G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
416 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of restoring a Aster U232 U1 which had previously been coal fired and substantail scratching to the left hand side of the boiler and tender. The amount of mess left over from the coal firing is amazing and I'd like to use the opportunity of having it in pieces to clean it up. Worst stuff is inside the smoke box and at the front end of the boiler and I can't find any solvent that will shift it. At one level, it's all very authentic but I also worry that this coal/oil residue could be corrosive when wet. Any ideas?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
Kerosene bath, high pressure air, gun rod/brush along with a hot shower could be applications that would help.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
569 Posts
I find that a brass brush in my Dremel at slow speed works well for the firebox of my Shay. Dremel #536 or one I found at Work Shop Tools in Myrtle Beach, CMB100,(SKU 06569 00350) but couldn't find on their website workshoptools.com As suggested above I use a gun brush for the flue. For overall cleaning, especially paintwork, Simple Green and a toothbrush followed by a warm water rinse are effective.
Tom
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
684 Posts
Robert,

There's not much you can do to get the coal/oil mix off of the smoke box insulation as it ingrains itself in the ceramic fibre. On our Coal/Alcohol K-4, which sees sparing use, there are no detrimental effects of corrosion in the smokebox. Seems that the oil helps repel the water from combining with the ashes. That being said, I would still take a paint brush dipped in kerosene and sweep the inside of the smokebox.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
You might want to use a product specifically for cleaning mechanical parts - like auto, airplane, etc. engines - rather than a product used for jet fuel or wick lamps. Kerosene also contains more impurities such as sulfur and aromatic hydrocarbons. IMHO, Kerosene isn't much different from using gasoline - maybe high octane to be an equal comparison, but still...

Torry Krutzke, Pikes Peak Locomotive Works, converts K-27's and other Accucraft locos to coal fired and swears by Stoddards Cleaner. (Hopefully I'll get my coal fired late this year. It's a pure petroleum product - no additives - specifically for cleaning engine parts, among other cleaning applications. You will not need to wash off with detergent, Stoddards dries without leaving any residue at all. Though not necessary, I find it helpful to use air to blow out crevices. Like any Petroleum cleaner it takes some open air time for the smell to dissipate and air spraying crevices reduces the open air time.

Stoddards is very strong stuff and should only be used in a very well ventilated place; outside is best and with proper chemical handling gloves. Stoddards has to be disposed of properly like any other toxic petroleum product.

Torry uses Stoddards with a garden sprayer for a pressure wash after steaming; he finds the pressure spray knocks off the coal and oil residue. Leaves the enamel paint very shiny, like new. He soaks engine parts in it for cleaning a loco he's tearing down for converting to coal fired. I've found a good long soak, parts like a stained smokebox front or the smokebox shell, can remove a fair amount of the baked on steam oil reducing the staining - depends on how hard and long it's baked on but it's worth the try. I've bought quite a few used or broken locos or parts of locos in varying states and condition for projects, so a good deal of experience cleaning them.

Stoddards typically sells for ~$4 a gallon but is only available from petroleum suppliers. Check the phone book for one close to you and give them a call. Take your own jug, like a plastic gas can, or you'll have to buy a 55 gal. drum of it. It will slowly change color through reuse but works for a long time. A 5gal paint can is good for soaking and storage; using a fine strainer for small parts or a dunking bin for larger parts. Suspended debris will settle to the bottom of a storage container and you can strain it using cheese cloth. When spraying it on a loco I put the loco in a plastic tub to capture the liquid then pour liquid into the storage container. You can buy large shallow (~4-6"D) storage bins with lids in the storage section of HD, Lowes, Target, etc.

Just another technique for your consideration. Everybody finds what works best for them and theirs; and everybody has a good how-to idea.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
684 Posts
A local alternative to stoddards cleaner in my area is Brak-leen, used for cleaning brake calipers and rotors on cars, it works well and does not harm cured paints. At $3.00 a can or so, it is realtivley inexpensive too. It also leaves no residue and dries extremely fast, which would work well inside the smokebox with it's exposed ceramic insulation, as is standard aster practice.

