Cleaning Gears with Bill Henderson

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Bill Henderson keeps his layout running so well by making sure all his gears are clean. It is important to remove any old dirty grease off of gears and replace them with new oil. Bill uses a pipe cleaner with some alcohol to remove old grease from his gears. New grease is applied with his finger into the gear wheel.

Bill does this every six months or so using Labelle 108 oil which does not harm any of the plastic on the cars. A toothpick is used to oil between the frame on the bearings of all drivers. Alcohol and a pipe cleaner are run over the back of the drivers to remove any excess oil; the oil should never reach the wheel. The motor shafts are also oiled, with care taken to avoid any oil on the commutators. A little oil goes a long way.

Bill kit-bashes his camelback locomotives. He starts by taking an old timer boiler and cuts it off at the back of the cab. A penn switcher cab is used for the camelback and mounted on the boiler. A firebox is used from yet another engine. Bill adds a styrene shelter for the loco’s fireman. The frame came from a custom brass engine.

Henderson uses pictures of camelbacks from antique modeling magazines as a guide, even measuring the photos to make sure proportions are correct. Bill started reading these old hobby magazines at a young age and became interested in the history of model railroading. Henderson has been modeling since 8 years old in the 1950’s and feels like a witness of modeling history as well. To learn more about cleaning your layout or tips for cleaning model train wheels, visit the Model Railroad Academy website.

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