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Thread: Why do some consider torch annealing superior to salt?

  1. #1
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    Why do some consider torch annealing superior to salt?

    Salt bath temperatures are much easier to monitor and adjust. I set my pot at 430c (800f) and dip the necks for an 8 count. It is much harder to accurately anneal with map gas at 3000+ deg F. Easy to ruin necks in a milli second of extra heat.
    Why havenít more moved to salt bath annealing?

  2. #2
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    By what I've read on different sites I believe there are quite a few loaders that have taken up the salt bath method.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by murray brook View Post
    By what I've read on different sites I believe there are quite a few loaders that have taken up the salt bath method.
    With a good temperature sensor (like a thermocouple), a PID controller (they are very inexpensive now), and a high power switch (often a single transistor) you can set the temperature you want and it will be maintained.

    You can get all the parts for less than $50 if you look around.

    It also provides better control over a typical lead pot temperature.
    They will heat up as fast as they can and then maintain a set temperature with no real attention being paid.

    A PID controller is more sophisticated than a typicality bang-bang (on/off) style thermostat.

    Even when the switch only allows on/off control of the heater the PID will turn it on and off multiple times per minute to obtain smoother control (variable duty cycle).

  4. #4
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    plans ? i use a lee meltingpot but if there are better systems i like to get the info how to build one /what areyou using for salt mixture ?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by johan teughels View Post
    plans ? i use a lee meltingpot but if there are better systems i like to get the info how to build one /what areyou using for salt mixture ?
    IIRC Lee pots have a simple mechanical thermostat.

    The heating element is either full on or full off.

    This makes the temperature wobble around a set point.
    The variation can be larger though.

    There are a number if salts that can be used to create a mixture that has a desired melting temp.
    Potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate are common.

    2 parts potassium to 1 part sodium IIRC.

    I still put some Tempilaq on the head as a warning/backup.
    Not real high stuff either.
    Around 450 F. Low enough that no annealing should occur if you do just hit it.

    If that spot melts the case is scrap.

    Amazon has some nice 'kits' of a PID controller, a TRIAC to boost output power for the load the pot puts on the system, a heat sink for the TRIAC, a thermocouple in a probe to measure the temperature.
    All in a kit around $40. Like this one:
    https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Therm...s%2C151&sr=8-6

    A lot of the PID manufacturers have suggested schematics for setup.

    For a 120 V load (the pot) parts are pretty common and standardized.

    And keep in mind the idea is to partly anneal the brass.
    If it goes dead soft in the neck you will have very close to zero neck tension.

    An annealing temperature that allows for about a 1 minute dwell at temperature is desirable.

    It allows tie for the brass 'crystal' structure to move around without growing excessively large or over annealing.
    Last edited by brickeyee; 03-28-2019 at 02:03 PM.

  6. #6
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    Some are using the lee pot and a pid to control it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brickeyee View Post
    With a good temperature sensor (like a thermocouple), a PID controller (they are very inexpensive now), and a high power switch (often a single transistor) you can set the temperature you want and it will be maintained.

    You can get all the parts for less than $50 if you look around.

    It also provides better control over a typical lead pot temperature.
    They will heat up as fast as they can and then maintain a set temperature with no real attention being paid.

    A PID controller is more sophisticated than a typicality bang-bang (on/off) style thermostat.

    Even when the switch only allows on/off control of the heater the PID will turn it on and off multiple times per minute to obtain smoother control (variable duty cycle).
    So far all I've used was the Lee pot to control the temp, and it works good, but I can see where the PID system would be a great up-grade. I'll have to look into this.

  8. #8
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    the pid you mentioned goes to 400c you use 430c ?
    is 430C high enuff ? some info i got heat to 500-550C

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mram10 View Post
    It is much harder to accurately anneal with map gas at 3000+ deg F. Easy to ruin necks in a milli second of extra heat.
    And that's why I don't use MAP gas for annealing......

  10. #10
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    I bought one of these to save time. Itís proven already.

    https://ballisticrecreations.ca/

    The temperature doesnít vary much at all. When doing rum cases, i turn it up 10c+ hotter to account for cooling from cases. Much more temp stable than torches

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by johan teughels View Post
    the pid you mentioned goes to 400c you use 430c ?
    is 430C high enuff ? some info i got heat to 500-550C
    Brass will anneal at 800f(430c) within a few seconds. My necks are usually around .0125Ē depending on case so it happens quickly. You can go as high as 550c with the salts according to the setup he sells, but I prefer to stay closer to the 800f. Iím sure there are better ways though

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by johan teughels View Post
    the pid you mentioned goes to 400c you use 430c ?
    is 430C high enuff ? some info i got heat to 500-550C
    The thermocouple is rated for 400 C.
    It will go further just fine but may not last as long.

    The thermocouple junction itslef is good 2,460F.
    The wiring and enclosure material around the actual device are what is limiting its range.

  13. #13
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    Unhappy Can"t buy the kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Mram10 View Post
    I bought one of these to save time. Itís proven already.

    https://ballisticrecreations.ca/

    The temperature doesnít vary much at all. When doing rum cases, i turn it up 10c+ hotter to account for cooling from cases. Much more temp stable than torches
    I have checked his website for a month. Non for sale. Guess he doesn't make the kits anymore. He claims he does, just keep checking, but no luck.

  14. #14
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    I think he travels

    for his real job so may be afield.

    Pete

  15. #15
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    Wouldnít be hard to make a kit.
    Lead pot
    Salts
    Laser thermometer
    Double plate for dipping

    Donít need temp control. It isnít important. I set mine at 7 on the dial and it keeps it around 430c ish. For bigger cases I start hotter

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