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Masonite Pads for Track Cleaning

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Masonite Pads for Track Cleaning
Posted by GNMT76 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 4:52 PM

How effective are masonite pads - permanently attached to the underside of a freight car - for cleaning nickel silver track?   Too abrasive so as to leave micro "pits" in the rails?  I realize they won't clean the inside of the rails, but how about the rail surface itself? 

And who selles them these days?

Thanks!

 

David

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:15 PM

I take it you mean Masonite with the ‘furry side down’ and enough weight in the ‘freight car’ to make the car track correctly even if wear grooves form in the Masonite pad.

You will need careful springing and ‘compliance’, both vertically and laterally, between the pad and the car.  I would not be surprised to find very long soft springs needed to get and then fine-tune the right range of pressure.

I personally would rather have a more disposable surface actually picking up the associated schmutz that needs to be removed, and again personally I might want some form of fine abrasive in a cleaning pad.  I don’t see a reason why Masonite can’t be ‘loaded’ with some materials, perhaps in a graded sequence (run them in your model Loram train?) and I expect some contributors here to have well-considered and time-tested approaches.

Now Mike Lehman has brought up something significant over in the conductive-lubricant thread: he uses a cork to rub on a very fine film if conductive lubricant which lasts a long time.  At least theoretically this would also keep many contaminants from sticking to the railhead and therefore relatively easily removed via periodic “Masonite car” runs.  A cork has very good physical parameters for what Mike does, and the advantages he states for their use make interesting reading.

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Posted by GNMT76 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:53 PM

???

David

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 9:00 PM

I believe the masonite pad track cleaner doesn't spring-load downwards--it uses a weighted pad holder that can move vertically.

 

Ed

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Posted by peahrens on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 9:02 PM

I generally run a John Allen masonite pad car in my freight train.  The soft side of the masonite pad picks up some black stuff.  It is directionally helpful, though I can not quantify its contribution.  I can not imagine the soft side would scratch the rails (assisting gunk residue accumulation), other than a minor effect if it is scratching the rail with hard dust.  

I built two John Allen cars, basis a YouTube video, using two BB box cars.  The pad and its bolts can move vertically, with bolt holes slightly larger than the bolts.  The pad is forced downward with a (trial and error) spring pressure.  Since the pad pressure is exerted upward on the car floor by the springs (equal and opposite reaction) it is appropriate to add weight accordingly to a normally weighted car.

The pads do accumulate dirt, so occasionally a scuffing with some sandpaper renews it reasonably.  It's not a perfect system but directionally helpful.  My "process" or "system" also includes gleamed (burnished) track, metal wheelsets, and quarterly (at most) runs with a CMX car with denatured alcohol solvent.  With DCC and sound, it's time for a CMX run when I hear a sound interruption (hiccup) due to a brief contact interruption.

Here's one google search that may add insight.

https://www.google.com/search?q=john+allen+track+cleaning+car&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS759US759&oq=joh&aqs=chrome.0.35i39l2j69i60j69i57j69i60l2.2219j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Note that the RTR track cleaning cars have a variety of methods.  For my gleamed track, for instance, I would not use the Walthers cars with Bright Boy abrasives.  It bears research. 

https://www.walthers.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=ho+track+cleaning+car

 

 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 9:08 PM

Deleted.  All ready covered in post before me.  Smile

Mike.

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Posted by GNMT76 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 9:31 PM

Thanks, Paul.  Very interesting.  I'll check out the links.

David

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Posted by mlehman on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 3:26 AM

My Australian friend, Laurie McLean, taught me the useful trickery of CRC. Just paying it forward . More here:

IIRC, Like many narrowgaugers, I think I've seen a Masonite dragger car or two running on his layout in pics and videos. I agree, very compatible. I use Centerline cars myself, but maybe once a year, if that often.  Keep in mind that this need depends on the local environmental conditions.                    Tropical Australia is very different from the US Midwest.

 

Mike Lehman

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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 4:52 AM
To those who’ve “heard” this before, sorry. But living in an active geothermal area with the attendant hydrogen sulphide has made me a BIG fan of the John Allen Masonite Pad cleaning cars, in fact have just come back from running track cleaning cars in preparation for the Clubs Open Days.
 
