Fortunately, a few months ago, I had stumbled across two YouTube segments on Ken Patterson's 'What's Neat' column for last January and February. Both discussed how build a similar tool using a standard half inch drive breaker bar. The links to these are:
- January 2017 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNAkczzwQu4&t=164s starts at 2:59)
- February 2017(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuE22ZCqlRw&t=234s starts at 1:41)
The breaker bar was purchased from Auto One for around $20 and each base took around an hour to fabricate excluding curing time for glues. Noting that 'Tidy Track' retails for something between $60-$70, it probably represents a significantly cheaper option.
One thing was evident as soon as the tool was put into use. The weight of the bar made the tool considerably heavier than its commercial equivalent and negated the need for the additional force that I had felt was necessary for the effective use of the Woodland Scenics tool.
Ken's February column also noted the impact of the height of the breaker bar's pivot point and the potential to trip up the cleaning head. My experience reinforced this observation. The higher the pivot point above the track, the longer the lever arm and the greater the potential that a minor defect in the track will cause a snag in the movement of the cleaning head.
And so, after nearly five years of adaptions, tweaks and repairs, hopefully, now I have a solution that will work reliably without disintegrating periodically.