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Old 23rd September 2007, 10:59   #1
siltec
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Thumbs up Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

I have just acquired a load of Hornby track O gauge. Some is twin track and some has the centre track for the power supply. There are a few points and crossings as well.

However, it has obviously spent some time tucked away in a garage and has a coating of rust. Not enough to make it unuseable, but it needs cleaning.

Now I am ready to go with the fine wire brush, wire wool, maybe even "Cillit Bang" and generally renovate the stuff.

I was just wondering if anyone has any tips about the track. It is over 50 years since I last had anything to do with the stuff so i am hoping there might have been progress on the technical front.

Any hints appreciated and when I have a go I will report back on my efforts.

In anticipation - thanks.
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Old 23rd September 2007, 12:42   #2
Howqua
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Default Re: Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

Hi and welcome to AMR,I don't have experience with that track but there may be a member that can help.
Meantime have a bit of a look around the site you never know what you may find.
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Old 23rd September 2007, 22:55   #3
hartleymartin
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Default Re: Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

Rust can be a tricky one to do, but you can always try some fine steel wool and a little brasso. I would suggest that you polish up the rail heads nice and clean, which is where contact is most important. To treat the rest of the track I would suggest cleaning it up as best you can, and then getting some enamel paint onto it. I would then probably use something like Neo-lube to coat the heads of the rails with graphite, which will prevent oxidation of the rails and will help improve electrical flow. I would definately recommend graphite on the pick-up skate (was it a skate or a roller?)
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Old 24th September 2007, 08:59   #4
siltec
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Default Re: Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

Thanks for the graphite lube idea. I had not thought of that one.

I was thinking of Hammerite black gloss on the sleepers and possibly a varnish on the cleaned up rail. I will certainly make sure it is electrically sound.

I think Hornby used a skate, but this is the first time I have dealt with the electric rail so know little about the locos.
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Old 24th September 2007, 23:12   #5
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Default Re: Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

Hi Siltec. I just cleaned my father's basement out and found a loop of Hornby 3-rail track and the key to my Hornby wind-up (with track gauge). No sign of the loco or cars. My track is also quite rusty, so I'll be interested in what you do.
I found that a Dremel tool (small motor tool) with polishing head didn't do a very good job.
I remember some sort of sliding sprung contacts on my loco -- not rollers, but not exactly a skate either.
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Old 24th September 2007, 23:14   #6
hartleymartin
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Default Re: Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

Don't be over-zealous with the graphite. It acts as a dry lubricant and electrical conductor. Think of it like paint - there will be places that you don't want it to go, so you have to make sure that it doesn't go there. It will also tend to form a coating on anything that rubs on it. For example, if you graphite your rails then it will most definately end up forming a coat on the wheels of all your trains.
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Old 25th September 2007, 18:17   #7
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Default Re: Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

Went out today and got some wire wool and a wire brush. Cheap brush made in Italy but ideal for this job, so I go two.

Worked well and the brush got the worse off. In the light of day they are not as bad as I thought. I even checked the bits I tried the brush on for any insulation breakdown. Surprisingly that is OK.

I still need to find a liquid rust converter that will go down the centre of the track. It is folded tin plate!

Assuming the pictures can be seen, the first two are before cleaning the second two after. I still want to go over with wire wool and maybe polish and hopefully some rust converter, but this progress so far.


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Old 21st October 2007, 08:01   #8
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Default Re: Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

Well the points in the picture are now on eBay. Other bits of track I acquired at the auction were tested with my test loco

See it in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfFrOEjJL2Y
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Old 16th November 2007, 13:38   #9
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Default Re: Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

A follow up. In the UK Kurust who now seem to be part of the Hammerite empire do a water based rust killer/remover. The items need to be soaked for about 24 hours, thoroughly dried and then painted, with hammerite naturally!

I have tried it out on old unpainted meccano style bits and it does work. I have yet to soak any track in it.

The double points featured in original post sold on eBay. What I recieved for that single item, after the eBay expenses paid for the lot of meccano and the lot of Hornby O gauge track I bought at auction. The other bits I sold are profit and I still have a useful amount of track and the bits I wanted from the meccano.

As this was the first time I ever bid at an auction i am well pleased. So is t'other half who is happy with a self funding hobby.
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Old 16th November 2007, 22:47   #10
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Default Re: Cleaning Hornby Tin Plate O gauge track

Good news on the self funded hobby,thanks for the other info as well.
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