As you can see I have no springs or added weights and you can see the results, besides I don’t think that the pad is that displeasing, visually. Personally, I also prefer to use the Masonite pads as they are nowhere as abrasive as track cleaning “rubbers”.
 
on Flickr
on Flickr

My 2 CentsCheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:49 AM

Here's one for $9 used, on EBay.  Not sure what type pad.  More fun to build your own with a BB kit, with features you like.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HO-UNION-PACIFIC-CLEANING-CAR-EXCELLENT-CONDITION-USED-L-8/282734875645?hash=item41d44fd3fd:g:uXUAAOSwH2VZ8KDb

 

 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by floridaflyer on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 9:09 AM

I second JaBear. Use roofing nails glued to the pad. Easy removal and I just file off the black streaks every so often. Run a pad on all freight consists and that, along with having gleamed my track, allows me to go many years between track cleanings. 

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Posted by eaglescout on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 10:39 AM

For the cost of Masonite I would have a bunch of these madeup and just throw the dirty one away.  I also use the two nails super glued to the Masonite with only the pressure of gravity.  Doesn't seem to affect its ability to pickup the dirt accumulation along the way.  If you Gleamed your track wouldn't using a solvent remove the wax from the rails as your final step in the process.  I would hate to have to rewax several time per year.

 

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 11:07 AM

"wax"?

Wax is an organic, most/all of which are non-conductive.  

How does that aid in electrical pickup?

 

 

Ed

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Posted by GNMT76 on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 6:07 PM
Still looking for a reply to the question that was asked.

David

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Posted by davidmurray on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 6:29 PM

David:

I use masonite pads with an attached piece of wood by hand.  This takes off dirt, and after 12 plus years I have noticed no undesireable side effects.

David

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by eaglescout on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 6:38 PM

It is a very thin coat of a high quality (MaGuires) was which protects against oxidation which also affects conductivity.

 

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Posted by JoeinPA on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 9:12 PM

[quote user="GNMT76"]Still looking for a reply to the question that was asked.

David the answers are there you just have to dig through the comments to see them. There are no commercially available masonite pad cars. You have to make them yourself. Several examples are given in the replies above. There are some pad type cars commercially available but they use abrasive type pads. Masonite pads do not seem to cause any damage to the rails and, at least in my experience, they help in keeping the track clean for good running. I hope this answers your questions.

Joe

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Posted by "JaBear" on Thursday, November 16, 2017 3:32 AM

GNMT76
Still looking for a reply to the question that was asked.

My apologies David, I took it for granted that the Google search that Paul referenced made it obvious that “Masonite track cleaning cars” were not commercially available; which Joe later confirms.
 
Here’s a previous thread on how I made my “John Allen” cars.
 
 
I have since used cars other than Athearn BB, though they still are my preferred choice.
 
on Flickr

Cheers, the Bear.Smile

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Posted by mlehman on Thursday, November 16, 2017 8:13 AM

Hey, that polka-dot paint ain't cheap!Confused

WinkLaugh

To add a bit of useful info...since they are DIY. You can do it, even if you're not especially handy. Follow Bear's info and you won't go wrong. The key things to DIY it right are:

measure the width and length carefully. Shouldn't be much wider than the car to stay within clearance limits, has to fit between trucks, etc so when they turn nothing touches.

Choose 1/8" material for the pad (1/4" may work in O???) in the more common scales (not sure if there's a N way to do these?).

Drill holes to match your chosen pins - CENTERED and SQUARELY in line with the long axis of the car between the couplers. Pins should be slightly loose in the holes, not tight, so things move easy up and down with no binding. Fat headed roofing nails are easy to attach with a judiciously small drop of epoxy. Let set with the pad underneath and the pins centered in your predilled holes. That's also the best way to make new pads accurately when attaching the pins.

I tend to favor epoxy over the CA that Bear uses, but either will work. Keep in mind to use a good quality CA as he recommends, because the sheer strength is important here I suspect, based on a lame one I built with cheap CA once. Also, helps to bevel the dragger to start of course, another design failure on my part. But it's a simple thing, so if something goes wrong, it's usually obvious what will make it better the next time.

