Wheel Cleaner

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peterg
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:25 am
Location: Nr Rugby, Warwickshire

Wheel Cleaner

Post by peterg »

Has anybody found it necessary to use the Tgauge wheel cleaner?
If so does it work and is it necessary??

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dkightley
Posts: 1286
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:43 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Wheel Cleaner

Post by dkightley »

To me, the wheel cleaner has a major limitation. It can only be used to clean the wheel tyre surfaces on a powered bogie...using the power pickup on the non-powered bogie to run the motor. Thus, less than half the cleaning requirement is done!

Before both of the one-day shows I attended recently, I cleaned every wheelset individually by gently removing from the bogie frame and cleaning not only the tyre surface, but the "dimple" in the wheel face, removing the "ball of fluff" that collects there. I remove the wheelsets in pairs, carefully clean the contact plates (making sure I don't dislodge either of them...resulting in everything falling apart!!) , clean the wheelsets, and then reassemble after giving the gearbox a check over to make sure there's no scenery flock or ballast lurking anywhere.

As important as keeping the wheels clean is keeping the track sparkling clean and dust free. I cleaned all the track carefully with 2000 grit emery followed by a cloth dampened with alcohol, and then ran over the whole track with a vacuum cleaner with a small nozzle on the hose to remove all dust and loose items. I had trouble-free continuous running (once I'd got the couplings settled in) for over three hours before I needed to give specific locations an occasional wipe over to keep things clean.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

peterg
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:25 am
Location: Nr Rugby, Warwickshire

Re: Wheel Cleaner

Post by peterg »

Think it might be easier if i just bring them round to yours for a good buff up :lol:

martink
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:13 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Wheel Cleaner

Post by martink »

I've used the beast successfully, and yes, it did make a difference. The paper edges were filthy after doing my small collection of locos. The hardest part was getting the paper to fold and stick properly to the slides.

To clean the pickup wheels, turn the power off and then slide each of the strips back and forth separately while slowly rolling the vehicle along and applying a little downwards pressure. However, I first go over each unit's underframe with a pair of tweezers removing any fluff or anything that seems to have adhered to the wheels.

peterg
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:25 am
Location: Nr Rugby, Warwickshire

Re: Wheel Cleaner

Post by peterg »

Well, Doug has cleaned half his wheels with it and Martin has had good success so i think i have to get one COS I AINT STRIPPING WHEELS OFF! off my loco's. :o

martink
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:13 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Wheel Cleaner

Post by martink »

I've been doing a fair bit of wheel and track cleaning lately. Alas, the standard wheel cleaner is way too short since I permanently coupled & wired my locos together in pairs, so I ended up making my own cleaner.

It consists of about 9" of flex track glued to a piece of timber, with nice and cheap standard office-supply self-adhesive labels used instead of the proprietary cleaning papers. One label is cut into four strips then stuck to the rails, then pressed down between the rails with a finger nail. Then just gently (!!) push the loco(s) along the track to clean the wheels. I find that it is best to lean the loco slightly to the side, cleaning one rail / side at a time. 9" is about the right length to clean a pair of locos.

The following pic shows the amount of grunge from one loco pair - and that was after giving them a careful once-over with tweezers first!

Image

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