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DIY annealing machine

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DIY annealing machine

Postby ShootnMathews » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:33 am

I've got a bunch of brass that's needs annealed something fierce. 7.62x54R, .243 and 6.5-284 mostly. I can't afford to (mostly time wise, trips to post office not to mention shipping would add up fast shipping 100's of brass cases), nor do I want to be subjected to shipping brass all over to bother other people with annealing it for me. So I've decided to make my own annealer.

I have the design in my head and am gathering parts. I have 90% of the parts gathered at this point. The few parts left I will need to fabricate. So far I have about $58 in it. I'm sure when I'm done I'll have less than $100 in it. I'll post some pics as I start working on it.

I know some of you have made annealing machines before. How did they turn out? Did you get a consistent anneal? And what design did you go with? Vertical or horizontal?
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Re: DIY annealing machine

Postby holescreek » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:45 am

What ever happened to setting them up in a pan of water and using a torch then tipping them over to cool?
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Re: DIY annealing machine

Postby ShootnMathews » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:28 pm

holescreek wrote:What ever happened to setting them up in a pan of water and using a torch then tipping them over to cool?

For annealing brass to run through an AR or other plinking gun or just 200 yard hunting guns that is a just fine way of annealing brass. But for top accuracy and long range shooting it's nearly impossible to get a consistent enough anneal. Each piece of brass needs to reach a similar temperature in order to be annealed to a reasonably consistent hardness. If you anneal by hand you end up with a lot of brass that is spread over a wide range on the scale for brass hardness. Again I'll say, at close range, 200 yards or less, it won't make a huge difference. But where it does come into play is shooting at distance

Here is why. Harder brass has more "spring" to it. So when you size your brass the harder brass will spring back more so it's not sized to the same size as softer brass that takes form much easier when sized. Which will effect your neck tension on the bullet. The harder brass also can hold your bullet tighter than softer brass. Which effects the neck tension. Which is all important. If your tension is different in different cases then the bullet does not release from the cases neck at the same amount of case pressure. This has a huge effect on MAX pressure that your load will reach. The harder cases will also spring back more in the shoulder which changes the case volume. This also effects your MAX pressure.

So to sum up, brass that is not annealed consistently in time and temperature of the heat source will reach different temps and anneal to different points of hardness which will cause your MAX case pressures to wander all over the place which in turn gives you a very wide deviation in muzzle velocities which makes being able to accurately calculate the I,pact of your bullet at long range VERY hard.

Consistency is the key to accuracy. From every aspect of the loaded Round right up through how you hold the gun, shoulder pressure on the stock, even how you hold your trigger finger. Error is inevitable but keeping it to a minimum will greatly improve accuracy.

I mostly put forth the extra effort because I love long range hunting as much as target shooting and in order to take a 800 yard shot at a deer I need full confidence that when I pull the trigger I have the highest odds that the the bullet will find my mark and make a nice clean kill.
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Re: DIY annealing machine

Postby holescreek » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:11 pm

Here's a thread that was started a couple weeks ago on a hobby machinist site I belong to about making one, several good ideas and links to units others have made. I checked out the thread when it popped up and thought it seemed more like "just another gizmo" that us machinist types like to do to keep busy at home.

http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/ ... ost-361082
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Re: DIY annealing machine

Postby Shepard » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:55 am

Here is my DIY annealing machine. I added a voltage regulator to cut the voltage down even more to get the rpm correct for time and temp. I set it up using Tempilag temp indicator liquid.
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Re: DIY annealing machine

Postby ShootnMathews » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:39 pm

How does yours work Jerry? Get a good consistent anneal on them?
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Re: DIY annealing machine

Postby Shepard » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:33 pm

ShootnMathews wrote:How does yours work Jerry? Get a good consistent anneal on them?