Mike Lehman

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Posted by GNMT76 on Thursday, November 16, 2017 11:38 AM

Joe,

One - maybe two - of the latter replies certainly answered my simple "how effective" question.  The rest remind me of a friend, who when asked the time responds with a detailed explanation on how to make a watch.  Metaphorically speaking, that is.     

 

David

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Posted by GNMT76 on Thursday, November 16, 2017 11:41 AM

Thanks, David.  That's the info I was seeking.  Big Smile

David

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, November 16, 2017 3:21 PM

.

Never mind.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, November 17, 2017 2:33 AM

GNMT76
One - maybe two - of the latter replies certainly answered my simple "how effective" question.  The rest remind me of a friend, who when asked the time responds with a detailed explanation on how to make a watch.

Well in that case, buy your own watch and don't waste your friends time. 

Metaphorically speaking, that is.

The Bear.

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, November 17, 2017 5:05 AM

GNMT76
One - maybe two - of the latter replies certainly answered my simple "how effective" question.  The rest remind me of a friend, who when asked the time responds with a detailed explanation on how to make a watch.

Well, I'm certainly guilty of doing that in the past so on behalf of everyone who has offered suggestions, I apologise! Perhaps if you are so offended by other people trying to offer helpful suggestions, maybe you should take the time to word your enquiries much more carefully in the future. Make sure to tell people that you don't want any helpful advice. Absolutely make sure that you tell people that you don't want any 'how to' instructions. 

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, November 17, 2017 5:22 AM

GNMT76

Joe,

One - maybe two - of the latter replies certainly answered my simple "how effective" question.  The rest remind me of a friend, who when asked the time responds with a detailed explanation on how to make a watch.  Metaphorically speaking, that is.      

Ouch.   Welcome

Alton Junction

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Posted by mlehman on Friday, November 17, 2017 8:37 AM

I guess the OP felt this was all about him. But the internet has a way of creating value for all who participate. The OP got his specific answer, sorry we didn't realize how specific the question was.

But threads like these aren't really about one person's need or desire, they are written, read, and recorded to benefit all who participated, as well as the others who subsequently have multiple other questions on this topic answered conveniently in one place. We can be all grumpy about that or we can just be thankful for a host who provides a place to do it, for all the experience, wisdom, and effort that goes into these responses, and the silent appreciation of most readers who are glad all these points and tips are related together in a fairly coherent way.

Mike Lehman

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Posted by Graham Line on Friday, November 17, 2017 9:15 AM

Masonite pads are effective in knocking dust and debris off of track that is moderately clean to start. Because the pads are flat they clean only the top surface of the rail, but not the inside of the rail head.

Masonite pads are not effective in cleaning up frogs, switch points, or grade crossings that have pavement or timbering at rail height.

A-Line sells a kit but I find the pad they supply to be too narrow.

We prefer a homemade gadget that consists of a round felt furniture pad that is attached to a paint stirring stick. The felt pad is doused with 70 or 90 percent alcohol and wiped along the track.

 

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Posted by peahrens on Friday, November 17, 2017 10:08 AM

mlehman

I guess the OP felt this was all about him. But the internet has a way of creating value for all who participate. The OP got his specific answer, sorry we didn't realize how specific the question was.

But threads like these aren't really about one person's need or desire, they are written, read, and recorded to benefit all who participated, as well as the others who subsequently have multiple other questions on this topic answered conveniently in one place. We can be all grumpy about that or we can just be thankful for a host who provides a place to do it, for all the experience, wisdom, and effort that goes into these responses, and the silent appreciation of most readers who are glad all these points and tips are related together in a fairly coherent way.

 

Very well said, Mike.  I fully agree and was having similar thoughts, but I did not feel I could phrase it objectively.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by floridaflyer on Friday, November 17, 2017 12:58 PM

I guess the OP wanted direct answers, so in order of questions asked, my answers would be, somewhat, no, and yes. 

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Posted by GNMT76 on Friday, November 17, 2017 5:21 PM

Many thanks, Graham Line.  Good to know about its lack of effectiveness on frogs , etc.

David

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