Annealing tools?


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Wylie1
January 30, 2013, 09:36 PM
I have seen some annealing tools on the market but they are not cheap! I have also seen youtube videos of annealing processes, some I agree with and some I'm a little fearful of.

So my question is would any of you know of a reasonably priced annealing tool on the market?

The reason I ask is I am in the process of building my own and it really isn't all that hard to do. Granted it's a simple single brass case annealing tool so I have to do them one at a time but a fair share of the components are from stuff a lot of people throw away.

It will be peddle operated and utilize a pan of water to tip cases into after they turn blue to cool them.

So far the expense has been nothing but one bolt for myself as I have had everything I have needed to built this. Just a guess would put expense at about $100 or less. As I fabricate my annealing tool I am taking pictures so if any of you may be interested I can post it for you.

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soloban
January 30, 2013, 10:52 PM
I've heard of people using the Lee shellholder that is used with the case gauge/trimmer chucked into a drill. Set a blow torch on the bench and spin up the case in the flame until it gets hot and plunk it in the water. Probably wouldn't be too hard to make a jig that you could strap the drill onto

dsm
January 30, 2013, 11:13 PM
Hornady makes an annealing kit with case holders, templaq and instructions. I used one for awhile till I got a benchsource machine. It worked well and runs around $50.

Wylie1
January 30, 2013, 11:29 PM
Seen the case holders and sockets hooked up to cordless drills and just looked up the Hornady kit.
Not that I really know much about annealing brass cases but both do not stabilize the temperature of the brass at it's base or primer end.

I was checking out youtube videos on annealing and this guys video seemed to make sense to me being the bases of his cases are in water to stabilize temperature during the process. Annealing brass video. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfQ5iO8Ak8M)

CharlieDeltaJuliet
January 30, 2013, 11:34 PM
There is a guy in the foothills of NC that occasionally builds annealing tools. He runs a custom gun shop and also builds top notch benchrest rifles... You might see if he has an annealing "machine" built.. His name is Leonard Baity..

Here is a link to his gun shop
http://www.baityscustom.com/

Wylie1
January 30, 2013, 11:38 PM
Thanks Charlie!
I'm far enough along with my build on my annealing tool now I'm just going to finish it up and roll with it.

I'm waiting for some epoxy to dry now.

My RPM reduction by means of an old fishing line spool didn't slow everything down quite enough but a router speed control made the difference. :D

boommer
January 30, 2013, 11:52 PM
OLD school has worked for me for years. Pan of water propane, torch and dark room. Why spend money and time on something that dosn't do any better of a job. I've done 1000's of cases over the years and never had any issues and some of my cases have been annealed 10 times or more. REMEMBER you can't let the heat transfer to base of the case.

jmorris
January 30, 2013, 11:54 PM
If you have a few tools I have the hard part, the "blade" $60 shipped. There are hundreds finished out many different ways.


http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=434828&highlight=Auto+annealer

Some have even gone beyond what I have done, they are here.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?48611-finished-the-auto-annealer-today

Wylie1
January 30, 2013, 11:54 PM
REMEMBER you can't let the heat transfer to base of the case.That's what I thought, thanks Boomer!

Wylie1
January 30, 2013, 11:59 PM
I missed your post while I was posting jmorris.
Wow, now that's fancy! I'm going the simple route for mine but thank you for the offer!

280shooter
January 31, 2013, 01:33 AM
I just did a bunch of cases last year, I used a battery operated screw driver,,NOT a Drill..and quarter inch scokets. and a propane torch sitting on my bench, and a pan of water,,I run the cases right to the flame, and counted to a certain count, then dumped out of the scoket right into the water..

dmazur
January 31, 2013, 01:53 AM
...after they turn blue...

I found this article -

http://www.gun-tests.com/performance/jun96cases.html

and a quote from it -

Quick, uniform, consistent application of high heat is the key to good annealing. When the brass around the mouth reaches a temperature of about 660 to 665 degrees Fahrenheit, its surface becomes light blue. This is as hot as you want to let it get. If you let the color run too far toward the other end of the case, you can ruin the head by making it too soft. If you let the color on the neck go beyond light blue, and the shine disappears, youíre on the edge of ruining the case, and you may already have gone too far. If you let the case get red, itís a goner.

But depending on getting the color just right is too loose and iffy to suit me. I prefer and recommend relying on something more dependable than personal color perception. The most reliable case thermometer I know is a 650 or 660 degree temperature-sensitive crayon called a temp stick.

And here's a site that describes the lowest-cost rig I've seen -

http://www.cartridgeanneal.com/

This individual is using a 750 degree temperature paint, and a 450 degree paint at the head (on one case) to verify that the head hasn't been annealed.

Wylie1
January 31, 2013, 02:44 AM
Good information dmazur!

Between my little sewing machine motor not liking my router speed controller much and centrifugal force it looks like I'm back to the drawing board. It would work but I would guess I'd burn the motor up quickly.