Still, I would be weary of cleaning the paint on the boiler jacket of an aster with anything other than a mild detergent/degreaser, I've had great success with just diluted simple green and warm water. If you desire a sheen afterwards, you can coat the paint with wd-40, or in the most extreme, I have been known to break out the caranuba wax and give the engine a real polish job...be warned, this is time consuming with lots of q tips and a microfiber cloth.

Your mileage may vary.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
Ryan:
Ran aross a crazy reference to Brakleen awihile ago that was really crazy; a report of busting a methlab and finding Brakleen being used as a source of acetne - they must have been really hard up more likely just really screwed up. I know some gun oweners use Brakleen in their bag of supplies as a ready cleaner, but some report it harms plastic which is consistant with acetone which will desolve plastic, and it is commonly used to remove/desolve glue like superglue. I've never heard of it in bulk only 20oz spray can (around 3-5 bucks a can works out to around $18-30 a gal.). So if acetone is the cleaner of choice might as well buy acetone in bulk at a paint or hardware store and save some money, unless you just want a cleaner in a spray spray can?

WD-40 is 50% Stoddards Clearner, 15%+ Mineral Oil and about 25% propellant. WD40 appears to dry clean but mineral oil will dry to a thin unseen film and eventually attract dirt, steam oil, etc. It may be good to brake a rusted lock but I find if you don't apply a real oil or other lube the lock will eventually start sticking (from the mineral oil) after it dries in hot weather. (Silicone spray seems to work much better on locks.)

If you want an easier to apply really good high caranuba wax content product try a Harley motorcycle shop and it comes spray cans - Harley owners are really paticular. Scooter owners I know say it's the best (over auto spray waxes). Realy easy to apply. For locos I use it and a dremel tool with very slow speed and a soft buffing pad - really gets into those tight places and would save the work using those q-tips. Dremel is like using a power buffer waxing a car.

Just my exprience and reports of friends.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
416 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input - I've now removed the boiler from the boiler case and cleaned out the flues the hard way but will try to locate some "stoddards" fluid. The amount of coal dust and general grime everywhere continues to amaze me and really brings home how much maintenace must have been required to keep the real thing in operation!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Stoddard solvent should be available from any oil company storage depot. I bought a 5 gal. container from Coast Oil in San Jose where I used to live. They were a Union 76 dealer. It's not as aggresive as "Brake- Kleen" & I use it periodically with a pressure-syphon "parts cleaning gun" to clean the drivers & undercarriage of my steamers as my trackage is on the ground until I can build an elevated system. I've, also used the stoddard solvent to clean the outside, without any problems! I wouldn't recommend using Brake-Kleen on a painted surface, as it would, probably, attack the paint! Jim
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
78 Posts
Stoddard solvent is used extensively on aircraft to clean the engine compartments after maintenance because it will not attack paint, sealants, wiring harnesses, etc. I use it regularly at the airport shop with a syphon style pressure sprayer to remove the gunk from the under the cowling on customer planes as well as my own. IT WILL NOT DAMAGE THE PAINT.

BRAKLEEN, on the other hand, will. BRAKLEEN contains both PERCHLOROETHYLENE and METHYLENE CHLORIDE, which are significant solvents. I use it too on the occasional brake rotor, and if it gets on the painted landing gear leg and is not removed ASAP, the paint will be damaged.

I would NOT RECCOMEND using BRAKLEEN anywhere around a painted surface.

Torry
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
Posted By fkrutzke on 04/19/2008 7:17 AM
Stoddard solvent is used extensively on aircraft to clean the engine compartments after maintenance because it will not attack paint, sealants, wiring harnesses, etc. I use it regularly at the airport shop with a syphon style pressure sprayer to remove the gunk from the under the cowling on customer planes as well as my own. IT WILL NOT DAMAGE THE PAINT.
BRAKLEEN, on the other hand, will. BRAKLEEN contains both PERCHLOROETHYLENE and METHYLENE CHLORIDE, which are significant solvents. I use it too on the occasional brake rotor, and if it gets on the painted landing gear leg and is not removed ASAP, the paint will be damaged.
I would NOT RECCOMEND using BRAKLEEN anywhere around a painted surface.
Torry



True Brakleen (brand name by CRC) does not contain Methylene Chloride.

