular coating that is integral w/trak metal ... don't abrade that trak metal off in any way, so no more GLEAM methods, sorry ...

    This stuff can screw up the rubber bands and stickums used for "traction tires" so don't run that stuff until the chemistry is over ... day or two, most ...

    Since the stuff is spread by running as many trains as do not have gummy bands then those units' wheels get coated ... good ...

    :ru-tongue: Think anything like Goo-Gone or WD-40, etc. is countertuitive, if not dangerous ... gunk city ...

    I wipe w/alcohol occasionally for appearances sake and because my mommy was a fastidious houskeeper ... 2 of 14 engines show winky/blinky, the rest don't ... clearly I'm remiss in doing engine overhauls ...

    thanks to Gary60's for starting me off rifght a year ago ... or was it jhnpln(Spidge)?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2010
  14. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

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    I last applied No-Ox in March, 2010. I still haven't cleaned my track again. I do have to wipe it down for the dust accumulation.
     
  15. Geep_fan

    Geep_fan TrainBoard Member

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    one that we used on one of my older club layouts, (and the La Mesa club also uses the same) was a mixture of mineral spirits and copper gun cleaner. Worked terrifically well for cleaning track and keeping it clean, didn't leave any residue or attract dirt. However you did run into the danger of using too much gun cleaner, which could damage the track. This is what I currently use, and I don't have any problems.
     
  16. Fishplate

    Fishplate TrainBoard Supporter

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    I use a fine abrasive block (finer than a Bright Boy) I bought from "The Tool Man" at a train show. After that, I wrap a rag around one finger, spray it with CRC QD contact cleaner, and lightly and quickly rub each rail. Move the rag to a clean spot and add more contact cleaner as it gets dirty. About every other cleaning, I skip the abrasive block and just use the contact cleaner. Finally, every couple of months I put a very small drop of DeoxIT (from Caig Laboratories) on each rail and run a train around the layout. This routine works great.
     
  17. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill TrainBoard Member

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    I went to the No-ox manufaturer's website. It says it is a grease. How does this affect traction tires?
     
  18. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

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    IIRC, it is bad for traction tires. I have read that somewhere here on TB.

    It is grease and you are supposed to wipe it off after 24 hours. Still, I had a hard time getting it all off the rails with just one attempt. It took about 3-4 months to get it all cleaned up and completely removed. If you don't get it all up, every time an engine goes by there it just spreads a little more. Doesn't hurt anything on diesels, but you do have to be vigilant. The grease tends to pick up dust but after the 3-4 month period it is okay.
     
  19. ken G Price

    ken G Price TrainBoard Member

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    See post #73.
     
  20. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    The No-ox I used is a grease packaged by Bar Mills, and the directions explain the traction tire and slippage issues. If you put so much no-ox on that it visually can be seen you went way overboard on it. A very thin layer is all you need. I have one loco with traction tires and I left it off the layout until the excessive wheel slip on my diesels went away. The slippage is normal too and will subside in about a week.
    I treated my layout about four(?) years ago and only recently re-applied after I did some modifications to the layout. I have a garage layout and only wipe off dust from time to time. In the recent past I used alcohol on those seldom used tracks, but not anymore. I have a dry slider car that I will push around to bust the dust too.
     

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