Being out the expense of one 5/16" bolt :rolleyes: really wont have me looking for a stiff drink but it was fun anyway and I have learned a few things along the way. I haven't bothered to cut the DVD cover shorter acting as a pan for water and brass.
http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg255/Wylie_Rods/AnnealingFail.jpg

GLOOB
January 31, 2013, 04:33 AM
I've heard of people using the Lee shellholder that is used with the case gauge/trimmer chucked into a drill. Set a blow torch on the bench and spin up the case in the flame until it gets hot and plunk it in the water.
I've only annealed a few cases before. Did them like this. But now you got me thinking. Why not trim/chamfer/anneal, all at the same time?

Just like this:
http://s688.photobucket.com/albums/vv241/gloob27x/?action=view&current=LeeZipTrim.mp4
But keep a propane torch on the bench. After the chamfer, spin it in the flame, then drop into a container of water.

Another +1 for the Lee trim system?

I'm 99% sure a pan of water to cover the casehead isn't necessary at all. Brass doesn't transfer heat nearly that well to worry about it. By the time you have softened the head, you would have fried the case mouth. You can anneal a case with a propane torch, holding the casehead in your fingers, for crying out loud. Just make sure to dunk in water right away, and there's zero chance for ruining the casehead. You will know you are getting it right because the case neck will turn blue, afterwards. So what if you mess up a couple cases while finding the rhythm? My 2 cents.

Nasty Ned
January 31, 2013, 06:32 AM
I read somewhere, about 40 years ago, that the simplest way to anneal your brass is to dip it in your lead pot with your fingers. You won't hurt the base of the case as your fingers won't let you hang on to it long enough to do so. When it gets warm on your fingers, drop in water. Too simple maybe, no fancy electronics needed if you have a lead pot. You can adjust the lead temp quite easily.

Be sure there is NOTHING in your cases prior to dunking.
Works for me.

Trent
January 31, 2013, 09:01 AM
Tray of water, case necks sticking up out of the water. Heat till it colors and shake the tray to knock them down and submerge.

Don't get much simpler than that.

You only want to anneal the neck.

Trent
January 31, 2013, 09:04 AM
Also, it goes without saying, don't anneal until you start to lose brass from splits. :)

Captcurt
January 31, 2013, 09:59 AM
OLD school has worked for me for years. Pan of water propane, torch and dark room. Why spend money and time on something that dosn't do any better of a job. I've done 1000's of cases over the years and never had any issues and some of my cases have been annealed 10 times or more. REMEMBER you can't let the heat transfer to base of the case.
I agree. This worked swell when I made 308 Norma out of 300 H&H. Only cost me a few cents in propane.

jmorris
January 31, 2013, 10:33 AM
The idea of sitting cases in water or dropping them into water comes from over heated cases. If you are going to heat them more than you have to at least you won't make them dangerous. However, it's a waist of time if you do it properly. They say a picture is worth 1000 words so videos must be even better.


In this video you can see the flame color change from blue to orange, that is the first sign that you are over doing it.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/th_annealer.jpg (http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/annealer.mp4)


This is what you are looking for. Flame stays the same blue color the entire time and the base of the case remains cool enough to remain unaffected.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/annealer/th_nottoohot.jpg (http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/annealer/nottoohot.mp4)

GLOOB
January 31, 2013, 04:44 PM
I wonder how far you'd have to go to damage the casehead, using a propane torch focused on the neck. I'd imagine you'd have to try pretty hard to do that, by getting the entire neck glowing cherry red. IOW, I am betting you would ruin the neck well before the casehead, water tray/quench or not. If you even managed to get the annealing coloration to go halfway down the case, I bet the neck is already ruined.

Tray of water, case necks sticking up out of the water. Heat till it colors and shake the tray to knock them down and submerge.

Don't get much simpler than that.

You only want to anneal the neck.

Also, I'm not an expert, but I am guessing it would be way more beneficial to spin the case and/or use multiple flame sources to evenly heat the neck, versus sitting it in a tray of water and blasting the neck with a single hand-held torch.

If you look at milspec brass, the annealing coloration always extends well past the shoulder. I don't believe it would be a practical improvement to limit the annealing to just the case neck.* The chamber supports the brass, except for the casehead. You just need a strong enough casehead to contain pressure, and a pliant enough case neck to supply neck tension and gas sealing without collapsing during sizing/seating.

*In fact, in addition to case neck tension/longevity, another reason for annealing cases is when the shoulders aren't bumping back, enough. So sometimes it is beneficial to anneal the shoulder of the case.

boommer
January 31, 2013, 07:43 PM
First off you don't just anneal the necks and you can over heat the bases. Do you think the shoulders and body of the case don't get brittle and work harden? This is why you protect the base, If your going to anneal them want to do at least half case body. I guess that machine looks cool but let it try doing what guy can do pan of water and a butane torch, It cant. How is it going to do shorter cases without effecting the base like 45 colt IT cant. Just keep it simple

Clayton

jmorris
January 31, 2013, 08:45 PM
You adjust torch height, flame intensity and dwell time in the flames. It can do anything you adjust it to do. The one thing it does do that humans cannot is that it does the exact same thing to each and every case. If you are looking for consistency, there simply is no other choice than one of the various machines.

