Bar Keeper's Friend = your track's best friend

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Dave Farquhar, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I was cleaning up some switches earlier today with the intent of eventually putting them on my layout. They're Marx O34 switches, which are nearly as hard to find as true love, so I had to take what I could get. Some Marx O34s are in far less than pristine condition when you find them.

    One was just really dirty but the other had some surface rust. So I broke out the Bar Keeper's Friend (you can buy it almost anywhere that sells cleaning supplies, and it's usually right next to the Comet). I poured some into a plastic lid, added a little water to make a paste, dipped in a rag, and started scrubbing. Off came lots of dirt, tarnish, and even the rust, with a lot less scrubbing than you would imagine. I just did the tops of the rails, since that's what matters most.

    Then I set them up on a loop of track on the floor and tried them out. My transformer indicated a short. :curse: I narrowed it down to one of the switches. :curse: :cry: :curse: So I took off the cover and looked around. Finally I found a loose wire that was supposed to be connected to a light socket. I fixed that, then the switch worked fine.

    And my test locomotive ran just as fine on my rehabbed 50-year-old switches as it did on the new track that was in the loop. Nice.

    You gotta love something that's a cleaner, polish, and rust remover all in one and comes in a can that costs about three bucks.
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Gonna have to get me some of that. My track is getting pretty dirty. Of course, I'm replacing all of it with brand new shiney track and pins after the tax refund comes in anyhow.
  3. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    You might not need to. I have some track on my layout that I bought new, but most of it's older stuff. It took about five minutes to get 50 years' worth of crud off those switches. Newer track cleans up even faster.
  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Well, my previous cleaning method did not work as planned and the track is actually rusted on the inside of the rails now. It's still working but not well. Especially after I tore it all apart and redid the layout today. I'm also wating on som more CTC Lockons do do the split from the transformer like we talked about.
  5. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Uh oh. Well, you can remove the pins, clean the pins, clean up the parts of the rails where the pins go with a drill (actually drill out the rust) and then replace the pins, maybe even using a bit of conductive grease on the pins if you're really ambitious. Rust inside the rails is a pain but doesn't have to be a showstopper.
  6. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    It's enough of a pain I convinced my wife I need new track. :D

Share This Page