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Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#1 Posted : 09 May 2016 22:43:46(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,099
Location: CA, USA
Hi everyone,

I'm working on a bit of an experiment, and I'd like to use the older style Marklin catenary for it. I love the system, and it is much easier to have on a layout due to the pieces being able to click in an click out in case of accessing derailments etc...

Now my one big complaint is the chrome/stainless/??? bright wire coloration. What material is this? Stainless Steel?

What I'd like to do is use a solution like "blacken it" (which I understand is no longer available?) or "NeoLube" to darken the wire but retain conductivity. Are there any metallurgists out there who can advise on material, or a solution that might work?

Once I have an idea of what I'm working with, I'll post images of my test pieces for all to see
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
Offline dominator  
#2 Posted : 09 May 2016 23:19:31(UTC)
dominator

New Zealand   
Joined: 20/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 1,156
Location: Kerikeri
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
Hi everyone,

I'm working on a bit of an experiment, and I'd like to use the older style Marklin catenary for it. I love the system, and it is much easier to have on a layout due to the pieces being able to click in an click out in case of accessing derailments etc...


Once I have an idea of what I'm working with, I'll post images of my test pieces for all to see




I wonder if coating the surface with a "phosphoric acid" based product [ like they use when they "blue" rifle barrels ] might work. Wurth makes a product called Rust Converter which turns blue/black on application. Trouble is , it comes in 1 litre bottles.

Dereck
Northland. NZ REMEMBER 0228 for ä
Offline Marty  
#3 Posted : 10 May 2016 00:33:07(UTC)
Marty

United States   
Joined: 29/05/2008(UTC)
Posts: 272
Location: USA
I used the product "Blacken It" years ago to blacken the nickel-plated pantographs of my 194 electric loc. I found it was difficult to control the end results - in some areas the nickel was nicely toned down, and in other areas the acid burned right through the plating. The end result was kind of a dark and flakey finish, not a uniform finish at all. Also, when you're done, you have to neutralize everything in a baking soda solution. If you have the 2003/2004 Märklin catalog handy, take a look on page 161 and 171: It looks like the catenary wire was dipped in the same product, with the same results! I don't like working with dangerous materials, and disposing of the waste is also a hassle - you can't just pour it down the drain.

I think you'd be much better off airbrushing the wire, or just let it be. My wire is so old, that the nickel is no longer super shiny anymore, and it looks ok to me. But maybe someone else here has been down this road and can give better advice.
Marty
Offline analogmike  
#4 Posted : 10 May 2016 01:16:29(UTC)
analogmike

United States   
Joined: 02/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 682
Location: NEW JERSEY, USA
Real catenary is copper. When it oxidizes it turns jade green like a New York Central caboose.

nyc caboose.jpg
A-int+LIRR-train.jpg
Mikey
I love the smell of smoke fluid in the morning .
thanks 4 users liked this useful post by analogmike
Offline kiwiAlan  
#5 Posted : 10 May 2016 23:01:27(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,272
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
Hi everyone,

I'm working on a bit of an experiment, and I'd like to use the older style Marklin catenary for it. I love the system, and it is much easier to have on a layout due to the pieces being able to click in an click out in case of accessing derailments etc...

Now my one big complaint is the chrome/stainless/??? bright wire coloration. What material is this? Stainless Steel?

What I'd like to do is use a solution like "blacken it" (which I understand is no longer available?) or "NeoLube" to darken the wire but retain conductivity. Are there any metallurgists out there who can advise on material, or a solution that might work?

Once I have an idea of what I'm working with, I'll post images of my test pieces for all to see


I think you will find the catenary is stamped brass that is then nickel plated.

Offline GLI  
#6 Posted : 11 May 2016 11:55:02(UTC)
GLI


Joined: 28/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 82
Location: Lithgow NSW Australia
I don't think the old catenary is brass. It rusts. More likely it is stamped from a mild steel.

