Track Cleaning Cars.

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NP2626

Active Member
#21
HPIM7783 (Small).JPG HPIM7784 (Small).JPG

In photo # 1 above, I have used Gorilla Glue to attach the Metal Weight Plate to the Car Floor, using my Nail Guide Pins to make sure of the Weights Plate's alignment to the Car Floor.

In photo # 2, I am using my Clothes Pin Spring Clamps to clamp the Weight Plate to the Car Floor, while the Gorilla Glue sets-up. I have found these Clothes Pin Clamps to be very handy for all kinds of jobs!
 
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NP2626

Active Member
#22
HPIM7785 (Small).JPG HPIM7786 (Small).JPG

Photo # 1 shows me Counter sinking the back side of the Cleaning Pad so that the Nail Heads don't stick out past the cleaning surface of the Cleaning Pad. This is done by determining how big the Nail Heads are with your calipers and using a drill a bit larger than that to make a hole. VERY IMPORTANT:Run the drill motor backwards while drilling these Countersinks! Otherwise you will end up with a Nail Head sized hole!

In Photo # 2, I have used Gorilla Glue to secure the Cleaning Pad and Nail Heads together. The Cleaning Pad was clamped to my bench top and the Car Floor and Weight Plate where shimmed up and placed over the Nail Guide Pins and the alignment checked. When all looked right, I clamped the Car Floor/Weight Plate in place. This is how the assembly was left overnight so the Gorilla Glue could completely cure (note Gorilla Glue likes moisture when curing so I used a small paint brush and water to wet out the joints.

I'd like to tell everyone that everything went just as I have shown. However, all is not as it seems! When I checked the alignment of the Cleaning Pad to the Weight Plate/Car Floor the first time, I found that the holes in my pad where not close enough to the centerline of the Cleaning Pad and so had to make a new Cleaning Pad. My guess is that if some of you make these Track Cleaning Cars, you might find similar problems. Just try to make sure that your Weight Plate/Car Floor are well aligned, as it is difficult/costly to have to replace them!
 
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NP2626

Active Member
#23
HPIM7788 (Small).JPG HPIM7789 (Small).JPG

Photo # 1 shows me cutting in the cross hatch saw kerfs, making the Cleaning Pad more aggressive at removing MUNG from the rail heads. (Although this operation should probably be done before mounting the Nail Pins, in my case, because I now have five of these cars, I need to be able rejuvenate used pads every once in a while, so making a Jig for doing so, makes some sense).

Photo # 2 shows the saw kerf cross hatches cut into the Cleaning Pad.

In essence, this completes the job of making the parts needed for making one of my Track Cleaning Cars. However, I still need to add a weight to the Cleaning Pad. I will show this and I will also show a photo of the completed car.

The big reason that I like using these old Athearn Blue Box-Box Cars is the fact that the car weight ends up on the underside of the car. This means that if any wear does occur, it happens to the steel plate and Nail Pins, steel parts which wear very slowly. Also, the old Athearn Blue Box Kits are stupid-simple to build; so, even those of you with little to no experience building a kit, will be successful. Also, there is no brake details on the underside so there is nothing for the Cleaning Pad to get hung up on.

Some of you might feel that these older Athearn Cars, due to a lack of realistic detail, have no place on your railroad. In this case you might be better off buying the CMX car; or, the Centerline Products car. Although I have never attempted to convert a Ready To Run Car for this purpose, it certainly may be possible. In which case I should think many of us here would like to see how you accomplished this.
 
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NP2626

Active Member
#24
My camera has been screwing up, I took photos of my finished car; but, could not get them to reproduce here. So, I took new ones and here they are. You can see the washer that I used as weight on the cleaning pad in the photos. I paint the pad and washer with Grimy Black so it doesn't show up so well.

HPIM7797 (Small).JPG HPIM7798 (Small).JPG

This concludes the build portion of a Track Cleaning Car on this thread. If others of you have methods of building track cleaning equipment. this would be a good place to show them.
 
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Selector

Active Member
#27
Maybe some would just like to put a car kit together, and to bash it enough to use the A-Line pad kit...unless I misunderstand what Greg is describing. I took his description to mean there's a pad to which some sort of buffing material can be added, and that it mounts on a box car or onto a hopper, or something.

Thanks for posting your series, Mark. It was useful. I may have a go at it next year after I have my layout up and running.
 

