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My home made powered Annealing machine results.


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Hi Folks,

After buying the items required months ago, I finally got around to building my home made electronic (basic) Annealer.

It's mostly based on instructions given by a YouTube user known by the name of "Elfster's", with some changes.

I've annealed around 20 pieces of old brass to get the speed of the drum right, the distance of the inner blue flame from the shoulder and neck joint of the brass, and just to the point where my Temilaq started changing colour.

Hopefully there should be a picture attached showing 8 pieces of brass, which I believe are "properly" annealed.

Any constructive comments would be appreciated.....

Cheers.

Chaz.

Just to add, the brass is un-prepped Sako 6.5 Creedmoor. And the slightly uneven bottom annealed line on the brass is due to my drum cut not quite being perfectly even. Although I have plans to address this....

1511437484_AnnealedBrass(2).jpg.fa84331181dc511d75414ba9a9bb22ea.jpg

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15 minutes ago, One on top of two said:

I can’t see pics ? 

Apologies, now added.

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Just my opinion, but they look a little over cooked to me. How did you arrive at that result? Just guess, Tempilaq liquid or stick, soap, case colour, flame colour? How about a picture of your machine? Propane or MAP?

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Bear with me Allan.

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Having spent some time recently getting a DIY induction annealer (Gina-Erik) working, I'm now in the same situation as the OP - how much annealing is right. Unfortunately I've found a wealth of often contradictory information available on you-tube and various internet forums on the subject. I have gleaned the following information from my searches.

1. To anneal brass cases within a few seconds, they must reach a temperature of somewhere between 750 and 950 F.

2. I can use 750 Tempilaq to show where a case hasn't been annealed, but not where it has. In reality though, if I'm heating the neck up, it will be glowing white-hot hot before the case-head gets affected.

3. Brass will start to glow red-hot (in darkness) at about 930F, but this is quite subjective and hard to see particularly if you are using a blow-torch.

4. Equally the colour of the cases after annealing is not really a good measure of how well they have been annealed.  AMP have shown that there is no chemical change in the composition of the brass at these annealing temperatures. 

5. What actually matters is the results on my target and chronograph. I will be annealling batches of cases to different amounts using my set-up and shooting them over the chrono. My target is to reduce my ES.

I can't measure the exact temperature the cases get to nor how hard the cases are. But I can control exactly  how long they are annealed for in my system and I will use that measure to say whether the cases are annealed.

Triffid

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👆And that’s absolutely correct.

Run some batches of cases through the annealer for different times and go shoot them over a chronny.

Like a Sine wave on its way down, You should see ES start to drop but then rise again. The batch of cases where the ES dropped before rising again is the optimum temperature/time combo for your annealing. Then just anneal all cases per that temperature/time 👍

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Totally agree with what you say Triffid, as regards doing small batches at slightly longer/shorter times in the flame to try lowering my ES. 

I used 750 degree Tempilaq and the ones seen in the photo, were dropped out the drum before the Tempilaq started to change colour. I will either speed up or slow down the drum until I'm happy the brass is right without totally burning of the 750 Tipilaq.  I used propane gas, with the inner blue flame around a 1/4 to a 1/3 of an inch from the brass. Pointing the tip of the inner blue flame at the junction of the neck and shoulder.

I've watched dozens of videos about annealing and the people doing the videos all claiming to be the only ones doing it right. When clearly there are many ways to do it, and many ways to do it right and wrong.... 

If they're knackered I have plenty more.

I will do my best to attach some pictures of my home made Annealer, designed by "Alfster".

Cheers

Chaz.

20210929_110954 (1).jpg

20210929_111143.jpg

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you might find a regulator useful - the gas pressure drops as the bottle cools from evaporation and that reduces gas pressure.  Before I discovered a better method of annealing without gas (IMHO), I found a large propane bottle with gas regulator worked much better than small bottles - far more predictable.

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Guys, the only way to know if the brass has been annealed correctly is to hardness test it.

This is how I do that  - from about 24 minutes on

 

Cheers

 

Bruce

 

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Hardness testing will simply tell you if it’s annealed or not. But testing over a chronny will show you how successful or not the annealing has been.

You still need to understand which ‘hardness’ value (time/temp) achieves the best for your reloading (lowering ES) and most consistent groups on target. Otherwise it’s still just plucking a number out of the air and hoping it’s the best (on target)…which it might not actually be.

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1 hour ago, chaz said:

 

I will do my best to attach some pictures of my home made Annealer, designed by "Alfster".

 

20210929_110954 (1).jpg

 

Ahh yes, the "cake pan" machine is a well tried and tested home annealer now. 


As far as I know the originator of this idea, 7 years ago, although seldom given credit,  was "MrLongrange"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msgcZyYeTqM


This idea was quickly taken up by a chap from Australia "Skippy"  who greatly improved the machine, adding a second motor and feed hopper. After several stages of improvement, Skippy's machine came to be known as Black Betty. Skippy published the plans and a material list, consequently many Black Betty's were produced in home workshops round the world.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-C-i0Kr2jU

Although Black Bettie worked very well, there was a small problem, the two separate motors, with two speed controllers failed to stay in sync and would occasionally feed two cases.
This problem was overcome by a chap in  the USA "Mozella" who added a proximity detector to the circuit.

 Help With Your Experience with Annealing Machine | Shooters' Forum (accurateshooter.com)

Although there have been a few frills added over the last 7 years, as far as I know, there have not been any significant improvements  - The machine, in it's final form, seems to work really well.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, phoenix said:

Guys, the only way to know if the brass has been annealed correctly is to hardness test it.

