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Has anybody ever used this automatic wheel cleaner?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Ontario
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Has anybody ever used this automatic wheel cleaner?
Posted by da_kraut on Sunday, April 4, 2010 10:21 AM

Hello,

At the last self guided layout tour a person mentioned a wheel cleaning device.  So done some research and came across this: http://www.trains.com/MRR/default.aspx?c=a&id=404 and another video with it in action right here http://www.mrsonline.net/html/wheel_cleaner.html .  I think it would be a good investment for a club layout or large home layouts, but how well does it work?  Anyone have any experience with this?  Can one send a long freight train or passenger train through this device while it is operating and thus cleaning all of the wheels on the entire train? 

Lux makes good products, here is the web site http://www.lux-modellbau.de/ so wondering how well this actually works.  As for the pull behind track cleaners, I know there is at least one member on this forum that uses their track cleaner on his beautiful layout.Any information would be appreciated.

Frank

"If you need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm."

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Posted by galaxy on Sunday, April 4, 2010 11:29 AM

Hi

you have some good questions there.

Would be interested to know the answers.

Though, On the video section it says" This guarantees that each wheel roll’s along the felt covered surface and is cleaned all the way around." That may work for European models with the center pick-up shoe for power, but I would question how our wheels would get both power and cleaned on felt? Is this electricity conducting felt? Or am I missing something?

-G .

Just my thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences. Others may vary.

 HO and N Scale.

After long and careful thought, they have convinced me. I have come to the conclusion that they are right. The aliens did it.

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Posted by Allegheny2-6-6-6 on Sunday, April 4, 2010 11:52 AM

 I've never seen that particular wheel cleaner work but a while back I had the pleasure of visiting Ken McCorry's Conrail layout which in it self is a marvel of HO railroading but while touring the railroad I kept noticing these metal clips here and there that seemed to be holding a wiper of some sort.

This has to be one of the most ingenious pieces of model railroading I have ever seen Ken fabricated small wire clips that hold down yup you got it small pieces of parer towel. As the trains pass through the fixture the wheels are wiped clean of any gunk that may accumulate on them. Every once in a while the clips are removed and new pieces are slid into place and the old one's discarded. Having them placed in various places places throughout his 5000 sq.ft. layout he told us he has zero problems with dirty wheels I can't imagine it cost Ken all of maybe a few cents worth of material to solve a problem. If the rivet counters or railroad purist among us are concerned with how it looks you always have the option to put the wipers on hidden trackage or possibly inside a removable portion of scenery etc. Real modeling genesis

 

 

 

Ken McCorry's Conrail 

Just my 2 cents worth, I spent the rest on trains. If you choked a Smurf what color would he turn?
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Posted by maxman on Sunday, April 4, 2010 12:57 PM

Allegheny2-6-6-6
Every once in a while the clips are removed and new pieces are slid into place and the old one's discarded.

 

Actually you don't have to remove the clips.  The paper towel just slides under the clip and over the rail.  Works very well, unless a car with a low coupler gladhand happens by.  You also need to remove the paper towel if you have any of the track slider type cleaning cars in service.

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Posted by maxman on Sunday, April 4, 2010 1:04 PM

galaxy
That may work for European models with the center pick-up shoe for power, but I would question how our wheels would get both power and cleaned on felt? Is this electricity conducting felt? Or am I missing something?

 

I think you're missing something.  From the MR review in the link:

" When activated, both cleaning sliders move back and forth in opposite directions, parallel to the track. As the train passes over the cleaner every wheel is gently scrubbed clean. A pair of long springs (just inside the cleaning bars) contact the backs of the locomotive wheels to maintain electrical pickup while the treads are cleaned. "

Concerning use at a club, I can see where it has a place.  But for an existing railroad there is a problem as to what would need to be dug up or modified to accommodate the installation.  And the item is not exactly inexpensive.  And what happens if they decide not to support the product and discontinue the replacement pads? 