Sirfoldalot

Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
#29
Mark .. I be busy and need to re-read your thread. I like what you have done and I think that I will try one in the not too distant future.
Nice job my friend.
 

Sirfoldalot

Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
#30
Not to much interest in building a track cleaning car. I have a lot of scenery work to do though.
KEN in VA: You may need the track cleaning car after doing scenery work?

Smoke is all blowing out to sea with the huge high pressure area that is causing the Santa Anna winds and fanning the fires.
Thanks for asking. :D
 

NP2626

Active Member
#31
Sherrel, I knew you where from California; but, where I was unsure. Sounds like today is going to be horrible as far as winds! I'm thinking about you and please keep us informed!

Per D&J RailRoad: "Not to much interest in building a track cleaning car. I have a lot of scenery work to do though".

Some of you guys seem so regimented! "I got scenery to make, no time for small projects"! I take time to do small projects all the time, as it breaks up the monotony of the big jobs and makes everything a little more fun. We all have our ways of doing things; so, go about it the way you think is right! However, remember, that your boss isn't standing over shoulders waiting for the completed product. Your doing this for fun; or, are supposed to be!
 
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santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#32
Ken (D&J) needs to do scenery! Watch his videos, trains run fine. Look at his build thread in his signature. Additionally he's been working on that damn bridge for a year now (Canyon Diablo).

Willie
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#33
By the way, here are some pictures of the track cleaning car I built about thirty years ago. It is a "Lifelike" 36' caboose that was done similar to your boxcar. The main difference is that I super-glued the nailheads to the masonite instead of drilling countersunk holes. Easier for me and nails are cheap. I also blunted the points on the nails for safety.
12-07-17 001.JPG 12-07-17 004.JPG

Easier to use but not as good on tough dirt are "Dust Monkeys" from Woodland Scenics. They're cheap ($2@ when I bought them) and easy to install. I have one on each of my 18 cabooses (except the one pictured above).
12-07-17 005.JPG 12-07-17 006.JPG

Fortunately I no longer have to deal with track that gets dirty enough to use the masonite car, but I still use it in conjunction with other track-cleaning cars about once a year for routine maintenance.

Willie
 

NP2626

Active Member
#34
I also used Zap-A-Gap super glue to glue my nails in and if I had had Shingle nails, that's how I would have done it also. Proves the theory: Many ways to skin a cat!
 
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NP2626

Active Member
#35
Ken (D&J) needs to do scenery! Watch his videos, trains run fine. Look at his build thread in his signature. Additionally he's been working on that damn bridge for a year now (Canyon Diablo).

Willie
So, let him do scenery then. Not trying to stop him from doing so. My guess is that we all do exactly that which we want to do! I've seen his videos and watched his build of the bridge. He is an outstanding model railroader. However, I don't get why he came here to this thread on building track cleaning cars to say he is too busy to build a track cleaning car! O.K., I got it! Does he go around to other threads and state he is too busy to do those projects, too? Possibly he'd have more scenery done, if he didn't waste his time responding to threads he's to busy to do!
 
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Selector

Active Member
#36
I like the idea, in principle, and it seems to have been adopted by quite a few modelers over the years. I'm convinced I'll build one by next summer at the latest. I've just placed most of my window screen with hot glue and about to wire the rails and connect the feeders to the bus. I'm going to use alcohol and then a steel washer slid back and forth along the rail tops to get it ready to prove the track system before I begin to add the foam and ground-goop scenery combo. Lots of rock castings to make. But, to have one of these cars run around the layout once a week, mid-consist, seems to be the way to go.

I have an unused decoupling magnet I may use as a weight.
 

NP2626

Active Member
#40
Not to pick on my buddy Greg; as, typing is certainly not my Forte, either! I type with two fingers and one thumb. Spelling has always given me big trouble, too! Over the years, because of Spell Check, my spelling has improved. It's also come to my attention that I need to make what I say more clear. So, I get it! Before I hit the "Post Quick Reply" button, I take the time to re-read what I have just typed to see if what' I've said, makes sense. I don't post a comment until I'm convinced I have stated what I wanted to say and that at least it makes sense to me. Slow down, take a breath, a sip of coffee; or, whiskey, whatever, and ask yourself, is this what I wanted to say?

Sorry Greg; but, your spelling is always spot on!
 
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