Page 2 of 2

Re: Advice on annealing--and YouTube posts to evaluate

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:16 pm
Yes Tommy I know that the melting was an extreme example, but true, right. I remember as you say, years ago when I heard that it was common for it to be like in the dark, heat to a noticeable 'glow' . And I say still too hot for me - not required....and that is all that counts, right? If it is just for me, the way that I do it, it can't be wrong, right. I just settled on 'heat quickly' in hand and drop when too hot in to water just as a way of timing...of course this water bit has no other use.

I will mention this, at my own peril, for years I kept hearing about this so-called water quenching of hot lead bullets making them harder. When I first heard this, I thought just what are they taking about? Has all of my engineering classes gone to waste - this shouldn't be. So I decide to just measure this to see if I was overlooking something. I measured the BHN of a sample of my wheel weight alloy...I got 15 BHN. I melted 'it' and dropped into water...I measured 15. I melted it some more and dropped into ice water...I measured 15, not once but maybe a dozen times, every way I could think of. I even dropped into concentrated salt water with ice...measured to the nearest BHN, and I again measured 15. This made sense to me as I had been taught to understand. Now just why some will say that they measure a higher BHN reading by doing this and do it, I can only guess why. Now I do understand why it can be possible to just measure the the 'very' thin superficial surface of the sample because of the 'very recent' heating of the alloy and the reaction with the air and have a surface of temporary hardness, but not measurable with a BHN test. Any increase in hardness measured with a BHN test should not be my opinion. Yes, at my peril, and it won't hurt me one bit if someone does not agree.

Re: Advice on annealing--and YouTube posts to evaluate

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:21 pm
Thanks for the info on the temp sticks. I still like quenching in water, if only to make the brass safe for the touch quickly. Now to find out if the local weld shop delivers or I have to go there in person, argh, growl, argh. Now for Graf's to restock 24GA Magtech brass shotgun hulls. Oh the agony of the wait.

I'm due to anneal some 45-90 to make some 43 Mauser brass and some 50-90 Sharps to make some 43 Beaumont. Considering I have to cut off .500 of stock off the 50-90 cases, I might rig something up to more accurately anneal those cases. The 45-90 cases don't look like the dies will move the brass too much, so I can afford to be less accurate. Those temp sticks should help a ton on the 50-90 Sharps, I'll have to make sure the heat is in the right place and not down the shoulder much at all. I just crumpled a few cases of 24GA for making Martini-Henry cases, but instead of persisting on, I just made easier Snider cases that don't require as much forming. I think I likely annealed those cases a bit too much. I have heard that firing the brass can make it brittle, so maybe after a few shots the brass will firm up a bit?

Best Regards,


I still have a problem using a blow torch with a brand name that spells "burns" with a "z" as in Burnz-O-Matic.

BTW, A-2 or "A" type tool steel quenches in Air for hardening. "O" type quenches in Oil. The air stuff doesn't seem to distort as much. I've seen an old tool maker heat treat steel with a blow torch once, but I have no idea what type of steel he had. He was going by the color of the steel before it was quenched. I forget what he quenched it in, air or water.

Re: Advice on annealing--and YouTube posts to evaluate

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 12:41 am
IMHO, here is some information in this link that in my opinion is written by someone that has little grasp of the English language. But there are people out there that will just automatically believe it just because they see it in a website article.
For example, it is so written here that 0 -1 steel ‘must’ be heat-treated in oil. As far as I am concerned this is just so much BS. But as I say some will swear by it just because they have read it somewhere. I say 0 -1 steel may be hardened in elephant pee or one’s pet cat pee, of a good cat or bad cat, hot or cold, or your own – whatever suits one’s fancy. The salt in urine will help to reduce stressed spots in the quenched metal as will salt water.

Information like this above link or other links can lead someone so far astray that they may never recover from this type of bum-dope. I say most any (normal steel) 'can be' hardened safety in saturated salt water and vary the temperature from cold with ice to boiling as one may choose. Now of course experience has determined that for expedience and proper properties, different steels will act differently with different quenching liquids as water or oil will vary the quenching rate. I would say that properties followed by internal stresses are the main concerns in metal heat treating methods. There can be 5 or more different steps of a heat treating regimen and take days at different temperatures. One can quench in cold water, room temperature water, hot water, or boiling water, with salt or without...and the same thing with oil and get different results. I ordered the Diamond Indenter from eBay and they say it has been shipped. I hope to learn something with it.

Now these are just some of my ways of seeing things...and you know what can be said about opinions.

I say a good way of learning these types of things is jump in there and do it. That is the way that I have done it my whole life. And expect more failures than successes. One learns more from their failures than their successes. Now this may be an time a coworker was going to show me how to sky dive. His plan was to give me some basic instructions on a coming week end day, take me up in a plane and let me go out and pull the rip cord and come down. Now I was pretty sure that I would come down and that would be it. But on a Thursday evening he had made a jump and broke his ankle. He came to work Friday morning and got out of his car and said that he jumped across a ditch from the parking lot and broke his ankle. The scam didn’t work...he was fired by that evening and off he went and I never saw him again. And that was the end of any sky diving plans that I had.

Re: Advice on annealing--and YouTube posts to evaluate

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:22 pm
Since I used to be an inspector in a heat treating factory, I've personally quenched 0-1 tool steel in oil and seen it give off a green flame. I just checked a technical site on steel and indeed, O-1 is referred to as oil hardened steel. Also, A2 tool steel is air hardened since I have laid numerous pieces of pipping hot A-2 steel on a grill on top of a fan which cooled it in a few minutes. You need to apologize for your derogatory language directed to me since you have no experience with tool steel in a professional setting, but I do.

Actually, if you read the technical data on how to do something, you can avoid a great many mistakes.

I also just annealed 20 pieces of 45-90 and formed them into 43 Mauser brass just today. Method; spun the case in an aluminum shell holder I custom lathed, applied the heat from a BernzOmatic propane torch until it began to glow red in a darker room, and then dumped it into water. After drying the cases in my oven at 200 degrees to get the water to dry, I applied some imperial sizing wax and ran them through my full length sizing die. Before I did this, I did take .010 off the rim and gave it a .030 chamfer on a lathe. Amazingly, they are the exact same length as 18 pieces of Jamison custom made brass for the same round. I had to anneal those and reform them to get them to fit my chamber as Jamison failed to anneal quite a few batches from what I read on other forums, besides, the brass had no anneal discoloration marks.

As for mistakes, yeah, I likely annealed some 24GA shotgun hull brass cases a bit too far down the case and crushed a few too many trying to make .577-450 Martini-Henry brass. I simply stopped and made .577 Snider cases instead since the neck isn't moved have as far as the .577-450 brass is. I did successfully make a few before I stopped though. I likely need to polish my 577-450 FL die before trying again as well and I likely used too much sizing wax. The anneal doesn't look to have gone over board though. I was lucky enough to be trained to anneal brass from a guy who works as a tech at the Unversity of Dayton's Research Institute and they do weapon's research and testing for a living. Even he crushes about 20% of the 24GA shotgun brass he uses.

Again, you owe me an apology. Your remarks are uncalled for.



Re: Advice on annealing--and YouTube posts to evaluate

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 10:00 am
by Tommy Atkins
Lets remember opinions may differ & keep it civil, gentlemen, please.

Re: Advice on annealing--and YouTube posts to evaluate

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:11 am
by professrh
Thanks, everybody, for your input.