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basementdweller

Posted - 2007 March 07 :  10:33:14 PM  Show Profile
I have read on here many times about using Flitz for polishing track.
I have not cleaned track in a looooooong time, and this job is past due.
I usually clean track with alcohol and a rag, I have never used Flitz before.
I assume that I clean track in the usual way then go over it with the Flitz?

My concern is that I will get it on the outside of the weathered rails and on the ballast, and create a mess.
Any advice?
Martin.
It's all scenery.

Country: USA | Posts: 2672

dean

Posted - 2007 March 08 :  07:23:31 AM  Show Profile
Martin, clean as you do normally with the alcohol and a soft cloth. You can Flitz the rails but if doing so, use it sparingly on a cloth to aviod the issues you addressed. Flitz will definitely leave your rails clean and shiney and increase conductivity.

dean

Santa Fe all the Way....Middle Division Emporia Sub Circa 1976 - 1986
Hoping someone someday will make a quality ACF 4600

Country: USA | Posts: 4500 Go to Top of Page

E Heney

Posted - 2007 March 08 :  07:59:03 AM  Show Profile
I use Happich Simichrome Polish on the few feet of brass I have. I apply it directly to a damp cloth, then use it like an automotive paste wax.

If you have brass, "clean" the rails using isopropyl, then use this...you won't believe how much more dirt/oxidation comes off.

Nickel silver doesn't have to be cleaned nearly as often.



Country: USA | Posts: 730 Go to Top of Page

wnanney

Posted - 2007 March 08 :  10:05:45 AM  Show Profile
I have never used Flitz either. I have used MAAS metal polish and MAAS does great on metal of any kind and leaves a protective coating on the metal to deter future crud.

You can buy the MAAS at several places including most any hardware store.

Apply it the same way. Clean cloth to put the polish on but follow immediately with a clean cloth. Not suppose to leave it on the metal very long. I staple some old tee shirt material to a small wooden block and use that to apply the MAAS and a clean one to follow up with.


Bill
Arizona

Country: USA | Posts: 2049 Go to Top of Page

smudgeloco

Posted - 2007 March 08 :  12:36:30 PM  Show Profile
Maas and Flitz are vitually one and the same!
Just as Bill describes, cloth around a block! My block is a piece of masonite glued to an old paint-pad handle. The smallest smear of polish goes a long way.

Michael.



Oh for the days when coal was king and steam ruled.
For pics etc -

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smudgeloco/

http://community.webshots.com/user/smudgeloco

http://www.youtube.com/user/smudgeloco

Country: USA | Posts: 1996 Go to Top of Page

Chessie3528

Posted - 2007 March 08 :  12:40:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Chessie3528's Homepage
I use Flitz. I use 2 wooden paint stir sticks. On the first I staple a scrap piece of cork roadbed that same width as the stick and about 2" long. I apply the Flitz to this piece. I squeeze out a small dab and spread it over the surface making a thin coat. I then work this over about 5 or 6 feet of track behing careful to keep the cork surface on top of the rails and not allowing it to get on the rail sides. I take the second stick and wrap an old piece of cotton cloth around the end and staple it. I use the second set-up as the "polishing" step.

The paint sticks are narrow enough to fit along the track without knocking things over, and are good for controlling the Flitz application without it getting on the sides of the rails.


Dave


http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeoskf7/trainpictures/
http://s300.photobucket.com/albums/nn6/chessie3528/?albumview=slideshow

Country: USA | Posts: 1140 Go to Top of Page

basementdweller

Posted - 2007 March 18 :  9:53:42 PM  Show Profile
[b]WOW![/b]

What a difference! I cleaned the track with alcohol and thought I had it pretty clean. Then I went over it with the Flitz and I couldn't believe how much more dirt came off.


It's all scenery.

Country: USA | Posts: 2672 Go to Top of Page

smudgeloco

Posted - 2007 March 19 :  01:28:56 AM  Show Profile
Could have told you that Martin! You won't need to clean so often now either.

Michael.



Oh for the days when coal was king and steam ruled.
For pics etc -

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smudgeloco/

http://community.webshots.com/user/smudgeloco

http://www.youtube.com/user/smudgeloco

Country: USA | Posts: 1996 Go to Top of Page

basementdweller

Posted - 2007 March 19 :  05:46:15 AM  Show Profile
quote:
You won't need to clean so often now either.


