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Thread: Annealing via finger method - sources of heat?

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Once you see your dull red color drop it in the water
    Brass cases are annealed when the metal turns to a bluish-green color which is between 625-650 degrees. Then just lay them on a cotton towel, not in water, and let them air cool
    Regards
    John

  2. #22
    It's nice to find something we can all disagree on!

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Boy View Post
    Brass cases are annealed when the metal turns to a bluish-green color which is between 625-650 degrees. Then just lay them on a cotton towel, not in water, and let them air cool
    They donít have to air cool and they donít have to be dropped on water. Either will work and the end result is the same. Quenching then does not change the grain structure.

    You can not rely on color change to anneal. But, and thereís a but here, if it turns red you most likely ruined the case. But since people donít like use a temp sensing paste they have no way of knowing if they did or didnít.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

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    You can not rely on color change to anneal. But, and there’s a but here, if it turns red you most likely ruined the case. But since people don’t like use a temp sensing paste they have no way of knowing if they did or didn’t.
    I'm not an expert or a metallurgist, and I am open to learning. I've found that the color the brass will change seems to depend on the brass. Wet tumbled brass doesn't change the same color. I just anneal in low light and watch for a change in the brass, just before it starts to glow. If it glows it's too hot, but with practice you can tell just when to stop. It's always worked well to me.

    That's how I do it anyhow. It's worked for me but as I said, I don't claim to be an expert. I could easily be wrong. I'm just too cheap to spend money on sensing paste.

  5. #25
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    I use 650 degree Tempilaq to anneal cases.I drop them in water.I read somewhere that quenching is necessary,probably in an NRA publication.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenT7021 View Post
    I read somewhere that quenching is necessary,probably in an NRA publication.
    Quenching is not necessary. All it does is stop heat from migrating further down the case and allow you to handle them immediately. If you allow them to air cool the results will be the same.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldBearHair View Post
    Hey Fralic 76, I liked that so well that I ordered one that is to be delivered on the 16th. and not directly from China. Ordered a 4 step pulley that came from England or somewhere over yonder. Supposed to get here October 20 and I still don't have it. Just not right.
    Let me know how it works for you. I'm not sure if 150w is enough.

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk
    Using Tapatalk

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by oso View Post
    I like alcohol lamps. Easy to make: small glass jar, punch hole up in center of metal lid, about 1/8 inch cotton cord for wick. I use HEET for fuel (cleaner than ISO-HEET or 91 per cent rubbing alcohol.)
    How clean are the cases compared to the use of a candle (I assume that was your first attempts at annealing)? My life isn't ruined by the soot left by a candle, but if there's a cleaner method for about the same price, I'm all for it. I did think of firing up my backpacking stove and trying that out on some range scrap for comparison as well. I would just have to dig down through everything now in winter storage to get at it.

    And then there's stuff like this:

    YaeTek Alcohol blast burner brass alcohol lamp blow torch 250ml

    https://www.amazon.com/YaeTek-Alcoho...alcohol+burner

  9. #29
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkhuntclub View Post
    It's nice to find something we can all disagree on!
    Yeah, given the past history of annealing threads here, that did kind of enter my mind when I started this thread to ask about alternative heat sources.

    It's kind of like the "What's the best oil for your motorcycle" threads on different forums.

  10. #30
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    An alcohol lamp is cleaner than a candle depending on the fuel used. The YaeTek is overkill, I use less than an ounce (30 ml) of HEET for annealing 80 - 100 of my reformed case necks.
    Search "adiabatic flame temps" of different fuels, or just "flame temps" for more info on open flames than you want to know.
    My back packing stoves provide more than the focused easily approachable flame of an alcohol burner wick or candle wick.
    I use a shell holder in an electric screw driver to turn the neck in the flame while monitoring the shell body with a finger.
    Just because change doesn't make a difference doesn't mean that change is bad.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by oso View Post
    An alcohol lamp is cleaner than a candle depending on the fuel used. The YaeTek is overkill, I use less than an ounce (30 ml) of HEET for annealing 80 - 100 of my reformed case necks... I use HEET for fuel (cleaner than ISO-HEET or 91 per cent rubbing alcohol.)
    Search "adiabatic flame temps" of different fuels, or just "flame temps" for more info on open flames than you want to know.
    Thanks for that. Amazon sells assorted alcohol lamps for not much more than pocket change; I'll give that a try as the cost leads me to prefer a nice glass purpose built rig over a do it yourself job. I have seen a fair number of guys using self-built alcohol stoves made out of tin cans doing dual sport gravel road motorcycle touring over the years.