This is the best read on the subject.

http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

Even the machines that the manufacturers use don't have the base in water.

http://www.setpointusa.com/ammunition-equipment/annealing-equipment.html



There is a video here showing a factory flame annealer in operation.

http://www.ssarmory.com/ammunitionmanufacturingequipment.aspx

GLOOB
January 31, 2013, 09:34 PM
How is it going to do shorter cases without effecting the base like 45 colt IT cant.

For curiousity's sake, I just tried annealing a 380 ACP in a Lee lock spindle, using a propane torch. I torched it for 20 seconds or so.

Edit: just found the case:
There's no discoloration, but the neck is definitely overdone. Soft enough to dent with a fingernail to about 1/3 down the case. Not so soft near the web, but definitely damaged. Crushing it with pliers just above the web resulted in a tear through the case wall!

Oddly, there was no bluish annealing marks anywhere. I certainly overdid it at 20 seconds, but I was waiting for the discoloration! Not a good idea to rely on that!

boommer
January 31, 2013, 10:08 PM
yeah if I selling a product I could come up with great sales pitch like that,but the fact remains is the cost and I wonder if I though 5 cases of mine that are done in crude way into a 100 rounds if they could see a difference accuracy and then lets say 20 rounds of my crude cases, maybe. Next problem how many burners are you going to need to anneal large cases and you have multi -calibers for each ring you need,other things set up time for each caliber. I guess if I was a super shooter and try to cut 1000's off my groups with dedicated guns maybe! but I need MY accuracy the best with in reason and case life.

jmorris
January 31, 2013, 10:33 PM
You are a new guy and this is THR so all I can suggest is to read the article in the first link in post #22 and do some research and testing yourself, then you won't have to "wonder".

Read #19 again and watch the videos and you should be able to find the solution to your over cooked case problem. Watch the flame not the brass. FWIW I know exactly zero people that anneal straight walled pistol cases.

boommer
February 1, 2013, 12:39 AM
I don't have any over cooked cases and I do KNOW how to read the flame and if you don't know anybody anneals pistol cases you have not been around the block in world of black powder or high pressure smokeless loads straight walled cases in lever rifles, pistols with harden cases.

gloob 380 that would be tuff to one anneal but 20 sec spinning with heat that shell I'd it call Kingsford. If heck bent on getting life out of my cases I'd lead dip case mouths, need a little meat to work with there.

jmorris
February 1, 2013, 01:55 AM
if you don't know anybody anneals pistol cases you have not been around the block in world of black powder or high pressure smokeless loads straight walled cases in lever rifles, pistols with harden cases.

You would be correct about my knowledge of brass cased black powder loads and harden cases. However, I have loaded for many pistol caliber carbine rifles for decades and have yet to anneal a case to be reloaded. If you are talking about using a case as a jacket for a projectile that is another matter entirely.

Like these 9mm to 40JHP bullets

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu87/BTSniper/P1020382.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu87/BTSniper/P1020397.jpg

kelbro
February 1, 2013, 08:07 AM
I like the idea of the machines. Quick and consistent. Sounds like the same idea of the Chargemaster 1500s. The job can also be performed manually, with excellent results but some people just prefer automation.

Ironic part is that I automate factories for a living but prefer to anneal my cases one at a time :) . And I anneal my match brass after each firing.

I do prefer the Chrgemaster to throwing, dumping, and trickling for high volume.

Wylie1
February 1, 2013, 01:03 PM
You know there are ceramic heaters that look a lot like the chamfing tool used in your video GLOOB. At first sight I thought you had already built one. The ceramic heaters are expensive little buggers though.

I built my second fail last night, just spins too fast. I had a printer that didn't work, I guess it was all the built up ink inside I found. :rolleyes: Three motors in there and one of them is a cool little stepper type motor, cool gears and stuff too.

I'm still stuck on the water thing, just call it a mission although one more fail and its an adapter and a socket in a cordless drill for me.
http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg255/Wylie_Rods/P1310359_zpsa5a72b54.jpg
Anybody interested in some chipmuck music boxes? LOL!!!!!!!!

Edit: I might be onto a winner this time, this one's turning slow.

Wylie1
February 2, 2013, 11:38 PM
What was just going to be a tool to turn a pan of water for annealing turned into an annealing kit. The torch, torch head, striker and transformer for the little motor all fit in the box the annealing tool is mounted on. :cool:
http://s250.photobucket.com/albums/gg255/Wylie_Rods/?action=view&current=P2020360_zps8e5ecae4.mp4

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