Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Question regarding annealing copper

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,263
    Blog Entries
    1

    Question regarding annealing copper

    I recently became interested in raising copper. I understand the need to soften the copper often due to work hardening.
    My question is, no matter how hot I seem to get the copper prior to dropping it in water, it always comes out dark in color aside from small areas.
    I watched a guy heat a piece of copper he had sunk and it came out of the water bright and clean.
    Do copper workers put something in the water to achieve this?
    The guy I watched did not comment as to what he used.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    cleveland,tn.
    Posts
    319
    I thought that to harden you quenched, annealing heat them let it slowly cool, when I anneal brass cartridge cases I heat and let rest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,263
    Blog Entries
    1
    Must be due to what's in the brass, I guess.
    Copper remains soft after a dunk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    2,112
    I'm with David, I have never quenched copper when annealing. It's always just air cooled. Quenching is just quicker I guess. Cheers
    Every construction obeys the laws of physics. Whether we like or understand the result is of no interest to the universe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Berkshire County in Western Ma
    Posts
    165
    Not sure about the color thing, but yes you do quench the copper after heating, to anneal,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,263
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by david privett View Post
    I thought that to harden you quenched, annealing heat them let it slowly cool, when I anneal brass cartridge cases I heat and let rest.
    Do you just anneal the neck where the bullet goes?
    Brass has metals that require slow cooling or they get hard.
    Pure copper, as I understand, can be done either way.

    I just couldn't understand how the one copper smith got it completely clean and shiny by heating and dropping in water. Mine never come out that way.
    I thought he may add something to the water to clean the copper as it cools it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    cleveland,tn.
    Posts
    319
    yes I put the case bottoms in a pan with just a little bit of water in it (just to cover the rim , extractor grove) and use a propane torch on the shoulders till they change color and let air cool. I do this when I reform brass like when I make .223 into 7 tcu.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,263
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by david privett View Post
    yes I put the case bottoms in a pan with just a little bit of water in it (just to cover the rim , extractor grove) and use a propane torch on the shoulders till they change color and let air cool. I do this when I reform brass like when I make .223 into 7 tcu.
    I reload 22-250, but I've never annealed them. I would just lube them real good and resize the neck while just lightly touching the shoulder. Then trim the end.
    Never had a case crack, but the most any of mine have been reloaded is maybe somewhere between 8 and 10 times. And my rifle prefers light loads, which makes life easier for the brass.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    cleveland,tn.
    Posts
    319
    standard reloading I do not think it is necessary ,unless the chamber is oversized then maybe one or two extra reloading times you might get out of a case if full length resizing is required (have a .303 this way), but reforming a case it is a must for me.

  10. I work copper as well, I was taught to use 'pickle' as the cleaner/quench. Brand name is Sparex, or you can make your own by using Ph Down pool chemical. Works better if it's heated, but room temp works, just takes a bit longer. Annealed copper comes out bright pink.
    Mike

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,263
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thank you all for your responces.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,347
    Copper is annealed by heating to dull red heat. Then it is allowed to cool. The rate of cooling makes no difference so quench or air cool is the same result. Iron the cooling rate makes a huge difference.
    PS: AFAIK gold is the only metal that does not work harden.
    Bill D

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,263
    Blog Entries
    1
    Cannot find sparex locally. Are most other products to lower ph the same, such as PH Down?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •