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Discussion Starter #1
Any ideas for a quick/cheap homemade cleaning car? I have a few areas that I clean with a stick with a pad on the end. As I get older(and lazier) I am looking for an easier way to clean the track.
Commercial would be OK also but I do not want to spend a fortune on one. Thanks; Don
 

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Don, I think the good commercial ones that actually work are expensive. I would try to build one yourself. I know a few people here have done it with good success. Doesn't hurt to try if you got extra parts.
 

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Don,
The older I get, the more I buy into "Good stuff ain't cheap.....cheap stuff ain't good". :(
I've spent lots of money and time trying to save a few bucks on (you name it) over the years. Sorry, but quality is never "cheap".
I bit the bullet a couple years ago and parted with some serious money for the CMX cleaning car. When it was first suggested to me by NIMT the price just about freaked me out. I, frankly, thought he was out of his mind.....however, I respected his knowledge in this hobby and shelled out the cash for an HO scale CMX cleaning car.
Not once....not even for a nanosecond....have I been sorry! The CMX works to perfection every time. :appl:
I simply fill it, per suggestion of NIMT, with denatured alcohol and it cleans the track quickly and perfectly.
More important, the danged thing is built like a battle tank and will last forever.
Just my two cents,
Bob
 

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I really want one of those CMX cars, just haven't yet, now as far as home made vs. factory made, I have both, and none of them work worth a darn, that maybe why I haven't pulled the trigger on the CMX car yet, I really don't care about price if it does work, I just don't want another dust collector.................Mike
 

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I always wanted one too, I'm not getting older, I'm just plain lazy. I'm thinking of a build. I'm thinking an alcohol drip over a scotch brite pad? Just an idea.
 

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Guys,
Nope, I'm not a big drinker........but for any of you who have tipped even a couple in your lifetime you've more than likely noticed the BIG difference between cheap booze and good booze.
The same is true with track cleaning cars! :p You simply don't get a Mercedes for a Chevy price. :( Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.
The CMX is, IMHO, the Mercedes of track cleaning cars.
Sure, it's expensive. You buy it once. It's built like a tank. It works like you desire. It lasts forever with proper care.
Case closed.
Bob
 

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Raleets, I believe you. I just don't have the $$$$$. I think I read a thread about the very car you speak. I believe it might have been when you were looking for a track cleaning car. ( I don't know my memory is shot recently) . But there is something to be said for building a better mousetrap. Even if it doesn't work he fun is in trying. Then after I fail, save up and buy the cmx.
 

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sjm,
I admire your gumption for wanting to build something yourself and save the bucks. This route can also be fun and rewarding IF you're somewhat successful.
I've reached the point in life where I know my limitations so, rather than frustrate myself into a coma, I simply cough up the buckos and get what I really want.
In either case, it's a great hobby and certainly teaches the art of patience.
Have fun,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I really don't have problems on the track so I'm not sure I need something great. So far once in a while (probably less than once a month) i wipe with an Alcohol soaked rag and the trains run fine. I have been cleaning the hard to reach track with a rag on a stick.
I'm retired so I have more time than money and this seemed like a nice little project.
So far I have not had to buy anything new , just stuff I have around. Don
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here is a photo of what I made. I have not tried it yet. I will probably eventually make another weight with scotch bright on it. Don

Track_clean_car 001.jpg

Track_clean_car 002.jpg
 

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Don, that's similar to the Trackman 2000 with one big difference. the articulated arms on the TM2000 keeps the pad and weight on the track on curves, a very clever design. If your pad is wide enough, that will work, but it may catch trackside accessories on it's way by.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
It should catch the curves,The car is fairly short and the pad is much wider than the track. I do have a signal that is close .I will probably have to work around it.
If it doesn't I can reach the curves easily, It's the back straight that is hard to reach.
I'll probably use my Track-mobile to tow it. Nice thing about TMCC , I can keep the other train on the track and follow it with the cleaning car. Don
 

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Discussion Starter #19
bad news/Good news/good news; The track mobile won't tow it, to much friction. It clears the signal tower and my RS11 tows it fine added to the caboose at the end. This was on my loop with 034 and 042 turns.
Not sure how it will go on the loop with 027 and 034 turns. (had trouble with this car derailing on 027 turns when placed close to the loco but worked fine towards the end of the train.) Don
 

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Don, you beat me to it, I was reading your previous post and I was going to point out the Trackmobile won't handle anything that drags like a cleaning car. :)

I suspect the derailments with that in a longer consist were due to the fact it's a light car, but I suspect just towing it with a locomotive won't be an issue.
 
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