There are two (USA) Brakleen product lines by CRC, the good old chlorinated one (which is almost pure Perc/Tetrachloroethylene) and the other (green label stuff, for California) which contains acetone, toluene and methanol, why the meth makers love it.

Tetrachloroethylene has common history of use as dry cleaning solution and for metal cleaning and degreasing. One of the items to watch with Tetrachloroethylene is exessive heating and or burning can produce phosgene, a common nerve agent for military use in the past. So no "creative" degreesing with this stuff please!

Actually, chlorinated solvents depress the central nervous system anyways /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gif (sometimes to the point of being fatal), so not sure why they go through the trouble of making meth and not just use Perc, MC, etc/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif" border=0>.

A good tip is to NOT buy the stuff in spray cans, you can buy a gallon jug for about the price of two cans and use it for dipping and/or put it in a rechargable spray can from an autoparts or tool store. Depends on how much you use I guess.

And yes, Torry is right, the chlorinated stuff WILL damage painted surfaces and the other stuff can depending on the paint used (assume so in all cases).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
416 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Posted By tony23 on 04/19/2008 3:09 AM
That's an awsum loco have you run it yet I beleive it's a compound :)" border=0>




I have run it - the damage was only cosmetic and I eventually concluded I should replace the tender frame and the boiler casing rather than try to touch up the paint work. Amazing thing, as ever, is that Aster had the spares.

It is a compound just like the original - high pressure steam goes to the inner cylinders with the low pressure exhaust feeding the outers. The performance is extraordinary - it self starts and pulls 8 heavy J&M Wagon Lit coaches with ease. Biggest challenge is keeping the speed down!

Loco is now reassembled and looks great.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
78 Posts
Garrett:
I have in stock about 20 gallons of Brakleen from CRC Industries. An examination of the Materials Safety Data Sheet accompaning my purchase, scanned immage of which is attached, showes a significant quantity of Methylene Chloride.


Torry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Methylene chloride is the active ingredient in most consumer paint removers...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
Posted By fkrutzke on 04/19/2008 11:47 PM
Garrett:
I have in stock about 20 gallons of Brakleen from CRC Industries. An examination of the Materials Safety Data Sheet accompaning my purchase, scanned immage of which is attached, showes a significant quantity of Methylene Chloride.

Torry







Torry-

I am guessing you are in Australia from the sheet (AUD/NOHS, and the word "vapour"). Here is the full sheet, and it sure does show it for your market:

http://www.crcindustries.com.au/catalogue.nsf/(MSDS)/5089%20Brakleen%202007/$FILE/MSDS.pdf

But for the US product line, it does not:

http://www.crcindustries.com/faxdocs/msds/5085.pdf

http://www.crcindustries.com/faxdocs/msds/5090.pdf

Twenty gallons, quite the collection!

And yes, MC is the key component to most paint strippers. Been in a couple chemical plants that make the stuff, interesting, and a chemical exposure sampling nightmare....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
78 Posts
Garrett:
I purchased the Brakleen, 2 full 5 gal. containers and 2 partially full containers, here in the US some years back through the auctioning of the assets of an aircraft maintenance facility in California that had gone out of business. The stuff does a great job cleaning off disassembled engine components before reassembly, ie. crankcases, starter drives, oil pump housings, etc. I have also used it to clean landing gear shock struts prior to having them powder coated. I also regularly use it to clean up the oil soaked castings of my miniature hit n' miss engines after machining and prior to painting. It is a VERY agressive cleaner, much more so that anything you can buy at Checker Auto or elsewhere.
Torry
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top