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Thread: Brass pin stock annealing, hardening; and all points north?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master GoodOlBoy's Avatar
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    Question Brass pin stock annealing, hardening; and all points north?

    Ok so this isn't specifically about brass cases, this isn't specifically about gun parts, BUT it does all kinda tie together in the end. I am working on articles (because I am trying to dodge actually working on editing my book that I am so close to finishing) and I'm about to start on several projects that will have photos, etc for making items out of a 3' piece of brass pin stock.

    So first problem is I need to soften the pin stock so that it doesn't break on me while forming and shaping various items. I cannot find much on "specific" temperatures for annealing the brass, and I suspect I may need to do this more than once during a couple of the projects to keep the brass pin stock from becoming work hardened. Is this going to be as simple as using a propane torch while working it, and heating and dousing it during shaping? Some of the items may have some fairly tight bends in them, I haven't figured out the specifics yet.

    Second problem is the opposite problem of the first. Once I am finished with final shaping of the items I would like to anneal one more time to remove stress, but then I would like to harden or temper the items so that they aren't overly easily bent, but not so much that they shatter or crack if impacted, dropped, etc.

    Anyway I appreciate any and all responses or pointers. I've only got a vague notion of the direction I am going here and I'd like to ruin as little stock as possible since money is so tight around here. I know there are going to be some "duds" no matter what I do, but keeping it to minimum is why I'm asking for help and information.

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    The only thing I can answer is that you don't need to 'douse' the hot metal. It cools soft.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    And the only way to harden copper and copper based alloys such as brass is to work harden them.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Both above are accurate.
    Fast cooling as I understand it maybe differs in a vaccum.
    Still do not understand why, other than manufacturing concerns for work place burn liability, anyone wants to take a perfectly clean hot case and get it wet.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    Nueces's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kywoodwrkr View Post
    Both above are accurate.
    Fast cooling as I understand it maybe differs in a vaccum.
    Still do not understand why, other than manufacturing concerns for work place burn liability, anyone wants to take a perfectly clean hot case and get it wet.
    Dunking a heated case serves to prevent too much heat from migrating to the case head. May not be necessary in all cases (heh!), but one can support a decision to do it out of caution.

  6. #6
    yea.. about the only way i know of that you can harden brass, copper, or bronze is by work hardening it. that is how they did the old Roman bronze swords, they would cast them close to shape and then hammer the rest of the way which would work harden the metal and allow them to be sharpened.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    Ordinary brass stock is about 60/40 percent alloy of copper and zinc - often with a small amount of lead in the mix to improve cutting properties.
    Unlike cartridge brass with a copper content of 70% or higher, normal brass is not suitable for excessive bending or forging unless heated to a red-hot state. Based on my limited experience, unlike cartridge cases, annealing will not work with ordinary brass.
    Cap'n Morgan

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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