Layour cleaning

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by shamus, May 12, 2001.

  1. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi, all my structures look as if they are glued down with weeds around them, in fact, they all will lift off for cleaning. All scenery should be glued down so as a vacuum cleaner will not take any of it away.
    For the tracks, I use Isopropyl Alcohol on a cloth which is wrapped around a wallpaper roller on a long stick. Does the job well.
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    What is the best way to clean the entire layout including scenery and stuff? Should scenerey etc be stuck down hard enough that I can us a houesehold vacuum cleaner? How do you all clean your layout?

  3. George

    George Member

    As usual, I have to yield to Shamus. He's right about it being best not to fasten your buildings down, and use material around the base to conceal the seam between base and deck.

    I do this as well. The more objects you can remove for careful cleaning by hand, the less detailing will become broken. A vaccum is best on the deck and a paintbrush on the buildings. The mini vaccum you see in various magazines works great until you get something larger than dust sucked into it. Then the whole machine is finished.

    Cleaning people? Gently remove them and re-attach them later without breaking their legs. I use UHU or PRITT stick glue. Just a trace of a dab on their feet to keep them standing is all it takes. It's invisible and easily replaceable after the electric tornado takes the dust away! [​IMG] Other glues are more permanent and tend to cause the paint on the figures to run.

    Rubber cement seems like a great idea and is great on larger scale figures, but it is difficult controlling the desired amount, and hide from view on "HO" & "N" scale figures.

    One nice perk to this layout feature is that the buildings can go in different places as well as how the figures are situated. THIS COMBATS BOREDOM from looking at the same scene for years on end!

    You don't have to rip up a great running layout and build a new one because you're bored. Just move things around for a change! [​IMG]

  4. Shay2

    Shay2 Member

    Hello all!
    Well I've tried to avoid cleaning anything. My HO layout is still small, so I can cover it easily with a bedsheet when not in use.
    The O scale requires 5 kingsize sheets that were stiched together.
    On both layouts I use 1/2" conduit supported by a bracket on each side to drape the sheet over. If I'm careful, I can place or remove the covers by myself.
    Actually, when I have a visitor, they seem to enjoy helping me "reveal" this minature world I'm building!


    Rush Run River Logging Co.
  5. George

    George Member


    The last time I heard about someone covering the layout with a sheet, the idea was scrapped when the cat took to going underneath all the time! [​IMG]

    You've significantly reduced the dust and dirt problem for sure, but even if it goes five years, cleaning the layout at some point will be unavoidable even though you covered it.

    A lot of it depends on geographics, both of where you live and the location in the house.
    By comparison with rural dwellers, urban dwellers are cursed with dirt. An article in a New York City paper some 20 years ago said that if you vacuumed and left the windows open for two hours, there would be the same dirt accumulation as if one had left the windows closed for two weeks!

    The last layout we had was in a 5th floor bedroom directly in line with a power plant some three miles off. We loved having the windows open on nice days, but often we had tumbleweed muzzies blowing down the street in a good breeze! Though we're now in the sticks, we have yet again a coal burning power plant in line with the wind and us. The dust problem is not as severe, but it's not like being up north where it's clean!

    Indoors, especially the basement without open windows, it can be still worse. This time the culprit is the furnace. Keep the layout away from the furnace room at all costs, preferably with a closeable door to keep the SOOT out. Soot and grime are the worst and get into the mechanisms to wreak havoc.

    I've seen electronic equipment from environments where everyone was a smoker and that will destroy gear as well. Got any smokers around?

    All that said, don't toss the vacuum yet! [​IMG]

  6. Shay2

    Shay2 Member


    I'm lucky to live in an older home (1901) an the previous owner installed central air so no need to open the windows. I'm not sure I could if I wanted to due to all the paint!

    All the four legged critters, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, raccoons and in the winter, deer, are content to stay outside, except one or two pesky mice that have a nack of avoiding my traps.

    I agree, sooner or later, I'm going to have to run the vac over everything. I just haven't spent time with the ol glue bottle to allow that to happen successfully. It seems as though, every so often, I have this need to rearrange things a bit. I guess I'm not ready for a permanent location regarding the details and accessories yet.


    Rush Run River Logging Co.
  7. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Hello everyone:

    That's why I have a "Dust-Buster" under my layout! [​IMG]

  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    One of those is on my shopping list. [​IMG]

    Hurricane Hoover can create a bit of havoc, especially on poor unsuspecting pedestrians!


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