Geoff
Offline analogmike  
#7 Posted : 11 May 2016 12:33:46(UTC)
analogmike

United States   
Joined: 02/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 682
Location: NEW JERSEY, USA
No not brass, when I chop it for alterations no gold color is inside. It is very soft. It may have some zinc or lead mixed in with god knows what they had lying around.
Maybe best we don't know. I don't want to put on a hazmat suit to play with my mrr. Mikey

hms2 001.JPG
I love the smell of smoke fluid in the morning .
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by analogmike
Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#8 Posted : 11 May 2016 16:54:34(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,099
Location: CA, USA
Thanks all for the replies. If its nickel plated it may be tough to blacken. I need to sort whatever the best replacement for blacken it is these days and give a test piece a shot. I can't really paint as I want to retain the conductivity. (or I could leave the lower lip of the wire unpainted but that already smells of operating failures)

Ideas for a blackener are welcome! Its on the experimentation list until I sort that part out.
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
Offline kiwiAlan  
#9 Posted : 11 May 2016 23:41:33(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,272
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
Thanks all for the replies. If its nickel plated it may be tough to blacken. I need to sort whatever the best replacement for blacken it is these days and give a test piece a shot. I can't really paint as I want to retain the conductivity. (or I could leave the lower lip of the wire unpainted but that already smells of operating failures)

Ideas for a blackener are welcome! Its on the experimentation list until I sort that part out.


OK, if the base metal is a steel item, then the plating may be chrome, which would be a nice hard surface for the pantos to rub on. How much does the catenary wear with use?

Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#10 Posted : 11 May 2016 23:58:00(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,099
Location: CA, USA
it is funny you mention is as I thought it might be chrome, but I know that process is really expensive. I'd say it doesn't wear at all- it only wears the pantographs themselves out...
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
Offline Marty  
#11 Posted : 12 May 2016 00:22:57(UTC)
Marty

United States   
Joined: 29/05/2008(UTC)
Posts: 272
Location: USA
The recently posted video of the Märklin manufacturing process shows the catenary wire coming out of the plating bath. It is at 4:05 into the video. The video was posted under this topic heading: Vintage Märklin promotional film from the 70's

Here's the link:

https://www.marklin-user...m-from-the-70-s--English
Marty
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Marty
Offline cookee_nz  
#12 Posted : 12 May 2016 08:46:09(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,668
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
Thanks all for the replies. If its nickel plated it may be tough to blacken. I need to sort whatever the best replacement for blacken it is these days and give a test piece a shot. I can't really paint as I want to retain the conductivity. (or I could leave the lower lip of the wire unpainted but that already smells of operating failures)

Ideas for a blackener are welcome! Its on the experimentation list until I sort that part out.


Whatever you do you are going to have to clean up at least two areas....

1: The underside where the Panto rubs

2: The inside of the holes where the mast wire attaches

I was going to suggest painting also, partly because it's the quickest method and probably the easiest.

But you'll probably also want to blacken the afore-mentioned Mast support wires as well.

I reckon you'll maybe find it just as easy to paint them 'in-situ' using an over-spray guard. This should maintain most of the existing connectivity at the masts.

While the paint is still wet you could easily wipe the underside to keep that clean and finally attach a bit of fine emery paper to a couple of panto's and run a train around to buff them up.

Just a thought?

Cookeee
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#13 Posted : 12 May 2016 15:26:20(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,099
Location: CA, USA
Thanks Cookee. Thats plan B to blackening as I don't have patience or budget for sommerfeldt. (at least not when there is a perfectly good alternative), and the old Marklin system offers the level or both modularity, reliability, and ease of access to any train wrecks that I really desire.

Might be a few months, but I'll keep everyone posted...
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#14 Posted : 12 May 2016 15:28:00(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,099
Location: CA, USA
Originally Posted by: Marty Go to Quoted Post
The recently posted video of the Märklin manufacturing process shows the catenary wire coming out of the plating bath. It is at 4:05 into the video. The video was posted under this topic heading: Vintage Märklin promotional film from the 70's

Here's the link:

https://www.marklin-user...m-from-the-70-s--English


Well that gives us one answer- nickel plated...
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
Offline danmarklinman  
#15 Posted : 13 May 2016 13:28:45(UTC)
danmarklinman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,271
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Marty Go to Quoted Post
The recently posted video of the Märklin manufacturing process shows the catenary wire coming out of the plating bath. It is at 4:05 into the video. The video was posted under this topic heading: Vintage Märklin promotional film from the 70's

Here's the link:

https://www.marklin-user...m-from-the-70-s--English


Well that gives us one answer- nickel plated...