It uses the variable train transformer for a power supply but needed more control so I added an adjustable volt regulator and with 2 torches does a great job. About 750F-800F for 8-10 seconds does a good annealing.
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Re: DIY annealing machine

Postby ShootnMathews » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:19 pm

Shepard wrote:
ShootnMathews wrote:How does yours work Jerry? Get a good consistent anneal on them?


It uses the variable train transformer for a power supply but needed more control so I added an adjustable volt regulator and with 2 torches does a great job. About 750F-800F for 8-10 seconds does a good annealing.

Great job Jerry. Mine is a different design but I hope to achieve similar results. I'll post progress as I get there
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Re: DIY annealing machine

Postby ShootnMathews » Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:41 am

image.jpeg


I ordered 2 of the 10 rpm motors. $37 shipping and all. Bought an $8 Wilton pan and a $13 propane pencil torch head. I tested the flame. It seems adequate. I buzz cut some 7/16" plywood I had laying around and screwed together a quick platform along with some 1.5"X 1.5" porch ballisters to sturdy the corners some. I Mounted a motor to the back using Two 6x6" squares of the plywood as spacers on the motor. That spaced the pan to sit 1/4" off of the plywood back. The cake pan I had already trimmed to a depth that I should be able to anneal my 7.62x54 ( my shortest) up to my 6.5-284 cases without the pan getting in the way for the short ones and without the 284 falling out. I build a feed ramp out of sheet metal and build a sheet metal "j" bead that I used as the spacer to keep the case out far enough to make a clean drop into the pan. It took a time or two trimming the opening of the pan to get the slot just big enough to drop the cases in without making a huge gap. Ended up with about a 1.5" opening. I then hooked up the motor to spin the pan and function fed ( by hand dropping onto the rear of the feed ramp) with 7.62x54R, 7-08, and 6.5-284. It fed fine with all of them. I expected the rimmed cartridges to roll down the ramp in an arc and roll off. But they didn't. They ended up about 1/2" inch out from being flush against the spacer bead, but none fell off and they all dropped into the pan fine and were flush to the back of the pan. They even spun nicely against the stop rod. The stop rod BTW was just a piece of 1/4" steel rod that I use for many contraptions. I bent it long enough on the pan side that I should be able to buy another pan and leave it to full length to run 7 Rem mag and 300 WM. On the other side of the rod I simply drilled a 7/32" hole into the 1.5 X 1.5 corner board that I screwed the plywood to, put some dish soap on the rod and twisted it into place. It fits very firm and stable but if I ever needed to I could twist it back out. So that is where I'm at in the picture
image.jpeg

image.jpeg

Now I just need to make some sort of adjustable devise to hold the torch where I can adjust the flame in and out for different length brass and I'll at least be able to single feed brass at that point to work on getting the flame distance from the brass to get the brass to about 750 degrees.

After that I'll make some kind of feed head for the second motor to feed single cases from the bulk hopper that I'll fashion from sheet metal.

The hopper will be easy, the torch holder shouldn't be too bad either. The feed head for the hopper will be the trickiest part to make. It needs to be light weigh as these aren't super workhorse motors. I'm thinking of buying a block of balsa wood and turning it in my lathe to about 2" diameter. Maybe 2-1/4". Then just running a forester bit down the side of it to make the channel. That should be light weight and I believe it will function.

I'll post more with progress. Comments or tips are welcome
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Re: DIY annealing machine

Postby ShootnMathews » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:22 pm

This evening i made a torch holder that is adjustable on two axis. I can move it closer to or away from the brass and I can move it in or out for different length brass. I ran some 7-08, a few 7.62-54, and one 6.5-284. I don't have any tempalac (or however it's spelled) to check the temp but I believe it is pretty close. About two seconds before the case drops you can see the color change of the brass and you can tell by the look of it before it falls that if it were to stay in the flame for another second or two more it would begin to glow. At the time the case drops there is no red, orange, or pink color to it, but you can tell that it is right near the verge when it drops from the flame.

Now I just need to make something to feed the shells from the hopper.
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