Author Topic: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner  (Read 1303 times)

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carmelmodelrr

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Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« on: June 19, 2018, 12:04:44 PM »
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Has anyone tried this?  I'm interested in cleaning locomotive wheels and, to some extent, the wheels of rolling stock.  What are your experiences?

Carmelmodelrr
Richard Wroblewski

MK

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 02:31:39 PM »
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I have used it briefly at a show when one of the members bought one.  It worked quite well for locomotives.  I didn't try it on rolling stock.

The convenience of this over coffee filter on a track is that you can power the rails (just place the entire unit over existing powered rails) but it won't turn on until you push the locomotive down enough for the wheels to contact the cleaning strip.  You do both trucks at once.  Easy peasey.  I plan to get one eventually.

joelm

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2018, 03:32:03 PM »
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Gents: For what it's worth: I bought one, couldn't get it to make contact with both sets of wheels so that they had power. I typically clean wheels of all the locos on the layout before an ops session (about 20 locos), so I had a reason to try to make the Roto work, but simply could not. Sold it at a swap meet.

I continue to use industrial (white) paper towels and alcohol (70%) or for tough grime, the brass wire wheel cleaner that sits on the track (can't remember the maker).   Joel

peteski

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 03:50:40 PM »
+1
I continue to use industrial (white) paper towels and alcohol (70%) or for tough grime, the brass wire wheel cleaner that sits on the track (can't remember the maker).   Joel

Minitrix

Originally it was green.


Now it has a different color.

. . . 42 . . .

Steveruger45

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2018, 07:01:51 PM »
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I have two of the roto wheel cleaners. A double Christmas present.  I too found the electrical contact a bit of a pain.  I do still use them, I have each one set up with the different cleaning strips and now use them manually to clean the wheels on loco trucks etc when I have a loco apart.  I have heard the minitrix wheel cleaner, the one that Peteski posted photos of, does work pretty well. Unless anyone out there knows differently.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

nkalanaga

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 01:37:28 AM »
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I have one of the Minitrix units, and it works fine for me, on both standard and narrow gauge locomotives.  It doesn't work on unpowered axles, so won't work on rolling stock, and I doubt that the WS version will either, if the locomotive has to be powered.

My cleaner is permanently mounted near the dual-gauge interchange tracks, hidden under an "old" concrete block shed.  Lift the shed, clean the wheels, put the shed back on.  Power comes from the 10V lighting/signal supply.
N Kalanaga
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Cameron_Talley

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2018, 12:02:21 PM »
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At CVS they have some rubbing alcohol wipes that are, essentially, baby wipes with 70% alcohol instead of whatever they put in baby wipes.  No paper towels needed, just grab a sheet, place it on the rails, and clean the wheels that way.  They've been essential for me because my layout is in an office and I can't really have an open bottle of rubbing alcohol lying around.

mmagliaro

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 12:23:29 PM »
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At CVS they have some rubbing alcohol wipes that are, essentially, baby wipes with 70% alcohol instead of whatever they put in baby wipes.  No paper towels needed, just grab a sheet, place it on the rails, and clean the wheels that way.  They've been essential for me because my layout is in an office and I can't really have an open bottle of rubbing alcohol lying around.

Hey, that's a good idea.  Wipes are tougher than paper towel anyway, so they would be less likely to leave stray bits of fiber or paper lying in the ties to be sucked up into the gears of a pair of GP-9's as they roll over that spot shortly after cleaning.
... just hypothetically...  (another 2 hours of my life I won't get back, spent picking paper towel out of the gears).

Roger Holmes

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2018, 01:51:21 PM »
+1
What Peteski said.  The Minitrix cleaner has been my "go to" since the 1980's.  Before that I used picks made of dinosaur bones.
Best regards,

Roger

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nkalanaga

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2018, 01:38:26 AM »
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Dinosaur bones?  Interesting...

I've cleaned many wheels with two pieces of copper wire (old computer cable) attached to a power pack.  The copper is softer than brass or nickel silver, so doesn't damage the wheels, and the end of the wire scrapes crud very effectively.
N Kalanaga
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jdcolombo

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2018, 02:15:35 PM »
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Minitrix

Originally it was green.


Now it has a different color.


Got one in each color.  I use them all the time for cleaning diesel wheels.  For steam, I often invert the loco, apply power, and use a wire brush in a dremel on the wheels that DON'T have a traction tire :)

John C.

nkalanaga

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2018, 01:32:57 AM »
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John C.:  Traction tires are another reason I still use my copper wires on occasion.  Like your Dremel brush, I can do one wheel at a time, and not damage the tires.
N Kalanaga
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MK

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Re: Woodland Scenics Roto Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2018, 07:53:43 AM »
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Doesn't the Minitrix cause microscopic scratches on the wheels and making them crevices for dirt to accumulate?  Similar concept to using sandpaper to clean your rails.