I recently bought an Aster locomotive that has been seating on a shelf for close to 14 years, collecting dust. What should I use to clean all the engine? Also, one of the levers has a little rust, what should I do? I will appreciate any ideas? Thank you.
The canned air like you use to clean electronic equip. is good for blowing off dust. Be careful not to blow it near fire......some are flamable. As a general rule, I am not a big fan of WD-40 but it seems to work well to clean Loco's. I have used it with success to clean the running gear, drivers, etc., (lower parts of the Loco). To get at the hard to get spots, cotton tipped applicators (fancy words for long wood handle Q tips) are hard to beat.
Because live steamers spit oil all over themselves and then when sitting at rest dust settles on this oil film, lets just say that sometimes you have to live with a little dust stuck on the engine.
Did you get the PM I sent you about running trains?
WD stands for Water Dispacement, 40 is for experiment #40 (took the guy awhile to get what he wated right.) Personaly I would avod it since it contains 15% mineral oil (yuck! - IMHO), 50% Stoddards Clearner and about 25% propellant.
Three previous threads on cleaning, different products (including WD-40) and opinions:
Here's what I do for really dirty locomotives. First remove the pressure gauge and then the alcohol burner assembly.Fill the kitchen sink or laundry tub with a hottish water solution using Dawn dish detergent ( the stuff that is used to clean up animals who are suffering from being in an oil slick - safe on them so safe on our things ). let the grungy engine sit in this for about twenty minutes. Remove and use a hair dryer to blow off the water and suds. Wipe down using a soft cloth , oil everything up , and then replace the burner and gauge. It will look as good as it ever will and then you can give it a rub down with wax ( the solid kind used on wood floors ) to get a shine on the painted parts. Easy on the wax - just a bit on a rag using your finger to apply.
If it gets really nasty, I rinse it with kerosene first, knock off any build up of residue with a toothbrush, then finish with a hot rinse in the sink. I picked up this method from Kevin O'Conner's article "Getting Started with Frank S." (part 4) on Southern Steam Trains' website http://www.southernsteamtrains.com/notes/franks4.htm