Annealing, help me deside

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by DartonJager, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. DartonJager

    DartonJager Well-Known Member

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    I have recently been gifted a Lee melting pot and 50lbs of lead so I would like to know if between lead or salt is one a better way to anneal VS the other. I already have a Fluke meter and temp probe so except for a shell holder and salt I can get started annealing brass.

    So between molten lead or salt which is better or are they pretty much a wash and I can go with either one. I am aware of the safety concerns of both for use in annealing brass, I'm just trying to find out if one is superior to the other for annealing brass.

    Thanks,
    DTJager/Art.
     
  2. g0rd0

    g0rd0 Well-Known Member

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    talk about a choice between 2 devils. Both will do the job and both can send you to the er .
    All I use is a torch, and the lee shell holder for the hand trim in a cordless drill takes about 4 seconds no burns no worries.
    But, if you are going to go that route use the lead and make sure you deprime first
     

  3. DartonJager

    DartonJager Well-Known Member

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    Because I don't find ER rooms all that enjoyable (lack of stimulating conversation and so few nurse is seams know how to start and IV first try don't you know) I will give the torch method a try first. I have several hundred pieces of assorted caliber brass I don't need or will ever likely use to learn on and will do so accordingly.
     
  4. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    DJ, many useful YouTube videos on the torch method.
     
  5. DartonJager

    DartonJager Well-Known Member

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    Thanks will be my first stop.
     
  6. kyron

    kyron Well-Known Member

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    If you decide to go with the bath I would use the salt to avoid the need to wear a mask of some sort or work out side. Molten lead in a closed room with no mask is not my idea of long term fun:D
     
  7. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    No way I would use a salt bath for annealing brass . It could have corrosive effects on the brass and the salt bath presence in your workshop could have corrosive effects on other stuff like tools and guns etc.
    Use the normal heat flame method or dip the clean dry cases with no primer into molten lead . Lead fumes can be drawn away by a fan placed at a window . If that's not possible then go back to propane or map gas flame method .
     
  8. toecutter

    toecutter Well-Known Member

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    Im all about the hand drill and the lee shellholder. No excitement or element of danger, but i kinda like it that way.
    Good results and easy to do. Best of luck
     
  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I am like the others about using lead or salt (To many problems)

    I have been annealing for close to 50 years and have tried many different methods.

    Any method that does the job is good and the only difference is in the trouble and the consistence.

    I like the ease of the drill, shell holder and a propane torch. but for many years I use the pan of water and a Oxy-acetylene torch and it worked better for large batches of brass.

    In my older and more anal years I decided to build an annealing machine that would be more consistent case to case and so far it has been very fast and consistent. there are many different types of annealer's that you can find on the Internet to go buy or just to buy.

    I chose this design/type because I had most of the parts needed and it could be very repeatable.
    I will try to do a little video of my home made annealer using my phone and post it if I can.

    $75 DIY Automatic Case Annealer Project Complete! Plans and parts list included!!

    J E CUSTOM
     
  10. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    Being as salt melts at 1460 degrees, I'd say don't use it. Lead is much lower in temperature (melting point) , but also vary a few degrees depending on the alloy make up. Your after four hundred thirty degrees, give or take twenty degrees.
    Gary
     
  11. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    ?????????
    Gary
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I doubt many, if anybody here except for Skip has ever been around liquid salt. Can be very dangerous, and totally unforgiving!! Yet it has the same reactions that lead does to certain foriegn particle. It will explode just like lead with water. Yet liquid salt is well known as the perfect heating medium for steel.

    Problem with a torch is control and over heating the brass. Use a welders temp stick for four hundred fifty degrees. By the time you shock the brass it will be five hundred degrees, and almost too hot. You must shock the brass in ice water to stop the annealing process.

    I use a plate with pins pressed into it. The pins are made to fit the neck I.D., with .004" clearance. Use a temp stick to get your timing right. With fifteen or twenty pins it goes very fast. I use nothing but an electric kitchen range. Just keep a pan of ice water close by.
    Gary
     
  13. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Problem with a torch is control and over heating the brass. Use a welders temp stick for four hundred fifty degrees. By the time you shock the brass it will be five hundred degrees, and almost too hot. You must shock the brass in ice water to stop the annealing process.



    This was the only problem I had with any torch method and the reason I chose the variable speed
    system.

    I use tempilaq on the inside of the test cases so that I get a temperature reading and work up in time until it reaches the desired temp, and time the wheel to drop the case the exact time, every time. these test cases are then brushed inside before loading to remove any remaining tempilaq.
    In some instances I use cases that did not meet the weight sort and kept them for test cases.

    I use water also to quench cases uniformly, But some people don't quench and are happy with there results.

    I also had issues with the small propane bottles and went to a 20 LB tank with a regulator to maintain constant gas pressure.

    just Like in reloading, I check random cases every so often to verify that the annealing temperature is still correct,

    Inductance is about the only way to anneal cases that is mostly trouble free but they require many different case tools and are very expensive, so this process is cost prohibitive for most.

    In my opinion, Consistency and the correct temperature are the key to good annealing no mater what method you use.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  14. DartonJager

    DartonJager Well-Known Member

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    Considering I already have a large stock pile of plummets lead will try that first.

    I've read repeatedly that dipping the length of case to be annealer in motor oil emeaditly prior to immersing it in molten lead is how you prevent any lead from sticking to the brass.

    Is this correct?