    Just curious... As best I can figure out from web searching HEET has become kind of a generic term over the years (I've been driving diesels for 30+ years so I'm not familiar with gas line anti-freeze). Apparently the yellow bottle HEET is primarily methanol and the red bottle is primarily isopropanol. I gather you're buying the methanol version?

    And I'll do that flame temp search just to satisfy my curiosity...
    Last edited by MOC031; 11-15-2018 at 12:38 PM.

  12. #32
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    You gather correctly, I use methanol. Any cheap, handy and dry (IIRC it will absorb atmospheric moisture so keep it sealed) methanol works for me.
    Just because change doesn't make a difference doesn't mean that change is bad.

  13. #33
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    Annealing case necks by dipping them into molten lead that is held at about seven hundred degrees ‘F’ works well. Wheel weight alloy, which is approximately eighty-nine parts lead, one-part tin and ten parts antimony, melts at six hundred and nineteen degrees ‘F’ so you can safely set your lead alloy temperature at seven hundred degrees ‘F’. The use of a thermometer will take any guesswork out of the process. The reason for using lead for annealing is to keep the temperature low enough for proper uniform annealing, and that is simply not possible using the torch method. With a torch the case is often heated on one side more than the other, temperatures are not readily repeatable from case to case, and in falling over into the water, one side is quenched before the other.

    To minimize the likelihood of lead ‘soldering’ itself to the brass case it is best to use as close to pure lead as possible (although any lead alloy will work). Anneal your cases with the fired primers left in, as that forms an airlock that keeps lead away from the inside of the case. With respect to annealing cases using molten lead, basically you: set the thermostat on your pot at seven hundred to eight hundred degrees ‘F’ pick up each case by the head and dip the neck of the cases about a quarter-inch into some powdered graphite or light oil (vegetable oil is fine). The oil keeps lead from sticking to the brass but, any lead that does stick is easily removed by a quick twist in steel wool while the case is still hot. Shake off any excess oil, dip the neck, shoulder, and about a quarter-inch of the case body into the molten lead and just as you begin to feel an uncomfortable degree of heat in your fingertips, drop the case into water. If you hold the cases in some other way than with your bare fingers, leave them in the molten lead from eight to twelve, but not more than fifteen seconds. When the case is hot enough that the lead does not cling to it, it is annealed. Pull the case up out of the lead, tap on the side of the case to remove any bits of lead (if the lead is really sticking, the case isn't annealed!), then drop it mouth down (straight) into a container that is mostly full of ice water. Following the anneal, it would be wise to closely inspect the inside of the case both visually and with a bent paper clip just to make sure there are no lead drippings adhering to the inside the case.

    If you are left-handed, have the cases on the right side, the lead in the middle, and the ice water on the left. The cases go only one direction, to the left, and you use only one hand. If you are right handed, reverse the set-up. Because it only takes a few seconds per case, you can anneal hundreds of cases in an hour with this method. After the annealing process, remove the cases from the water, shake them out and use a piece of bronze wool to clean the annealed portion. This removes any residual lead and/or burned oil. Then, dry and tumble the cases to remove any traces of residual oil and they are ready to process.
    R.D.M.

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Well done tutorial Blackthorn. Thanks

  15. #35
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    I didnt believe the candle flame story,not enough heat,I thought.............however the first case I tried ended up so soft it collapsed in the lee collet die.......But it is slow,and does leave the cases black.......Alcohol lamp would be better,but still doing cases one at a time....So ,IMHO ,you cant beat the old way of cases in water ,heat with a torch,tip over into water.You can easily do fifty every couple of minutes. That would take 1/2 hr with a candle or lamp.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check