This is how I do that  - from about 24 minutes on

 

Cheers

 

Bruce

 

Hardness testing on soft metals like brass is really difficult and requires careful prep and precision equipment.  I feel the tool used in the video is crude and there was no evidence of any process to prep brass for testing.

As others say: the whole point of 'annealing' is to improve groups and give a longer life to the brass (or the other way around if you prefer).  I agree with earlier posts that real-world testing is what's required.  I use molten salt which works very well (irrespective of the AMP negative press release).  I get very good results on both fronts.  The stress relieving of the brass neck should allow repeatable neck tension and therefore bullet release,  if other parts of the loading process are variable, especially internal neck surface quality, no amount of annealing will make a predicable and useful difference IMO.

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You may have noted in the video that I gave 12 cases to a local materials testing laboratory to test using their Struers Vickers Hardness testing machine

Prior to the test being performed there was some discussion between myself, the lab technician who would be performing the tests and the lab manager, regarding surface preparation so, the surface where the tests were to be performed was viewed at various magnifications.

A Vickers micro hardness test using a 0.5 Kg load (same as used by AMP and the labs they have used for external testing) was performed and the indentation viewed to determine if the diagonals could be accurately measured.

It was agreed by the lab technician and his boss that the indentation was clearly visible and had sharp enough edges to give accurate hardness readings

The actual size of the indentation diagonals were in the region of 70-100 microns and the expected depth of the indentations were 10-14 microns.

The point is that the hardness measurement made by my "crude" tool on new cases is in very good agreement with the measurement made on new cases by the laboratory and made at the same location and in the same surface condition.

As I also showed in the video, the Webster hardness tester is specifically designed for use on soft materials  and is supplied with 2 pieces of thin aluminium strip of differing hardness which are use to check the accuracy of the instrument.

I have over 40 years experience in oilfield engineering and have performed thousands of hardness tests using many different hardness testers and many different hardness scales and am well aware of the requirements for surface preparation for different hardness test equipment and methods and also the errors inherent in trying to convert hardness values from one scale to another

If I felt that the Webster hardness tester did not allow me to clearly detect the difference between new (or newly annealed) brass and fired/resized brass, I would not have built the annealer.

It might be interesting if you sent me some of your "annealed" brass and some fired, but not yet "annealed" brass so I can tell you how hard they are

 

Cheers

 

Bruce

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8 hours ago, phoenix said:

You may have noted in the video that I gave 12 cases to a local materials testing laboratory to test using their Struers Vickers Hardness testing machine

Prior to the test being performed there was some discussion between myself, the lab technician who would be performing the tests and the lab manager, regarding surface preparation so, the surface where the tests were to be performed was viewed at various magnifications.

A Vickers micro hardness test using a 0.5 Kg load (same as used by AMP and the labs they have used for external testing) was performed and the indentation viewed to determine if the diagonals could be accurately measured.

It was agreed by the lab technician and his boss that the indentation was clearly visible and had sharp enough edges to give accurate hardness readings

The actual size of the indentation diagonals were in the region of 70-100 microns and the expected depth of the indentations were 10-14 microns.

The point is that the hardness measurement made by my "crude" tool on new cases is in very good agreement with the measurement made on new cases by the laboratory and made at the same location and in the same surface condition.

As I also showed in the video, the Webster hardness tester is specifically designed for use on soft materials  and is supplied with 2 pieces of thin aluminium strip of differing hardness which are use to check the accuracy of the instrument.

I have over 40 years experience in oilfield engineering and have performed thousands of hardness tests using many different hardness testers and many different hardness scales and am well aware of the requirements for surface preparation for different hardness test equipment and methods and also the errors inherent in trying to convert hardness values from one scale to another

If I felt that the Webster hardness tester did not allow me to clearly detect the difference between new (or newly annealed) brass and fired/resized brass, I would not have built the annealer.

It might be interesting if you sent me some of your "annealed" brass and some fired, but not yet "annealed" brass so I can tell you how hard they are

 

Cheers

 

Bruce

fair point, well made

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Thanks for all the replies folks, very informative.

Phoenix, after I've done some more annealing, and tried them over my chronograph I would like to take you up on the offer of sending you some annealed and annealed and fired brass if that's ok?

Again, many thanks for the replies, it's much appreciated.

Chaz. 

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Chaz,

No problem I'll be delighted to do that.

Just let me know when you're ready to send them and I'll give you the address

 

Cheers

 

Bruce

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Cheers Bruce. 👍

A quick question folks, I presume annealing comes prior to any other case prep? Or do I remove the primer and size first?

Cheers

Chaz.

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3 hours ago, Catch-22 said:

Deprime, clean, anneal, f/l size, trim, chamfer & deburr, prime, load, shoot

Cheers. 👍

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I use the 750 degree tempilac and when it melts the case hits a bucket of water,  as for case prep , de prime anneal fl size, trim , deburr, chamfer. Not having checked velocity in annealed vs not anneal or for that matter group sizes if the process helps out great. My sole reason to anneal is brass life and wildcat case forming.🍖

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/3/2021 at 4:51 PM, KABOOM said:

I use the 750 degree tempilac and when it melts the case hits a bucket of water,  as for case prep , de prime anneal fl size, trim , deburr, chamfer. Not having checked velocity in annealed vs not anneal or for that matter group sizes if the process helps out great. My sole reason to anneal is brass life and wildcat case forming.🍖

Cheers Kaboom. 👍

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