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| | |-+  Making a Jig for Cleaning Locomotive Wheels
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Author Topic: Making a Jig for Cleaning Locomotive Wheels  (Read 7495 times)
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2009, 02:13:42 AM »

Jim (the one in Florida) I don't quite know why you would jump to the conclusion that I had never tried WD 40 on my model railroad.  I did, back when it first came out in Canada.  And for the reasons stated above, I have avoided it in the train room ever since.

If you are using it successfully on your rails, then I will assume that you use only metal or nylon/Delrin/acetal wheels.  And that you do not spray WD40 directly onto your tracks.  Mentioning these limitations might be a kindness to others when you are promoting the use of WD40.

I was also surprised to see that you did not believe in oiling your tracks, and yet do just that by applying WD40 to them.  I figured you might not want to take my word for that, so here is the makeup of WD40 as published by the WD40 company as part of their MSDS on their own website:

Ingredient                               CAS Number                    Percent
Stoddard Solvent                     8052-41-3                       45-50%
Petroleum Base Oil                    64742-65-0                     30-35%
Non-Hazardous Ingredients         Proprietary                      <10%
Carbon Dioxide                         124-38-9                         2-3%

Once the Stoddard's solvent and C02 have evaporated, what is left is about 75% petroleum based oil of unstated composition.  That is, it might be safe for plastics but probably is not.  The other 25% of the residue is not hazardous to your health.  Is is hazardous to the health of your trains?  I don't know.  It is proprietary, and they don't have to tell us.

I like the idea of people trying out different things for themselves.  Particularly things like scenery or stationary model construction, where there is no great loss if an idea does not pan out.  I actively encourage my students to develop their own methods and styles, which many of them do.

But some things, like lubrication, we need to be more conservative about.  Mistakes can be costly and may not show up for years.  In my opinion, lubrication is not an area to try new products and pronounce them fit for use based on only a year or two's experience with them.  Not when the damage they may do can take five to ten times that long to show up.
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BradKT

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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2009, 03:04:15 AM »

Thanks for all the good info guys.  I also tried the paper towel method with alcohol and it got even more dirt off the wheels.

The point is that I have definitely found an effective way to clean the wheels of my locomotives.

I hope that this discussion helped some others.  As Yampa Bob said, there is no one right way to do this.
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2009, 10:00:33 AM »

Dear Friends,

I will take the blame for starting the WD-40 discussion.  In my experience, I have used Jim's recommendations to my very good profit.  I have found Jim's advice to be spot on.

Best Wishes,

Jack
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2009, 02:21:06 PM »

Hey Jack, no worries mate, on issues such as this all options need to be placed on the table for discussion. I've even used window cleaner for cleaning the scuz off my trains and track, even my laptop screen.  There are lots of all purpose cleaners and de-greasers that won't harm plastic, just have to check the labels.

General consensus is isopropyl alcohol is hard to beat, just don't get it on painted surfaces.

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James in FL

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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2009, 04:42:07 PM »

Jack, you didn’t “start” anything other than good open discussion. It’s what forums should be about.

Jim, you are correct in your assumption.

Quote
If you are using it successfully on your rails, then I will assume that you use only metal or nylon/Delrin/acetal wheels.  And that you do not spray WD40 directly onto your tracks.

FWIW The “layout” is in a finished garage complete with central air and heat.

What’s on the back porch is nothing more than a small oval (6x3) of Atlas c80 flex. Only one power feed.
No scenery, no ballast, just foam, cork, and track.
What some would term “Foam Prairie”?
A small section of that table is utilized as a workbench. This is where I do most of my fleets maintenance and testing.
This way I can be “outside”.

I did not take the time, nor do I have the desire, to polish the railhead out there.
Yes, the outside track did require maintenance (more than an alcohol wipe can provide) about every month, weekly in the rainy season.
Inside, it’s minimal, maybe twice a year with an alcohol wipe.
This is my reason for giving that track some type of treatment.
As stated in previous posts I am still not in the oiled track camp.
I am also experimenting with 3 other products out there concurrently.
No-ox, Flitz chrome wheel polish, Maas metal polish, and WD-40 (there’s that product again).
All are doing what is required, it just a matter of time until the longest lasting treatment is discovered.
Of the four, WD-40 is, by far, the least expensive.

There are many ways to “skin a cat” so to speak.

Bob,
FWIW - 91% Isopropyl alcohol is my preferred way to clean both wheels and track.
Window cleaner migrated into the rail joiners and caused havok.
Just my experience about 5 years ago.

Your mileage may vary.







« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 05:06:39 PM by James in FL » Logged
grumpy

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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2009, 01:41:33 AM »

I cant' handle the smell of Isopropyl  Alcohol and so I use methanol which I purchase from paint store or lumber store . It is  also cheaper . Being as close to pure as possible it leaves no film which Rubbing alcohol will do .  I find that the best way to clean you track is to use it quite often.
Don
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2009, 10:58:15 AM »

Thanks, Jim, for you expanded explanation of what you are doing.  We will all be waiting to hear which works out best on your outside track.

I was particularly interested in this comment:
Window cleaner migrated into the rail joiners and caused havoc.
Just my experience about 5 years ago.
I am left wondering if the problem was related to the water content of Windex and whether the water content of rubbing alcohol is high enough to cause a problem.  Any feelings on that?

Jim

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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2009, 02:48:11 PM »

I never spray any type of cleaner directly on the tracks or rails. I use a Scott shop towel barely dampened with alcohol or whatever. The idea is to pick up dust and lint, not scatter it around.

For dusting around the house, my wife sprays a light mist of Endust on an old t-shirt for furniture, and uses a "Swiffer Duster" for blinds, electronics and the layout.

http://www.swiffer.com/en_US/duster.do

Due to low humidity, we don't need air conditioning here, but every room has a ceiling fan. The Swiffer works great for cleaning the fans and light fixtures.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 06:28:15 PM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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James in FL

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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2009, 06:42:19 PM »

Forgive the delay.

Good gosh,
We, (I), have hijacked this man’s thread concerning a simple track jig.

BradKT please accept my apology.

BradKT a jig, used as you described, in theory, should work excellent.

Perhaps we could discuss the speed of evaporation of water (moisture), directly related to relative humidity, in another thread?

IMO, its good discussion, however, it “screws up the search function” for cleaning wheels.
(Sorry ‘bout that Bob)

And, it’s not rocket science.
(Sorry ‘bout that Gene… Using ”and” to begin a sentence).  : )
I before E except after C, yes I know the rule, this is an exception.

Jim, I am near here;
27° 48.5' 82° 47.7'
This will give you a better understanding of my environment.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 07:25:51 PM by James in FL » Logged
BradKT

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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2009, 05:57:51 AM »

James...not to worry!  When I start a thread, a lot of different and constructive ideas (including cautionary notes) pop up...and that's cool.  I was the one who switched from the idea of making a jig to using the paper towel method using WD-40...or whatever.  It was an idea that I read about in Model Railroading magazine, tried and liked...after I had written the initial post.  That's what got everybody going.
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2009, 09:49:52 AM »

Dear Jim in FLA,

One of the best discussions on this board many moons ago was in a high- jacked thread, that I started, that turned into a discussion about flat head Fords and Darwin awards, for those of you who might remember!

Sorry to highjack this one!

Lots of good information here.  I will use a similar jig to clean and lube my Wonderland Flyer for my little Joey!

Best Wishes,

Jack
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2009, 02:00:49 PM »

If you have a few hundred extra bucks you might like these:

http://www.mrsonline.net/html/lux.html
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2009, 03:18:13 PM »

Cool!
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