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Offline chiemgau  
#1 Posted : 24 June 2013 02:01:27(UTC)
chiemgau

United States   
Joined: 24/06/2013(UTC)
Posts: 12
Location: California
I have a small z-scale layout that I've kept in storage since 2003. I ran my fingers across the rails and noticed there's some roughness on the surface of the rails, perhaps it can be oxidation? It's not dirt as I've done several passes of the "rubbing alcohol on a t-shirt" method and did that several times. My layout has been covered by a plexiglass case at all times except when I run/change out the locos.

Is there a best/new way to clean and polish these rails? I've heard pros and cons of very fine grit sandpaper (1000-2400 grit), still need to be convinced.

Thanks in advance!
Offline ozzman  
#2 Posted : 24 June 2013 03:05:47(UTC)
ozzman

Australia   
Joined: 23/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,828
Location: Sydney, Australia
Hello and welcome to this great forum!

Given that there are all sorts of substances in the air in towns and cities, it's quite possible that the rail tops have become oxidised. You could try one of those hard rubbing blocks, which are usually black (or nearly so). Just make sure when you're finished that you remove the "debris" (for want of a better word) - one of those little "dustbuster" type vacuums would be ideal.

Without knowing for sure, I would have thought that there was a risk that the grit from fine sandpaper might get into switch mechanisms. The "debris" from a rubbing block would be much coarser and probably won't get into places where it shouldn't go. I've used one myself and had no problems.

One more thing - don't polish the rail tops. You're asking for wheel slipping.
Gary
Z Scale
"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout"
Offline chiemgau  
#3 Posted : 24 June 2013 04:46:56(UTC)
chiemgau

United States   
Joined: 24/06/2013(UTC)
Posts: 12
Location: California
Thanks Gary for the tip, by "hard rubbing block" do you mean something like the Bright Boy stiff eraser block? Will it scratch or wear out the surface of the rails?

In reality, how critical is it to remove the oxidation? The train seems to run okay. Although occasionally, when I stop the train then turn it back on again, I need to give the train a little nudge with my fingers for it to start moving, would this be due to the oxidation?

Thanks!
Offline ozzman  
#4 Posted : 24 June 2013 06:45:28(UTC)
ozzman

Australia   
Joined: 23/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,828
Location: Sydney, Australia
Hello again. I'm not familiar with the Bright Boy eraser blocks, but that's the sort of thing I meant. The one I use is a Fleischmann, but they're all similar. You wouldn't want to have too much oxidisation as it degrades the electrical conductivity between rail and wheel. Speaking of which, you also need to keep an eye on the cleanliness of your loco wheels.
Gary
Z Scale
"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout"
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by ozzman
Offline kbvrod  
#5 Posted : 24 June 2013 17:44:58(UTC)
kbvrod

United States   
Joined: 23/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,597
Location: Beverly, MA
Originally Posted by: ozzman Go to Quoted Post
Hello again. I'm not familiar with the Bright Boy eraser blocks, but that's the sort of thing I meant. The one I use is a Fleischmann, but they're all similar. You wouldn't want to have too much oxidisation as it degrades the electrical conductivity between rail and wheel. Speaking of which, you also need to keep an eye on the cleanliness of your loco wheels.


Hi Gary and welcome!

I already posted this on the Z-Yahoo list: http://www.nscale.net/forums/co...-Linn-Westcott-and-No-Ox
Abrasives are only going to add to the problem and the scratch the rail head and are nice if you want further oxidation and places for dirt to gather.Blink


Dr D



Offline chiemgau  
#6 Posted : 24 June 2013 18:48:54(UTC)
chiemgau

United States   
Joined: 24/06/2013(UTC)
Posts: 12
Location: California
Hi Dr. D & Gary,

Thanks for the link, I've read the article and also other forums posts. The consensus is to use bright boy/fiberglass pen/fine sandpaper to remove the oxidation, clean it thoroughly, then apply some sort of "NO-OX" or "DEOXIT" chemical to prevent it from further oxidizing.

I don't run the locos too often so adding chemical to the rails and having to constantly wipe off the residue from the chemical doesn't seem too fun.

If I do a 1200 grit fine sandpaper plus another 2400 grit to polish it up, how important is it to apply NO-OX or DEOXIT?

Thanks!
Offline kbvrod  
#7 Posted : 24 June 2013 20:51:50(UTC)
kbvrod

United States   
Joined: 23/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,597
Location: Beverly, MA
Hi,

>Thanks for the link, I've read the article and also other forums posts.<

Print it out,grab your favorite beverage and r-e-a-d it carefully.


>The consensus is to use bright boy/fiberglass pen/fine sandpaper to remove the oxidation, clean it thoroughly, then apply some sort of "NO-OX" or "DEOXIT" chemical to prevent it from further oxidizing.<

That's what NO-OX means,...

>I don't run the locos too often so adding chemical to the rails and having to constantly wipe off the residue from the chemical doesn't seem too fun.<

That's telling me you really didn't read it.This is the initial application,you are not constantly wiping off the residue:

Quote:
4. Put very thin smears on your finger and rub it on your rails. The total amount of NO-OX-ID “A SPECIAL” that should be applied to 500’ of N scale track is about ¼ teaspoon. If you can SEE No-Ox on rails, you are putting TOO MUCH on! DO NOT APPLY MORE!


Quote:
I applied No-Ox to my layout 5 years ago, and have experienced skip free running ever since. This is even after periods of no running for as long as a month. I HAVE NOT CLEANED MY TRACK IN 5 YEARS! An added bonus is that the No-Ox has changed my loco wheels into better conductors, as I have not had to clean them either. The results it produces are truly amazing and will make you wonder why you ever cleaned your track. No-Ox resembles grease, and therefore creates a natural resistance in the minds of some modelers. The fears are totally unwarranted, and the product has been successfully used on model railroads for over 45 years.


Dr D

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