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Author Topic: ANYONE'S Advice is needed ASAP !!  (Read 5421 times)
trainmannick83

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« on: February 11, 2013, 12:21:40 AM »

I took out my steel rail bachmann EZ track from the attic that has been stored in a storage tote for YEARS ..  The track was DULL  ( black roadbed EZ TRACK )  and i made my layout anyway .  I had NEW track oval  with my new thoroughbred set .. and i used it too .. BUT  the  OLD track  didnt work !!!  Is there something that i could do to this track to make it come back  " ALIVE " again perhaps ? Or would i need to buy a NEW  track expander pack Huh??
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 12:24:42 AM »

try using a briteboy.
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trainmannick83

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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 02:13:51 AM »

thanks !!! I will probably have to buy this ONLINE since i do not have a hobby shop close to home 

I also have heard that alcohol is another idea ?
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jbrock27

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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 08:09:10 AM »

Yes, isopropyl is worth a shot.

I have read so much about Wahl hair clipper oil that I just ordered a 4 oz bottle from Amazon.  It was $3.05 and got to me in 3-4 days with normal shipping.  Have yet though to try it out to see how/what it does.
Don't use steel wool, bc the fibers can migrate to the mechanics of things-not good Embarrassed
I would also stay away from abrasives like Emory cloth or really fine sandpaper.  However, if this becomes your "last resort" and you have run out of options to get it to work and it is either that or get new track, perhaps you can get away with a very fine abrasive paper.  Just keep in mind that scratches in the track will be places for dirt and "crud" to accumulate and this will inhibit electrical contact.   Maybe before you get to that stage, a hardware store could give you a suggestion on what to try.

I have found the "Brite Boy" or a similar cleaning block has worked on brass and a small test track of steel I have.  I wish you good luck!

-jb
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 11:04:02 AM »

You can try a pencil eraser - available at Staples. The best kind is the one that is half pencil (pink) and half ink (grey in color.) The grey works best.

A drop of clipper oil is all that is needed. Too much just makes the tracks gooey.
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railtwister

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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 08:14:15 PM »

Another place where the oxidation will interrupt the power can be at the rail joiners and where the power cable connects. Sometimes a tiny drop of De-Oxit cleaner will help at these points. Other brands of contact cleaner don'tr seem to be as effective as De-Oxit which is sold at electronics stores and some music stores like Guitar Center.

A Dremel tool with a wire wheel attachment may also be helpful, just don't hit the plastic ties or roadbed with the wire wheel.

This is one of the reasons most modelers prefer nickel-silver rail.

Bill in FtL
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richg
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 08:34:48 PM »

Some time ago I bought some #2000 grit water proof sand paper from an auto paint shop. That stuff polished the rail very nicely and does not make scratches like bright boy.
I cut some paper and glue the back side to a hardwood block.
For general sanding/finishing of wood and plastic, I have some #320, #220 and #150 paper glued to wood blocks. I use spray glue for attaching sand paper.

Rich
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jbrock27

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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 09:40:53 PM »

Thanks for the tip Rich G on the 2000 grit sandpaper!
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Doneldon

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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 12:19:27 AM »

Some time ago I bought some #2000 grit water proof sand paper from an auto paint shop. That stuff polished the rail very nicely and does not make scratches like bright boy.

rich-

But ... those teeny tiny scratches which even 2000 grit abrasives leave are huge canyons
on a molecular level. They will fill up with gunk which will attract more gunk. However, I
agree with you that 2000 grit paper (I think that most of it is aluminum oxide) and crocus
cloth do a pretty good job of cleaning and polishing slightly dirty track.

                                                                                                                -- D
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jbrock27

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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 07:02:44 AM »

trainmannack 83 et al-

Last night I tried some Wahl hair clipper oil on a cotton swab on the tracks, being careful not to catch or leave any fibers on anything.  I could not believe how black the cotton swab got and it was not even like the track LOOKED dirty to begin with.  I would imagine in part this is due to running freight with plastic wheels.
Anyway, the clipper oil seems to work well, using just a little as Woody suggested.

On "Brite boy(s)"-I have purchased 2 different kinds in the past.  One I have pieces from, that I bought 34 years ago, is petrified, hard as a rock and will leave some minor scratches in metal.  More recent ones I have purchased are made by Perfect and are softer, kinda of a cross between this old one and the erasers Woody mentioned.  It is softer, takes more elbow grease to clean the track but does not scratch as far as I can see.
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 09:52:34 AM »

Don't forget to also clean the wheels on locomotives. I used a home made cradle. I put the engine in upside down and attached leads to turn the motor. I used to use the tip of an Xacto knife to degunk the wheels as they turned. There are other methods.

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jbrock27

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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 10:26:34 AM »

Sure do Woody.  Thanks for the reminder Smiley
I usually use isopropyl for that.

When I tear down an Athearn Blue Box, I put the wheels in an clean, small empty plastic container, like for vitamins.  Then I spray some Liquid Wrench on them, put the lid on, let 'em soak and swish them around occasionally.  By the time I am ready to put the wheels back on the loco, you should see the dirty color of the liquid.  I clean each wheel off with a rag before reassembly.
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railtwister

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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 10:31:22 AM »

One of the guys in a local club uses the superfine sandpaper method similar to the one mentioned here, but he follows it up by burnishing the rails vigorously after sanding them using a large (1.5"-2") stainless steel fender washer. Most washers are punched out of sheet stock during manufacturing, which leaves the corners and edges on one side smoothly rounded, while the other side may be sharp or have burrs, so be sure to only use the smooth side of the washer against your rails. Also, be sure all power is off & unplugged, especially if you run with DCC!

He swears by this method, and claims you only need to do it a few times before the rails get so smooth they hardly ever get dirty. Once this has happened, probably all you need is to run a CenterLine rail cleaning car occasionally to control the dust that settles on the rails out of the air.

Bill in FtL
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 11:45:14 AM »

I used to use only metal wheels when I was in an HO club. I had mostly Kadee wheelsets but also used to be able to buy a bag of 33" wheelsets from Con-cor. These wheels used to get dirty to the point that they'd derail at switches. I used a brass wire wheel in a Dremel tool to clean the wheels. Just touch the wire brush and spin the wheels. The Kadees used to develop a nice metallic look (because the wire brush removed the blackening.) The shiny treads made the cars look almost prototypical - keeping in mind that the Kedee wheel sets were probably wider than the real thing.
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jward


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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 11:48:58 AM »

you have to be careful when you do that. kadee wheels may be metal but the axles are plastic. if you're not careful you can bend them. for this reason i prefer to use wheelsets with metal axles, such as those made by nwsl or bachmann.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
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