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Old 07-04-2020, 10:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cleaning used track

I recently purchased about 150' of used Aristocraft 332 brass track. It's in good condition, but the rails are oxidized and the ties have a bit of leftover glue on them from where the previous owner had mixed glue with his ballast. I want to clean them before laying them. I cleaned one with a bit of mineral spirits and a gray Scotchbrite and it came out great, but I wanted to be sure I wasn't harming the brass or the plastic doing it this way. I also plan to use some brass wire wheels on my Dremel to clean the ends, and put on new rail connectors with screws. (I'm using track power)

I'm new at this, so comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I recently purchased about 150' of used Aristocraft 332 brass track. It's in good condition, but the rails are oxidized and the ties have a bit of leftover glue on them from where the previous owner had mixed glue with his ballast. I want to clean them before laying them. I cleaned one with a bit of mineral spirits and a gray Scotchbrite and it came out great, but I wanted to be sure I wasn't harming the brass or the plastic doing it this way. I also plan to use some brass wire wheels on my Dremel to clean the ends, and put on new rail connectors with screws. (I'm using track power)

I'm new at this, so comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
paul2887,
Welcome to the forum, I am also a new member here, and have received lots of helpful input in a short period of time.

I don't know about the mineral spirits on the plastic ties, but others I am sure will jump in.
As for the rail heads, I think the Scotchbrite is the best solution. I have used it on my S gauge track for years with no problems.
I use it with a small sanding block on my used LGB brass G gauge track. The block seems to make the cleaning go faster.
George
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Grinding track for outdoor use is a bad term as grinding leaves grooves which allows faster corrosion. Think more on the lines of polishing like fine silver!! LGB track cleaner does this as well as some very fine scotch pads.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Paul, I’m a rookie here too. I have found out what works for me. I use a scotch bright pad on a pole sander dipped in dish soap and water
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi. I use 400 grit wet/dry sand paper for heavy tarnish on the rails,and 1,000 for light tarnish.

I only run indoors, but have bought a lot of track that has been used in an outdoor setting.
Experiment to what works best for you, and your needs.

I use Isopropyl Alcohol on strips of paper towel for general cleaning of grease and residue on the track after that.

Soap (Dawn),hot water,and a Scotch Brite pad works great for the ties.
Sorry, but I've never dealt with glue on any of my tracks.

No matter what you decide on, do not use a power tool of any sort on your rails as you'll only damage them as Dan already mentioned.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have always wondered about using Brasso or Bar Keepers Friend. Know Brasso really does a good job on brass, but nobody seems to have tried it and have no idea if there is any reason not to use it.

Doug
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Old 07-10-2020, 03:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have always wondered about using Brasso or Bar Keepers Friend. Know Brasso really does a good job on brass, but nobody seems to have tried it and have no idea if there is any reason not to use it.

Doug
Doug,
Looking forward to the responses you get. I was also wondering if some sort of metal polish would help the rails stay cleaner longer.
George

Last edited by Aflyer; 07-10-2020 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 07-10-2020, 09:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just a note about brass cleaners. Test to be sure they do not leave an insulating residue after polishing. My guess is that is why they are not recommended for cleaning track.

David Meashey
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Old 07-10-2020, 09:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just a note about brass cleaners. Test to be sure they do not leave an insulating residue after polishing. My guess is that is why they are not recommended for cleaning track.

David Meashey
David,
I have that question too, that is why I am interested in hearing if anyone has actual experiences.
George
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Brasso was too slick afterwards.
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