Hi, I painted mine, and then regretted it. I removed the paint as it just made it look bigger than it was? My personnel advice. Is to leave it as is. Then you can take it down and put it up as you want. It's good stuff and they should never stopped making it:-( cheers Dan
Marklin and Piko era 4 SNCB , Marklin wagons
Wiking model car Fan
Faller fan including car system
Instagram: marklin1978
Wiking fan
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by danmarklinman
Offline Torstein  
#16 Posted : 13 May 2016 16:03:35(UTC)
Torstein

Norway   
Joined: 27/03/2010(UTC)
Posts: 338
Location: Norway
Hi, I agree with Dan above, don,t paint them.

There are many thinks that look "ugly" when it stands alone, as self-made threes, different thinks in the landscape, Marklins clumsy centenary and so on. But believe me, when you put in a bigger picture, as a layout with a lot of details, it will not stand out in the spectators eyes.

I like this centenary because its solid and you can use a solder iron if it don,t fit properly. After 25 years I have never been needed to adjust it, if may hands should have touched it in tunnels or difficult places.
Be careful where you place the mast as many wagons are longer today.

Have fun.

Torstein

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMagictrain


thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Torstein
Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#17 Posted : 14 May 2016 17:06:29(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,099
Location: CA, USA
Thanks everyone, the systems robustness is what I need for my plan of attack as I am going for functional catenary on the project, yet I will need train wreck/maintenance access to it in strange places and that writes sommerfeldt off. (nevermind the installation and adjustment headaches)

Posting in the wanted section for the items I need, but this should be fun once I sort a way to blacken the wire.

Note the black catenary in the 1990 catalog, although it looks painted:

http://www.modelleisenba...lin/pdf/MA1990_EN_IT.pdf
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
Offline danmarklinman  
#18 Posted : 20 May 2016 09:08:54(UTC)
danmarklinman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,271
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
Thanks everyone, the systems robustness is what I need for my plan of attack as I am going for functional catenary on the project, yet I will need train wreck/maintenance access to it in strange places and that writes sommerfeldt off. (nevermind the installation and adjustment headaches)

Posting in the wanted section for the items I need, but this should be fun once I sort a way to blacken the wire.

Note the black catenary in the 1990 catalog, although it looks painted:

http://www.modelleisenba...lin/pdf/MA1990_EN_IT.pdf


Hi you can also use Electroten overhead poles. As I believe they were made similar overhead. I also use the SNCF style 25kv poles and kit built masts.

heres a bit of my layout with the Marklin overhead and different styles of overhead support poles, some are Electrotren, some are Altered Marklin and others are Marklin supports on kit built gantries? All made to look like SNCF 25 kv ?

https://www.google.co.uk...#imgrc=N0zDoyn5uSJlNM%3A

Edited by user 20 May 2016 19:22:44(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Marklin and Piko era 4 SNCB , Marklin wagons
Wiking model car Fan
Faller fan including car system
Instagram: marklin1978
Wiking fan
Offline Marty  
#19 Posted : 23 May 2016 05:17:32(UTC)
Marty

United States   
Joined: 29/05/2008(UTC)
Posts: 272
Location: USA
Maybe you could experiment with permanent felt-tipped markers. I was in an art store and noticed a line of markers in various wood tones. The dark mahogany might look good on the wire. If you don't like the finish, you can easily remove it with isopropyl alcohol on cotton swab.

Just an idea since we're still in the "Research and Development" phase...
Marty
Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#20 Posted : 24 May 2016 22:32:20(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,099
Location: CA, USA
Originally Posted by: Marty Go to Quoted Post
Maybe you could experiment with permanent felt-tipped markers. I was in an art store and noticed a line of markers in various wood tones. The dark mahogany might look good on the wire. If you don't like the finish, you can easily remove it with isopropyl alcohol on cotton swab.

Just an idea since we're still in the "Research and Development" phase...


And a good idea! Stay tuned!!!
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
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