Shooters Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

·
The Shadow
Joined
·
7,657 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,920 Posts
That machine is fine if getting a near-perfect annealing every time is what you want. Really, who doesn't? But not all of us can build such a machine, have one built for us or buy a similar machine from some source. My system was to weld a piece of steel rod to the bottom of a 14mm deep socket (for .532" cases), true it, turn the rod down to fit any quarter-inch drill and that was that. I anneal under low light so I can see the first hint of color change. Soon as I see the slightest hint of orange, the case gets the old "el flippo" into the semi-full sink next to where I'm annealing. It works...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
As a silver smith I've been annealing silver for years so I figured I'd see what the case annealing process looked like. The simple kits looked ok so I dug out an old alumina soldering block and drilled 3 rows of holes across one end most of the way through the 1 3/4" thick block. I heat things up in the dark and it seems to be doing the job just fine. I use a map gas plumbers torch for heat The base of the case doesn't get hot enough to change it much I hope. I've never had a loose primer problem so I don't know how to fix that if it turns out to be an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Not that I shoot really high powered rounds or anything. But a month ago, I started annealing by using a candle. Great method to pass the time when your daughter uses her cuteness to con you into watching that Disney movie with her for the 4th time. Or when you are re-watching the series band of brothers with your 14 year old. Hard for me to sit idle and not have my hands doing something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,959 Posts
Looks like a good idea. The variable speed could offer better control for the amount of heating. I like that case is spinning to evenly heat the neck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
The candle method sounds fun ! although a alcohol lamp would be cleaner. A couple of buck at the hobby shop.

The shell holder for the Lee case trimmer chucked in a driver drill would work in a pinch .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
A candle flame isn't very hot. I'd be afraid of the annealing going too far down the case by the time the mouth gets annealed. If you haven't, I would suggest some Tempilac or similar to see what's actually going on with your cases over a candle. If you have and it worked well please post your technique to doing it.

I've repeatedly read that setting up annealing by color alone can not achieve proper results, this from highly experienced people who actually test what's going on. Those who've never done any temperature checking and hardness testing will tell you that color is all you need. If a case is under heated no harm done other than waste time & propane. If it's over heated it could be a big problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
A candle flame isn't very hot. I'd be afraid of the annealing going too far down the case by the time the mouth gets annealed. If you haven't, I would suggest some Tempilac or similar to see what's actually going on with your cases over a candle. If you have and it worked well please post your technique to doing it.

I've repeatedly read that setting up annealing by color alone can not achieve proper results, this from highly experienced people who actually test what's going on. Those who've never done any temperature checking and hardness testing will tell you that color is all you need. If a case is under heated no harm done other than waste time & propane. If it's over heated it could be a big problem.
Not sure if posting a link to another forum is allowed...you will find more info if you google candle annealing

The candle annealing process was developed and verified by a metallurgist named Fred Barker, apparently he also wrote for and published an article about it in Precision Shooting.

but here is the Jist:

  • Hold case half way up the body with the tips of your fingers
  • Put the neck to the tip of the candle flame. Be sure to turn it constantly
  • When it gets too hot to hold move on to the next one

You can also use a damp rag on the neck when it's too hot to hold. This will stop the annealing process as well as get rid of soot. But if you choose not to use the damp rag, just stopping the heat on the neck stops the annealing process. Using the candle, the neck gets hot enough for annealing without having the heat reach the head of the case.

This is all based on the creator of this method's analysis of the heat needed to properly anneal without over softening the brass. He states that the red-hot neck with a torch method does anneal but over softens the brass.

I use this method, but like I said, I do not shoot any high powered over bored cartridges. Just 30wcf, 30-06 and 223. Keeps my hands busy during idle moments. I have read that others have had good success with this method as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I suspect that they're not getting hot enough to anneal, unless your fingers are made of Nomex. I don't recall the exact numbers but from what I've read a candle puts out somewhere around 800 and brass doesn't change 'till it hits around 700. Brass conducts heat pretty well so my guess is that the neck wouldn't hit annealing temp before your fingers would be burning.

I'm not bashing the method nor what you do with your idle time, just saying that it might not be doing anything for the brass. If you've used some kind of test method to confirm that the brass is annealing I'd love to know. If this simple process really works reliably I'll be lighting candles at TV time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,278 Posts
I suspect that they're not getting hot enough to anneal, unless your fingers are made of Nomex. I don't recall the exact numbers but from what I've read a candle puts out somewhere around 800 and brass doesn't change 'till it hits around 700. Brass conducts heat pretty well so my guess is that the neck wouldn't hit annealing temp before your fingers would be burning.

