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S-Trains FAQ Question: Find cork roadbed?
Answer:    Scenery Unlimited sells S cork roadbed.  I use H0 cork
roadbed, but I run a 3/16" square balsa wood strip down the center line
and place the halves of the cork roadbed along side the balsa wood strip.
It works just fine and can be bought at most model shops.  Also you can use
half of a section of 0 gauge and  half of  a section of H0 gauge cork
roadbed.  You would have to refigure the center line and availability of the 0 gauge
cork may be a problem.  'S', Tom Davis, Charlotte, N.C. BACK

Question: Fix the buzz in a Action Caboose?
Answer: Buzzing is normal.  It's the continuous duty solenoid on AC.  If you
put a diode in series with the coil the resultant DCV in the caboose
will prevent buzzing. Chuck Smith of the NASG, Rochester Area S Gaugers and the
S Gauge Chemung Valley Lines.
Although a small rectifier does fix the buzz (as correctly suggested), placing a
small piece of foam inside the solenoid and a small piece of tape under the slide
arm where it touches the caboose floor often works, if you desire to keep the piece "stock".
RBubeck   BACK

Question: Clean up old Track?
I use a glass bead cabinet with the air pressure turned down to about 45lbs and
gently glass bead the track. Depending on how rusty it is, you may clean it up
without taking all the blackening off the ties. If your are this lucky, you may
then clear coat the track with some spray can acrylic clear.  If you have taken
all the blackening off the ties, you can coat the track with Semi-gloss Black,
or Semi-flat black( I prefer the former, although there is only a slight difference
between them)
        I coat the track by placing the sections side by side on a 2 X 4
on saw horses.  I put the track down right side up, paint the sides of
the ties first, then the rails. After this coat dries a bit, I turn the
track over and paint the bottoms the same pattern.  Since you have to sand the
rail tops afterwards anyway, I don't worry about messing up the paint on
the rail tops. Let the paint dry at least a few hours.  A spay can
should do at least 30 pieces of track.
        After the paint has dried, if you are going to be using the
track soon, I take a sanding block and 600 Grit Wet or Dry and sand the tops
of the rails.  If you want a smoother surface, use 1000 or 1200 grit instead.
      You may have to touch-up the track pins too. If your going to store the
track for a while, don't sand it yet, but don't forget to put a note in
the box to remind yourself to sand before  use!
        Also, I straighten the track and check for loose ties before
painting. When I stay straighten, I'm talking about looking for sags
between ties and other missalignment that cause derailments, bad
coupling, etc.!  To tighten loose ties, all I usually have to do is
place track on flat surface, take straight, normal pliers and grip the sides
of the tie "clamps" and squeeze. This will force the ends down against the
rail and usually does the trick.
        The glass beading doesn't seem to eat into the insulators much,
but don't forget to blow off the track after you take it out of the
booth so you get rid of the loose beads in corners, etc.
        One more track trick: Check at joints for 'upset' ends, where
the rail end is flared out and may make a sharp projection. These eat up
pulmor tires and plastic wheels.  a little filing, or dremel tool
grinding here will greatly improve wheel life!  Make it Smoooooth!
David J. Dewey
Ted Larson suggests crumpling up a section of Aluminum foil into a ball,
and "sanding" the top of the rail.  It takes the rust and tarnish off without
damaging the good plating.  And it takes no special equipment.  True, it
does not clean the sides of the track.  At least it makes the track usable.
Some folks use dremel tool with a wire brush to do all the cleaning. (Paul)

Question: Get decals for my trains?
The parts dealers sell decals and transfers that are very close to the originals.
You can also buy block stamp, just like they used in the factory. (Paul)
Parts suppliers info page

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