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Posted by G Paine on Sunday, April 4, 2010 4:18 PM

$200+ is a lot of money to pay for something that can be accomplished with some paper towel and cleaning solution. Maybe worth it for a huge layout with hundreds of locomotives and cars , but not for an average home layout. Just my My 2 cents.

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by retsignalmtr on Sunday, April 4, 2010 5:01 PM

I use unbleached coffee filters and the blue track cleaning solution. $200 could buy a lot of it.

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Posted by Medina1128 on Sunday, April 4, 2010 5:24 PM

 For $192, I could buy an awful lot of paper towels...

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Posted by da_kraut on Monday, April 5, 2010 8:13 PM

Hello,

thank you everybody for taking your time to respond.  That is a great idea,  Allegheny2-6-6-6, pure genius, and thank you for the picture.  Will have to do something like that myself.

Again, thank you

Frank

"If you need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm."

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Posted by Allegheny2-6-6-6 on Monday, April 5, 2010 11:05 PM

 Hey don't thank me thank Ken McCorry he's the genius I just took pictures.........lol

For me some times the simplest of things has the biggest impact for me in this hobby.because unlike some super detailed working rotary coal dumper or some extreme detailed structure you look at things like Ken's wipers and say hey I can do that and I have.

Just my 2 cents worth, I spent the rest on trains. If you choked a Smurf what color would he turn?
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Posted by wholeman on Monday, April 5, 2010 11:42 PM

Allegheny2-6-6-6

 Hey don't thank me thank Ken McCorry he's the genius I just took pictures.........lol

For me some times the simplest of things has the biggest impact for me in this hobby.because unlike some super detailed working rotary coal dumper or some extreme detailed structure you look at things like Ken's wipers and say hey I can do that and I have.

 

Allegheny2-6-6-6, I like that idea.  What are those clips made out of?  I wonder if I could use some of those large copper staples that are sometimes found on cardboard boxes.

Will

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Posted by KemacPrr on Monday, April 5, 2010 11:54 PM

The clips I made are from some .030 brass wire from the hobby shop. It's what I had handy. Smaller would work as well I believe. I measured the length needed to clean a 42'' wheel on a diesel. It came to about an inch. I made the clips 1 1/8'' wide with a 1/2 '' leg. Drill a hole in a tie place the wire in the hole. Determine where the other leg ends up and drill another hole. Push the clips down far enough so they are just below the rail head. A drop of ACC keeps them in place. Put one dead center between the rail and one on either side at end of tie. I haven't painted mine but that could be done to make them less visible. I usually put two in place about 2' apart.

 Now get some regular C fold paper towels and cut them in 1'' wide strips width wise. If you cut them length wise you will have to deal with the folds in the towels which can cause problems getting them to lay flat. I then cut the 1'' strips about 2'' long. Thread them under the outer clip then the middle clip then the other outer clip. Now run your trains over them. When they get dirty simply slide them a little either way to get to a clean spot. You can also turn them over and use the other side. I try to change mine every session. I put them outside staging yards, engine terminals and where car are classified in yards. I also have them in about a dozen places on the mainline. It helps keep the wheels clean by simply running your trains. Give it a try you'll like the result. Be surprised how fast they get dirty. I've watched one of my ore trains with 70 jennies pass over a clean one and you can watch the black lines appear almost like a movie !!! - As Maxxman said running slider cars over them can cause problem. I've had no problems with the Centerline roller type cars but Tony's brass cars tend to tear up the paper towels. These seem to eliminate the need for the other type of cars------

-----------------  Ken McCorry

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Posted by da_kraut on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 3:55 AM

Hi,

Thank you Ken McCorry.  That is a wonderful idea and also thank you for explaining how to implement this great idea.

Frank

"If you need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm."

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 4:20 AM

 Blimey, that´s the best wheel cleaning contraption I have ever come across! Will incorporate in my fiddle yard! Thanks for sharing!

I have seen the Lux wheel cleaner and also their track cleaner/vac-thing in action. The crazy thing is, they work! But only a little to dear to me.... 

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