I never did anyway, but it finally caught up with me.


It's all scenery.

Country: USA | Posts: 2672 Go to Top of Page

Virginian

Posted - 2007 March 19 :  06:06:31 AM  Show Profile
Any metal polish, including Brasso seems to work the same. Use sparingly just on the rail head, and it cleans and polishes. I don't go to the "glean" extreme, but about one swipe with the polish every five years, and a once or twice a year with acetone or laquer thinner and I'm good to go. I have also taken to Swiffering some dust away occassionally too.

What could have happened... did.

Country: USA | Posts: 577 Go to Top of Page

wnanney

Posted - 2007 March 19 :  09:34:14 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Any metal polish, including Brasso seems to work the same.


I tried Brasso on my old (few years - no, lots of years ago) layout that still had some brass track on it but it left some serious residue on the track and my wheels got really cruddy quick. Locomotives stalled on it etc. It was probably me not the Brasso but I would certainly not put it on my Nickel-Sliver track I use today.

Also, you must have an extremely clean and WELL controlled humidity environment. Cleaning the track once or twice a year and with polish every five years - OH MAN I ENVY YOU!!!


Bill
Arizona

Country: USA | Posts: 2049 Go to Top of Page

basementdweller

Posted - 2008 February 18 :  4:26:07 PM  Show Profile
Well I dug up this old thread to see how long ago I last done a marathon track cleaning session.
March last year, 11 months that job lasted. I don't think that was too bad for an unfinished basement where a dehumidifyer runs 24/7.

Time to clean track again!


It's all scenery.

Country: USA | Posts: 2672 Go to Top of Page

Russ Daley

Posted - 2008 February 21 :  4:52:42 PM  Show Profile
I'm glad to see somebody else using cork roadbed with a dash of Maas or Flitz when cleaning the track. I been using cork roadbed for sometime now and didn't know if I was harming the track or not. But the cork sure does show the dirt....

Russ Daley
Freelancing the PRR....
Somewhere around, let's say 1890's

Country: USA | Posts: 434 Go to Top of Page

JDL3

Posted - 2008 February 21 :  8:49:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit JDL3's Homepage
I'm one of those crazy people who hasn't cleaned his track in 5-6 years--and don't intend to do it anytime soon, either. I use a Wahl Clipper Oil. I put a tiny bit on the track every now and then and run a train around the layout. According to those who know more than me about these things, it increases conductivity. All I know is that it works great, and I never have clean the track.

John Longhurst, Winnipeg



Country: Canada | Posts: 386 Go to Top of Page

basementdweller

Posted - 2008 February 21 :  9:38:19 PM  Show Profile
quote:
I'm one of those crazy people who hasn't cleaned his track in 5-6 years--and don't intend to do it anytime soon, either. I use a Wahl Clipper Oil. I put a tiny bit on the track every now and then and run a train around the layout. According to those who know more than me about these things, it increases conductivity. All I know is that it works great, and I never have clean the track.


Ok let me get this straight, once the track is nice a clean you wipe Wahl clipper oil on the rails?
I can understand how the oil would reduce any corrosion from occuring, but what is so special about Wahl clipper oil, why not WD40, 3 in 1, or sewing machine oil?

Is there any issue of slipping on grades or dirt sticking to rails thus causing more problems?
I am willing to try something new if cleaning track is a chore that can be extended to as long as possible.


It's all scenery.

Country: USA | Posts: 2672 Go to Top of Page

el3637

Posted - 2008 February 22 :  12:55:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit el3637's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by basementdweller
I can understand how the oil would reduce any corrosion from occuring, but what is so special about Wahl clipper oil, why not WD40, 3 in 1, or sewing machine oil?



Since the whole thing is very subjective, and so many people scoff at the idea anyway, I don't think any kind of objective comparison has ever been done between various products. WD40 is a no-no because it contains a solvent, although I use another solvent (lighter fluid) as a base cleaner.

I have been using LaBelle 108 as track lube for 30 years. It does for me what Wahl oil does for others.

quote:

I am willing to try something new if cleaning track is a chore that can be extended to as long as possible.



The best advice I can give you is if it ain't broke don't fix it. If your present system is letting you go a year between cleanings and your trains run ok, it sounds to me like it's working fine.

Andy



Country: USA | Posts: 7422 Go to Top of Page
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