PVA on track……how to clean off

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
OzzyOzborne
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Joined: Mon May 13, 2019 4:35 pm
Location: North Lincolnshire

PVA on track……how to clean off

Postby OzzyOzborne » Sun Oct 03, 2021 6:47 pm

I’ve been ballasting the track……and there’s PVA glue on the track. I’ve used a PECO rail cleaner but cannot get it all off.
I was told to use wet and dry ( fine and not wet) very carefully……….but not sure if this is ok on the PECO track…..and will ruin it?
Is this ok?

b308
Posts: 5125
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:48 pm
Location: North Worcs

Re: PVA on track……how to clean off

Postby b308 » Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:33 pm

As long as it's water soluble PVA then a cloth with warm water on it. It's not a good idea to use wet and dry on it, unless as a last resort...

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Bufferstop
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Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: PVA on track……how to clean off

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:49 pm

I use flat wooden "lolly sticks" with one end cut straight and dipped in warm water. You can feel when it encounters the PVA, then push at a low angle along the rail head. If you do have to resort to strong abrasives, clean all traces of them off the rail and work your way down with finer and finer polishes until you are using something like the rough side of a piece of hard board.
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Mountain
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Re: PVA on track……how to clean off

Postby Mountain » Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:39 am

Best to leave abrasives as a last resort...

If you do need to resort to harsher treatment such as abrasives I have done so using the following proceedure.

When making my own track I can get situations where rails need to be filed down, and I do this by first filing the track and restoring the nice smooth top surface by first being harsh with the track cleaning rubber, and as the rails start to take shape I then lessen my force until finally I am giving the surface a rather light polish. This removes the scratches left by filing. Understandably when I was experimenting with making my own track I did need to do a bit of filing. I also had made the odd mistake where my minidrills chuck accidently gouged out the odd chunk of metal from the railhead due to the angles I was trying to work with while using a cutting disc, so I used solder as a filler to remedy this and it works well as I would have to give the rails a good polish up and examine them just to find the soldered repairs as they blend in so well they are not easy to see.

If you can though, try less drastic means first as it is a lot easier then correcting mistakes if one messes it up with a file. If one ever has to use a file on track, go easy and steady. Never rush, and then use a track cleaning rubber from then on in to restore the track to a smooth flat level rail surface. It does take time to shine so be patient if one ever needs to do this... Try Bufferstop's or B308's methods first as they should work and are less extreme.


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