Author Topic: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?  (Read 2958 times)

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peteski

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2019, 05:51:50 PM »
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Sweet!  Bob Ross used to love washing the brush by dipping it in odorless thinner, shaking off the excess, and then "beating the devil out of it."  :D

DFF

Yeah, he not only learned the wet-on-wet painting technique from William Alexander, but his brush cleaning beatings too.  :D  Before Bob Ross, I enjoyed the thick German accent of Bill talking, while painting his masterpieces on PBS.
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Doug G.

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2019, 06:13:21 PM »
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I still have 3/4 a can of Mautz odorless thinner in the basement from the nineteen fifties my dad had when he was a painter. It's still in perfect condition.

Doug
Atlas First Generation Motive Power and Treble-O-Lectric. Click on the link:
www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

Albert in N

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2019, 07:20:30 PM »
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 :ashat: Back in the early 1950s, my first electric train was a tinplate two-rail S gauge American Flyer (back when A.C. Gilbert owned it).  I used a rag with American Flyer track cleaning fluid.  It was probably kerosene dyed blue and came in a clear glass bottle (about a half pint) with a metal bottle cap.  It smelled and felt just like the kerosene used for our lamps during power outages.  Now on my N scale, I simply wipe with a dry rag, usually a worn out cloth handkerchief.  At times I use a Bachmann (made by Proses) plastic track cleaner that has red felt strip inserts, or I use Zeiss alcohol eyeglasses wipes. 
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 08:59:31 PM by Albert in N »

jagged ben

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2019, 11:48:22 PM »
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One thing I'll say about all this is that with respect to traction, the physics are a lot more forgiving in HO than in N.  So as an N scaler I wouldn't place too much stock in HO experiences of mineral oil.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2019, 11:59:31 AM »
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One thing I'll say about all this is that with respect to traction, the physics are a lot more forgiving in HO than in N.  So as an N scaler I wouldn't place too much stock in HO experiences of mineral oil.

Actually, I think you got something there. I spent a long and enjoyable day running on a friend’s large HO layout yesterday. He is one of the HO guys I know that uses mineral spirits to keep his track clean, and everything ran impeccably, all day. He does use a lot of powered units, like his mid-seventies prototype, to get long trains over the mountain, and he uses helpers as well, so I don’t know whether the pulling power of individual locomotives is compromised...in his case it doesn’t seem to matter. In N scale, the physics are likely less forgiving.
Pic below, a three unit helper set pushing; six units on the head end, all powered, 15mph. Fun!
Otto K.

robert3985

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2019, 07:07:35 PM »
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I've never used a liquid on my rails...ever.  I use a couple of old "Brite Boy" track cleaners I've had for decades, and periodically I vacuum my track with a mini-cleaning attachment for my big shop-vac.  I don't have dirty rail problems.  Maybe it's because I live in Utah with its low relative humidity.  However, I do use a good HEPA filter on my furnace, and change it every month.  Done that for years.

Had some nimnull back in the late 80's spreading some kind of oil on all the modules' rails in the setup.  Took a while to clean the gunk off of my rolling stock and motive power tires after the show.  I did clean the track on my modules with Bestine after that show.

Dirty track has never been a problem for me...or for any other N-scale modeler I know of who lives in Northern Utah.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

Doug G.

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2019, 10:45:05 PM »
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I don't use liquids either and, in fact, I suddenly was able to quit cleaning my track regularly about 10 years ago. Why, I don't know but it just doesn't seem to get dirty anymore or, I should say, quit getting the black residue on it and locos run fine.

Also, mineral spirits, while initially leaving an oily type residue, doesn't take an awfully long time to evaporate, especially in a thin layer as it would be on rails.

Doug
Atlas First Generation Motive Power and Treble-O-Lectric. Click on the link:
www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

narrowminded

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2019, 10:56:41 PM »
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Dust Monkeys on all cabeese.  Reliability is great.  Clean the dust monkeys with alcohol every so often. :)  No major track cleaning since I started using these.  I found that dust was the biggest problem in a house with two adults that doesn't have a bad dust problem.  I do use HEPA furnace filters.
Mark G.

cjp53

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2019, 05:34:26 PM »
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I used nail polish remover to clean up some glue that got on the track.It worked well

dem34

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2019, 06:55:41 PM »
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I used nail polish remover to clean up some glue that got on the track.It worked well

Just be real careful doing that. Nail polish remover is usually acetone based and that will happily melt plastic ties and spikes.
-Al

narrowminded

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2019, 07:52:25 PM »
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Just be real careful doing that. Nail polish remover is usually acetone based and that will happily melt plastic ties and spikes.

It won't hurt the printed code 40 tie strips I'm making. 8)  A nice advantage when working with them.  They resist MEK, too.  What you still have to watch is foam base. :|
Mark G.

Angus Shops

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2019, 08:22:57 PM »
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Ha, I was going to chime in and recount my use of nail polish remover, but I 'self censored' thinking the universal response from TRW would be "dumb move", so I decided to be quiet. I was inspired by watching the bride and the daughters removing nail polish and thought that there would have to be some strong solvents in the remover. That, and and not having any other suitable cleaners around, led me to trying it. Worked well for me and didn't cause any noticeable damage to plastic ties or paint. I recall that some formulations include oils to reduce skin irritation, but this didn't seem to have any noticeable effect either. I tried to ensure the NPR was only applied to the tops of the rails as best I could.
Geoff
« Last Edit: December 14, 2019, 11:15:45 AM by Angus Shops »

peteski

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2019, 08:36:53 PM »
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Ha, I was going to chime in and recount my use of nail polish remover, but I 'self censored' thinking the universal response from TRW would be "dumb move", so I decided to be quite. I was inspired by watching the bride and the daughters removing nail polish and thought that there would have to be some strong solvents in the remover. That, and and not having any other suitable cleaners around, led me to trying it. Worked well for me and didn't cause any noticeable damage to plastic ties or paint. I recall that some formulations include oils to reduce skin irritation, but this didn't seem to have any noticeable effect either. I tried to ensure the NPR was only applied to the tops of the rails as best I could.
Geoff

Acetone has a very distinct-smell.  A quick whiff of nail polish remover to me reveals what's in it. :)
Yes, acetone is a fairly strong solvent which will easily clean off greasy goop, paint or CA glue off the track. Not sure how it works on PVA glue (never tried it, but it probably it will clean it off too).
Some brands of track use plastic which is not affected (or very mildly affected) but acetone.
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Chris333

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2019, 08:46:40 PM »
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But is nail polish remover still Acetone? Thought they changed it a few years back when Acetone started getting harder to find.

peteski

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Re: Mineral spirits as track cleaning fluid?
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2019, 08:57:51 PM »
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But is nail polish remover still Acetone? Thought they changed it a few years back when Acetone started getting harder to find.

There are both - acetone, and non-acetone versions available.

Non-acetone version is clearly labeled as such, and smells like Ethyl Acetate.  :D
« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 09:00:20 PM by peteski »
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