I'm not bashing the method nor what you do with your idle time, just saying that it might not be doing anything for the brass. If you've used some kind of test method to confirm that the brass is annealing I'd love to know. If this simple process really works reliably I'll be lighting candles at TV time.
So, the thing is, someone else was wondering about this, bought the necessary Tempilaq stick and found out for themselves.

Turns out the candle method works just fine. I suspect millions of cases have been annealed this way, over the years. I know I've done over a thousand, but I just learned about it a few years ago.

Also, testing suggests that annealing probably helps case life a little, but neck-sizing and moderate loads are the REAL key to cases lasting for many firings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dimner

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
+1 on what broom_jm said.

If you can get the original article that was written up by the metallurgist, I'm sure it will have more details on the science.

I did a bit of searching and found a discussion about this on our forum right here. This is a direct quote from a post unclenick made in this thread:

https://www.shootersforum.com/handloading-procedures-practices/73264-unclenick.html#post571560


I've actually adjusted my thinking some on this as a result of recently re-reading Fred Barker's article on brass metallurgy and annealing (Precision Shooting, July 2006, p.p. 90-92). He points out something I hadn't known, which is that overdoing heat weakens brass so much that it actually encourages necks to split in just three or four subsequent reloadings. That is why people getting cases red in a torch flame often report having to redo it about that often to prevent splits. If you really get the temperature right you might go twenty reloads or more before splitting is a threat in medium power cartridges.

Barker refers to Fred Sinclair's doubts (Precision Shooting Reloading Handbook, 7th ed., p .10), that handloaders have adequate equipment to control annealing properly. Barker cites the same doubts expressed in the 47th Lyman Reloading Handbook (p. 51). However, he points out that a study of the metallurgy leads you to understand there are a couple of methods that will do the job without resorting to Tempilaq for a propane torch: stress-relieving in a candle flame or mild annealing in molten lead. He describes the methods in one long summary sentence (caps his, not mine):

" (1) LEAD POT METHOD: HEAT LEAD TO 725°F-750°F; DIP NECK INTO POWDERED GRAPHITE AND THEN—HOLDING BODY OF CASE IN FINGERTIPS—INTO MOLTEN LEAD: WHEN CASE BODY BECOMES TOO HOT TO HOLD SLAP CASE INTO WET TOWEL; OR

(2) CANDLE-FLAME METHOD: HOLD CASE BODY IN FINGERTIPS, PLACE CASE NECK IN FLAME AND TWIRL CASE BACK & FORTH UNTIL CASE BODY IS TOO HOT TO HOLD, THEN SLAP CASE INTO WET TOWEL; WIPE SOOT OFF NECK & SHOULDER WITH DRY PAPER TOWEL OR 0000 STEEL WOOL."

The graphite dip in the first instance is prevent the lead from soldering to the brass. Using pure lead with no tin in it will help prevent that. But to your original question, yes, the candle will do the job. The flame doesn't have high enough BTU output to easily take the brass above a safe stress-relieving temperature before thermal conductivity draws excess heat away from it.

Here is another thread that talks through this method and lots of other annealing stuffs.

https://www.shootersforum.com/handl...tices/69052-annealing-brass-2.html#post573809


Oh and I should mention. Near brutal mishap had me discover TV time is the best place to anneal. I had read about this method and wanted to give it a try. Got one of my 10 hour candles went down to the reloading room. Searched for a lighter everywhere. None to be found until I realized none were to be found by design. Was I just about to light a candle in my reloading room? :eek::eek: Moments like these are why matches and lighters are not kept in the reloading room.

So off to the family room I went to anneal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
A candle flame isn't very hot. I'd be afraid of the annealing going too far down the case by the time the mouth gets annealed. If you haven't, I would suggest some Tempilac or similar to see what's actually going on with your cases over a candle. If you have and it worked well please post your technique to doing it.

*****************************

Some time ago, a fellow named John Barsness did an article in Handloader magazine, and he uses candles. A metallurgist friend of his developed the method, using tempilaq, so he knows the temperature is enough.
It goes like this: Get a candle like is sold for emergencies in almost any supermarket. Light it, hold the brass about halfway along the body, twirl it in the candle flame till it gets uncomfortable to hold, then drop it onto a wet towel, which helps with clean-up. Easy-peasy. He says it works fine. It seems to .:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
To hot for comfort

The candle method would be ok if you only had a few to anneal but doing 100"s would take a toll on your fingers I presume.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
The candle method would be ok if you only had a few to anneal but doing 100"s would take a toll on your fingers I presume.
I have done 200 303 savage necks in one sitting while watching a few TV shows. Not so bad on the fingers at all. Keep in mind these are really long necked cartridges. When I did 223 Rem is was 3 times as fast.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top