16866Re: [z_scale] Re: Poor performance (again ;-)
- Oct 1, 2003Leon:
> One question about this Whal Oil. How and why does it work?Here's a repeat of message #14415 from the archives:
> Oil is normally an insulator so is there something special
> with Whal oil that it is a conductor of electricity?
> What is wahl oil?Wahl oil is an antirust, anticorrosion agent that is clear as water, and as
"runny" as water. It has no smell, and it is definitely NOT a lubricating
oil as we know it.
The manufacturer's website is at:
Normal use: The high-carbon steel clipper blades in electric hair cutting
razors would rust in days if some form of rust protection is not provided to
the surface of the blades. At the same time, can you image the mess that
would result if oil (as we know it) was applied to the blades, then the
cutter put into thin human hair? It would become a cat's fur-ball in a
About 40+ years ago, some long forgotten model railroader discovered if you
applied Walh Oil to the tracks, it would prevent oxidation and improve
electrical performance for a month or more. It is still used today by large
clubs with large layouts that are monsters to clean.
The technique is to put a single drop on your index finger, then touch both
rails with your finger every meter or so. Then immediately run trains
normally. The wheels pick it up and spread it around nicely. You cannot see
it or feel it after its applied.
No, the loco wheels do not spin when it hits the "oil" nor do you trains fail
to climb hills. No, it does not build up on the wheels of the locos or cars
or track over time. Nor does it get into the scratch-and-pray electrical
systems. It does not dissolve plastics or nylon. No, its is NOT good for
any lubrication functions in train gears, motor bearings or anything else we
use in Z scale.
Do I believe in it? Absolutely. In the late 1980's I was involved with a
large N scale layout (25 meters x 15 meters) and every couple of months, you
could see the trains start to stutter from poor electrical connection to the
track. A standard track cleaning (any method of your choice) followed by a
Wahl Oil treatment kept the trains running perfectly for another 90 days.
Without Wahl Oil, the track had to be recleaned every couple of weeks.
Do I use it in Z scale? Yes. It works in Z too. But remember, only one
drop on your finger (its not toxic) and touch the rails once a meter. That's
it. A $2usd bottle is enough for 100 lifetimes. It compliments the
functions of a Relco unit, too. Relco's kick in when you LOOSE the track
circuit. Wahl oil helps to KEEP the track circuit in the first place.
And finally, no, it does not resolve the classic problem of 0-4-0 steamers
and Marklin dead-frog turnouts. That's a different problem.
Hope this helps,
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