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How to keep the layout clean?
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 Posted: Fri Dec 30th, 2016 04:16 am
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pipopak
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I would like to learn about different ways to clean/keep the layout (relatively) dustless. I became so fed up with this that ended up not having a layout at all, just doing models that end up in a showcase.
Anybody else frustrated also?.
Jose.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 30th, 2016 05:04 am
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W C Greene
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Jose, I remember reading about a small vacuum cleaner made for cleaning models. Probably Miro Mark has them. Maybe you could get one of those small 12 volt vacuums for autos and run it off a power pack to give a slower speed so it wouldn't suck up details, etc. I have a couple of nice 1.5" very soft artist paint brushes which do a nice job of de-dusting. I am no artist so they only get used for this purpose. How about that?

Woodie

Also, maybe you could try modeling the SP narrow gauge, it was very dusty out there in Nevada.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 30th, 2016 05:30 am
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pipopak
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Also, maybe you could try modeling the SP narrow gauge, it was very dusty out there in Nevada.

Did it have dust bunnies all over the hardest-to-clean spots?.
Tried the vacuum cleaner with all the weirdest variations. Last layout was a city (all brick canyons, few and far apart trees). After dusting was reattach knocked items time...
Sigh...
Jose.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 30th, 2016 11:13 am
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2foot6
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I have seen plastic sheets like  painters clear plastic sheet hung over a layout when not in use to prevent dust settling on the layout.I think the theory was it would have a  static charge and the dust would be drawn to the plastic sheet .I guess the local environment (room sealing)plays an important part in dust control.My layout does not suffer from dust,but  I have some large pockets of spider webs occasionally.I live in a green leafy area and there are no windows in the shed,just one door that keeps out the dust,but not the spiders.........Peter.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 30th, 2016 11:43 am
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pipopak
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Tried the plastic sheets also. Moderate success but even on a removable frame fine detail suffered. Maybe if training the spiders.... Hmmm...
Jose.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 30th, 2016 04:19 pm
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W C Greene
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OK then, build your layout outdoors then all you have to worry about is twigs, rain, and squirrel poop...but NO dust!

WCG



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 Posted: Fri Dec 30th, 2016 04:50 pm
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jtrain
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Best question to ask is, what is dust?  Seems like a dumb question, but it reveals a lot:

Dust in homes is a combination of animal hair, human skin, outdoor soil and minerals, indoor fibers from paper and textiles, and other materials such as concrete, tile, unsealed sheet rock, anything that can give off a dry and powdery substance.

So the best way to remove dust?  Let's look at the ideal habitat for our old friends, the dust mites.  Dust mites prefer dark, warm, and moist areas.  Seeing that they live in dust, it makes sense that dust would accumulate in such areas.  So, to prevent dust on the layout room, there are a few things that can be done:

1)  Seal the room from outside temperature and humidity swings.  Buy a de-humidifier and keep the layout room as dry as possible.  This has the added benefit of reducing oxidization of track, requiring less cleaning.

2) Have continual air flow via fans, air ducts, or other means.  Ideally, the air entering the room would pass through a filter designed to catch airborne particles.  This is how the insides of computers stay relatively clean, despite cats, people, dirty atmosphere, and other things, all computers have a ventilation fan.

3) Improve the lighting in the layout room.  If insects and spiders are forced to live in the shadows, then their debris will stay in the shadows, not on the layout surface.

4) Have you tried setting the vacuum to blow?  It might be less intrusive for a gentle stream of air to kick up the dust rather than trying to suck it all up.  And if you have good ventilation, the dust will simply be pushed elsewhere in the home, or through a filter.

5)  If you have the budget, and it's not done already, sheetrock, plaster, and paint to seal the walls and ceiling would go a long way. Sometime look above a drop-ceiling and you'll see plenty of dust, all of which came from stagnant air and from the cement or wood ceiling.  Those ceiling tiles caught all the dust through the years that would have settled on the carpet, shelves, or train layout.

6) Keep pets out.  I love cats and dogs, but their place isn't on or around the train layout, they have the rest of the house to roam.  Cat fur traps and carries dust quite well, and if they are the long hair variety, they will continually shed.  Our family has always favored Labradors, but they shed for 2 seasons, each 6 months long.  They also have a particular odor that's impossible to get rid of.  We've always loved animals, but the dust they create is too much for train layouts.

I guess what I'm getting at is that you would have more success changing the layout room rather than the layout itself.

Or, as Woodie suggested, build outdoors and you'll get to have fun dealing with nature.  I guess that's the most prototypical suggestion out there, because real trains don't have to deal with dust, usually, they just have to deal with rain, snow, sleet, hail, mud, cement, grime, oil, grease, and leaves, grass, wasp nests, and all sorts of fun things.

Woodie, you have a fine layout, but that seems like a lot of work.

--James

Last edited on Fri Dec 30th, 2016 04:55 pm by jtrain



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 Posted: Fri Dec 30th, 2016 05:11 pm
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Si.
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Just get an 'Ionizer' & fill the air with negative-ions.


:brill:


Si.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 30th, 2016 05:42 pm
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Lee B
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I have a HEPA air filter that used to be in our bedroom (my wife is allergic to almost everything on Earth) that is now in the layout room and I run it every now and then.
I have noticed that layouts with irregular surfaces don't show dust. You mentioned cities, and those really show up dust easily, but grass? Not so much. They make dusting tools for delicate items and I have a couple for going over the locomotives and other things every now and then. This is one of those things that is tougher on a large layout, to keep it clean.
It's also a good idea to get ahead of it. Clean your structures frequently, and each time you walk into the layout room. It can't build up if you're cleaning it every now and then, right?
I can't stress this enough, that building a layout inside a clean portion of your house helps a great deal. My layout is in a back bedroom and while I could have had a much larger layout in a shed on the property, I realized I was fine with a smaller layout in a place that would be cleaner and where I'd be more likely to go in and do little chores more often than I would to go out to a shed (especially this time of year where it can rain for weeks/months at a time nonstop).



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 Posted: Sat Dec 31st, 2016 12:55 am
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pipopak
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... looks like I'll have to build a new layout just to test all the ideas...
Thanks to everybody.
Jose.



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