Dust Prevention / Management

mtaylor Apr 12, 2000

  1. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    As I draw closer to completing my benchwork design and track plan I began thinking about dust. Dust was always a source of frustration on my originaql HO layout. With N scale having smaller componets than HO (gears and wheels) I assume that dust will play a more sinister role than it did in HO scale. I am currently in the process of starting my N scale locomotive empire. It now consists of a nasty Bachman F7, Kato SD45 and a Rivarossi 2-8-8-2. The 2-8-8-2 is a collectors piece in full operation condition. Here is my problem, I do not want to have to keep all my locomotives and rolling stock locked away in their plastic cases when not in use. I would rather have my locos and rolling stock staged on the layout on display when not in use. For the rolling stock, this is probably not a huge issue. But for the locomotives, the dust can adversely effect the locomotive's performance. Does anyone have any thoughts on how to reduce the dust menace on their layout? I was think of a functional round house and engine sheds. Would placing the engines in these structures provide adequate protection. Another N scaler suggested a room filter machine that "cleans" the air. Another thought was some kind of sealed engine house to store the locomotives in.

    Again my goal is to keep the locomotives and rolling stock on the layout for both display and to minimize the "hand of God" on the equipment. I would rather not have rail my engines each time I want to use them.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Another Dust Question.

    Not including rolling stock or locomotives, what are some methods you all use to reduce the dust invasion of your layouts in regards to scenery and structures? Once a noticable amount of dust is present on the layout (eventually this will happen unless the layout is in a ziplock bag [​IMG]) what are some methods used to clean up the dust without causing damage or modifying the scenery or structures?

    The only thing that comes to my mind is a light brush or feather duster and a hand vac.

  3. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Hi Matt, I use a regular vacuum cleaner with a narrow nozzle on a flexible tube to clean the layout. Just make sure everything is firmly glued [​IMG]

    As to dust affecting locomotive mechanisms, I don't think this is too big a problem, depends on the room environment (soft furnishings, carpets, etc.)

    The best way to keep everything in good running order is to run regularly - oh dear, what a chore [​IMG]


    The perfect combination - BNSF and N Scale!

  4. Robin Matthysen

    Robin Matthysen Passed Away October 17, 2005 In Memoriam

    I agree with Alan, regular running and enjoyment of my layout seems to help keep dust to a reasonable level. My workshop is next door and I do a lot of woodwork so there is always dust from there. I installed plastic piping I got from Sears and this is connected to our central vac. This has really helped control dust in the house.
    My layout is basically shelf units with only the viewing side open so this also helps to keep dust off the layout with little brushing and vacuuming.
    Robin http://members.xoom.com/Matthyro/index.html
  5. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Youre right, carpet is a foul monster. I am currently removing the carpet from the futrure Rail Room and installing wood/vinyl planks. When I had my HO layout it was also in a carpeted room with the benchwork being raised particle board slabs and plywood slabs (I didnt know muchbetter when I started that layout about 19 years ago). I also had a Shetland Sheepdog then and currently own one now so hair was a problem but not to the point of failure. Many of my HO locomotives are still in good running order today after being in storage for 12 to 13 years. So what I am hearing is that dust is not really an issue with N scale locomotives as long as they are operated often (that should not be a problem [​IMG] ). Alan, how often do you have to vacum your layout?

    Thanks for all the feedback. I am starting to chomp at the bit to get my benchwork underway. My goal is to start constuction of the benchwork in late May to early June.

    [This message has been edited by mtaylor (edited 12 April 2000).]

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