How do you keep it clean????

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by aartwmich, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    How does everyone keep their layouts clean, ei: free of dust????

    I'm going to have to cover mine somehow because my house is very dusty and I need ideas..

    Thanks in advance.
  2. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    During construction I am using a used house vac. When I have structures on it I intend to cover the brush attachment with an old nylon from my wife's collection of old socks. I also have a capability of controlling suction in the hose by opening an air slide on the hose handle. That way it can be used around the little people without pulling them out of their shoes.:D :D :)
  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi aartwmich, I guess the short answer is "You can't" not completely. I would suggest that you clean all the trackwork at least twice week and use a Hoover to get rid of the dust that accumulates around structures and on the rooftops. Also it’s not a bad idea to (If Possible) put a dustsheet over the layout at night.


  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    B4 I run the trains, I take a duster and sweep the tracks. Seems to get rid of most of the crud, although I would like to get me a (or build myself a) cleaner car.
  5. msh

    msh Member

    I use the shop vac with the brush attachment for the track and grounds, especially after working on scenery, etc. But frankly I like a little dust on the structures - gives 'em that look of filth only found in reality! I just blow on them before I vacuum everywhere else and that's good enough for me!
  6. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Guess I'm lucky...don't have much of a dust problem. Just give everthing a going over two or three times a year. But I do have a "tribe" of little tiny spiders about the size of a pin head living on the layout somewhere and they sure do like to make scale spider webs around the buidings and trees!:eek:
  7. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    are you talking about dads layout in the other thead than all you would need is a bed sheet to cover it up when not in use like one your wife dont use any more:D :D :D :D rich
  8. Railery

    Railery Member

    Hi aartwmich. Thats a nice layout u got. For cleaning i use a shop vac with the slit nozzel around the open areas. To go around buildings, people and cars i put a nylon cover over the end. U can use a regular vaccum too. U do as often as the layout needs it. i use a modified type of bright boy to clean the tracks and then run around a cleaning car pad filled with Track Clean. Again i only do it when the tracks need it. i guess i'm lucky, only had to do a major cleaning every 6 mths and the track varied from 1 to 3 months.

    u could make it so that your layout could fold up and down against the concrete wall ( like a bed that lifts into the wall). My first layout when i was 9 yrs old was built by my dad and it could be raised up against the wall. It was a 4x8' layout. :D

    i remember a modeler who had a dust problem, he had to put in a new floor and walls in his basement. It took care of the problem.:D
  9. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    For structures, loco's and cars etc., I use the low air pressure through my airbrush hose and a soft bristled brush to gently remove the dust.

  10. PennRailRoads

    PennRailRoads Member

    You want dust free? Just use an abandoned labratory!

    All kidding of course! Just use a few or more wooden boards, screw or nail them to the sides of your platform and drape a plastic cover over it. Staple the plastic to the boards and you got it made.
  11. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    track cleaning

    You might want to check out the article on page 96 of the latest MR about keeping track clean. The article talks about a couple of kings of metal polish that apparently works very well.

    Looks like a winner to me. I'll give it a try and see what happens. :D

  12. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    Thanks for all the replies!! So much to little time!!

    The vacuum with a nylon over the opening is a great idea, keep those loose parts out of the, and I have a small can vac that the flow can be adjusted with a secondary opening on the nozzle handle.

    I actually made a frame at one point to hold some plastic, but it was to bulky to move easily alone and there isn't enough head room in the basement to suspend it on pulleys.

    Penn.....I WAS thinking of a hepa controlled room!! But your idea of sides on the platform is excellent! I've been thinking of backdrops anyway, and I could put the boards on the sides mounted on pins so they are removable for maintenence, the boards could have the backdrop scenery AND hold the plastic cover from touching any of the buildings!! I could remove only the front board to run the train.

    Yup time to build a section of that and see how to support it and test for functionality!! Ooooo maybe hinges!! The whole table is set on a rolling frame I built to move it away from the wall while running or working on it, that would give room to fold down the sides and be easier than pins!!

    Thanks everyone for your me thinkin!!!
  13. billk

    billk Active Member

    About a cover for a layout -

    I have been thinking of something along the lines of those new-fashioned pop-up tents, using some sort of flexible rod to hold a clear (or not) plastic (or cloth) cover.

    The rods would be flexed and their ends fitted into mounting holes in the layout surface, edge or backdrop. The cover would have sleeves through which the rods were inserted.

    Does this sound feasible at all?
  14. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    Being a sometimes camper with a new fashioned freestanding tent, I thought about that too billk, but was concerned about having to flex the ends to install it. Those poles are necesarrily filled with tension making them dangerous around something fragile until they are properly captured.
  15. PennRailRoads

    PennRailRoads Member

    I find that Brasso works well to clean the tracks. However if you are storing your layout make sure you don't rub the film off of it, keep it on there to prevent any rust getting on the rails surface.
  16. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    Today I almost had to tear my mountain a part, because a miss calculated interior access windows. well, taht made me think and made a note: "Don't forget to make windows big enough to fit a hand, in case of a derailment and/or cleaning".

    Well, I also use a vacum claener and use feather blablabla (i don't how to spell it). some time I used a fine sand paper to clean the rails.
  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Dusting rolling stock

    Since I gave up shaving some decades ago, I have surplus shaving brushes. The nicer ones have nice soft bristles that don't damage the detail.

    This will NOT work with electric razors!
  18. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    I have found that running a tissue 'round the finger tip, run down the rails is great at keeping the rails clean- the dust build up??? Keep the doors closed to the room, use a spray- air in a can- blow off, and other wise enjoy- it's part of the hobby. It's kinda like not noticing your "significant other" has a new wrinkle- Your eyes are getting tired and it looks right.

    Consider it a good thing- not having to clean your railroad after every use. There are too many things we should clean after every use and we don't. Consider the sign, "Employees must wash hands" in you local eatery.

    There is no way to prevent dust and it's build up- in fact, we call it weathering in model railraoding terms.
  19. SLOW

    SLOW Member


    I have a cover that I keep over my set up any time I am not using it. It is just made of cardboard. A big piece of cardboard over the top with smaller pieces duck taped to the sides. Then, before I use my trains I use an old sock and two fingers to fun up and down the rails. Sometimes I use a crocus cloth if the track is dirty enough. Also, do regular clean ups on your locomotives because they also pick up a lot of dust and dirt. It's a constant cleaning process. How well they run depends on how clean you keep them.

  20. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    Well I decided to add sides to support a cloth/plastic covering of some kind and to provide a surface to paint some backdrop scenery.

    I used cupboard hinges because the backdrop wood is thinner than the sides Dad put on and it hangs straight down out of the way. I've done one end and part of the back to test the theory. The corner is secured with a hook and eye in the back. I have enough wood for the rest but need to get more hinges...hhmmm is the hardware store still open???

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