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Hi

 

I'm after some help I've got peco bullhead rail on my layout an I Was Wondering the best track rubbers to clean them with? Is it best to stick to the peco one? 

 

Regards Neil 

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After I did some research of my own, with an identical question, I also found the GM27 Damo has linked to, to be well regarded, for the exact reasons mentioned. So I bought one.

Quite funny really, in days gone by when bombproof Setrack code 100 was the daddy, any old gritty rubber would do the job just fine, how far we've come!

Infact, I remember as a young boy laying the track out on the carpet at Christmas, wonky joints and loose fishplates and all, and back then I even recall using the abrasive striking side of a box of matches to clean the gunk off rails!

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A piece of soft cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Clean track, no scratches and  no detritus at all.

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I find the Peco rubber too abrasive - it creates micro-scratches in the rail that simply gather more crud.

 

I've tried many other cleaners in the past - including the likes of Relco. hardboard soaked with IPA etc.

 

Whilst IPA on a cloth is great , I find that unless very, very careful, the cloth will snag trackside detail.

And you can only easily do one rail at a time. [*]

 

My current weapon of choice is a DCC Concepts TCB. 

I find that this "polishes" the rails, rather than scratching it

 

Cheers,

Mick

[*] When cleaning the track on exhibition setup - being able to clean two rails is valuable time saved.

 

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Shiny side of an offcut of hardboard soaked in Isopropyl Alcohol.  Has the advantage that you can see how much crud has come off.  For wheels and pickups, Dremel polishing pad soaked in IPA.

Edited by The Johnster
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After using rubbers of various forms for years  I have found a combination of De Luxe  Track Magic and Deoxit on loco wheels is giving far better running than anything else I've tried.

 

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I usually use an ink eraser (getting hard to find these days). I would agree that the Peco cleaner is too abrasive for general use.

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The DOGA track cleaning block seems to work well. It is a finer material than the Peco one but also quite firm, so it doesn't flake away leaving particles on the track either.

I have long tunnel sections on the layout so I also have a CMX track cleaner. This will also be useful when I fit OLE because that makes cleaning track with a block very fiddly.

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The track cleaning rubber is a long obsolete method, and should be discarded and forgotten.

 

Per Johnster above, the back of hardboard used regularly does all this is required cleanly, leaves no deposit, on an all metal wheel operation. IPA on hardboard* may be required if there has been neglect, or Satan's implements in the form of plastic wheelsets or RTR OO traction tyres are in use. (I got the hardboard method from Pendon many years ago, both very effective, and free, there's scrap hardboard 'everywhere' in the UK. 'Free' alone should be enough, eh?)

 

 

*IPA on a soft non fluffing cloth is equivalent in effectiveness; but note the snagging potential that has to be guarded against, such as by careful wrapping of the cloth around a suitably sized wooden block.

Edited by 34theletterbetweenB&D
to add a closing parenthesis
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It is, I contend, the only thing that hardboard is any use for...

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CMX track cleaner, AFAIAC  rubbers are definitely a no no, they are prehistoric devices.

I also have some hard felt pads which I use with IPA (no not beer!) for stubborn bits.

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1 hour ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

.. IPA on a soft non fluffing cloth is equivalent in effectiveness; but note the snagging potential that has to be guarded against, such as by careful wrapping of the cloth around a suitably sized wooden block.

 

And even then, it'll still catch on something or other.  Verily, hardboard is the biz.

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Speaking as a rail and track manufacturer, as well as a large user.

 

  NEVER!!!!

 

Rail heads should be smoothy polished. New rail comes out of the manufacturing die with a very smooth finish. You want to preserve that as it makes corrosion very slow and easy to wipe off.

 

Use a Brasso type silver and brass liquid cleaner initially with a cloth. Hardboard with alcohol subsequently as needed.  Once you get even the tiniest scratches, corrosion starts in and if you continue to use an abrasive rubber, you have  a regular job for life.

 

Andy

Proto:87 Stores

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15 hours ago, Ben Alder said:

After using rubbers of various forms for years  I have found a combination of De Luxe  Track Magic and Deoxit on loco wheels is giving far better running than anything else I've tried.

 

One of the layouts at Warley had some advertising for a track cleaner/protector, yet they seemed to be spending more time with track cleaning/rubbing than any other I noticed.:scratchhead:

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2 hours ago, melmerby said:

CMX track cleaner, AFAIAC  rubbers are definitely a no no, they are prehistoric devices.

That is a bold statement but an explanation of why would be useful.

 

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Another vote for ipa.

 

Cloths do snag, something like this which can be knocked up with bits from the junk box and uses cheap roll up filters as the pads reduces the risk of hitting anything in tight areas might help.

 

tc2.JPG.bcd5d0de6ecaa81ea86a5371030fb904.JPG

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In defence of track rubbers....

 

I'm still using the same Peco streamline track (admittedly Code 100) since 1990!

 

Now laid on it's third layout, so it's been lifted, relaid and reformed many times (all due credit to Peco for build quality).

 

So for many years it was subjected to cleaning with a good number of different rubbers. Peco, Gaugemaster, and Hornby. DOGA one was the best.

 

The present layout is now, for the first time, in a spare room in the house as opposed to previous loft and shed locations where regular cleaning was necessary.

 

Nowadays those same rails hardly ever need cleaning! Trains run faultlessly on DCC!

 

So all the "abuse" from rubbers over the last 29 years never did any harm!

 

That's my experience anyway.

 

 

Edited by cravensdmufan
Words inserted for clarity
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2 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

That is a bold statement but an explanation of why would be useful.

 

Track rubbers leave deposits and can be abrasive, neither is a desired effect.

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40 minutes ago, melmerby said:

Track rubbers leave deposits and can be abrasive, neither is a desired effect.

 

According to SWMBO I leave deposits and SHE gets quite abrasive :rolleyes:

 

Hardboard, rough or smooth side depending on state of track and a drop of IPA, used   here as well,  Not used the track rubber since using this combo and definately less track cleaning needed even though its in a cold damp workshop

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5 hours ago, melmerby said:

Track rubbers leave deposits and can be abrasive, neither is a desired effect.

So some are abrasive. Some claim not to be.

CMX applies a soft cloth dampened with a cleaning fluid. What is wrong with that?

If cleaning in a narrow tunnel far too small to get my hand in to, what alternatives are there?

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9 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

 

CMX applies a soft cloth dampened with a cleaning fluid. What is wrong with that?

 

Nothing, as I said before and is my preferred method.

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