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Thread: Induction Annealed

  1. #16
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    Happens to lots of us

    Andy,

    Seems like every time my 30-30 seems to be a little bit off of it's normal performance, I get another shooter to test it and he always shoots a couple of 5 shot groups in the ones. Then they always say something like " it's not the gun, it's you". The first time I ever shot in Raton, I had not fired a round in competition for 8 years. It was test and tune Friday, and I could not shoot a group to save my life. I had already told Mike Cordes that the gun really shoots, but seems to be a problem now, so he asked me to load five rounds for him. He easily shot a nice mid one group, and said the gun seems fine to him. That weekend I placed second in the HV grand.

    Michael

  2. #17
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    Here is a thread from Accurate Shooter that discusses the Annie as well as showing a modification I made for mine.
    I believe the Annie is a good value as I have had excellant results since Fluxeon got over their initial G0-Into-Production problems.

    http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...wners.3916829/

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Normmatzen View Post
    Here is a thread from Accurate Shooter that discusses the Annie as well as showing a modification I made for mine.
    I believe the Annie is a good value as I have had excellant results since Fluxeon got over their initial G0-Into-Production problems.

    http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...wners.3916829/
    There is a lot of really nice case annealers out there. The Annie is no exception. The really nice annealers run in the $500 to $1100 price range. So far I'm at $70. I have not purchased a recirculating water style CPU cooler $25, or the Arduino board at $4, other small items like solenoid, or case materials, but project my total cost to be between $125 and $150. This is definitely not the way to go for everyone, but it is cheaper than propane torch annealers, and is far more repeatable. After I take the necessary time to finish my annealer, I will be glad to offer help to anyone interested in building their own, including pre-programmed Arduino boards for those who need them.

    Michael

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamsgt View Post
    This is not an attempt to change your mind, but The AMP people provide data to adjust for different neck thickness. Plus they use lab equipment to test the metallurgical properties of the brass in cases to arrive at the settings for annealing the brass on their equipment. Just curious as to what laboratory equipment you have that will allow you to analyze the properties of your brass so you can make the necessary adjustments to your device. Or is it going to be trial and error? I have an AMP and their list of tested brass is so long that there is none that i use that does not appear on their list. Of course you could be using some esoteric brass that few people have heard about. I'm guessing you're one of those people who prefer to roll their own. Well, it's a free country and to each his own. If I can buy a turnkey system that does what I need and the price is acceptable, I'll go that route. I have a lathe and a mill and a Tig welder and can make a lot of things. But if somebody's already done it, I don't need to reinvent the wheel. I like AMP.
    Don't let yourself get wrapped around the axle because a piece of equipment has the potential to produce results with very high resolution. For example, do you need a scale which reads to .0002 gr when a kernel of Varget weighs about .02 grains if you know you aren't going to cut a single powder kernel into 100 pieces? Probably not.

    So while the job the AMP people do is good and while they are able to measure the condition of an annealed case and while they are able to offer suggestions on how you can match those test results, you must ask yourself if that is really required? You use the term "necessary adjustments", but first you must ask yourself if these fine adjustments are truly necessary or simply nice to have. I suppose you could argue that high precision is nearly always desirable; however, it might not be quite so important in this instance. Here's why I say that.

    As part of my formal education I took some classes in metallurgy. And while I'm no metallurgist, I do have some training in what happens to brass when you work harden it and then subject it to an annealing process. Yes, time and temperature are the two main factors we deal with when making our cases softer than their "as fired and/or as resized" condition. But don't overlook the question about how important is it to hit your hardness goal exactly? Just because you can do something doesn't mean you must do it.

    I would argue that consistency is the most important factor and actual hardness is of secondary concern. I anneal every time using a DIY machine which has an automatic case handler I can adjust to a fraction of a second. I have a setting for each caliber I reload as well as an adjustment for neck thickness. But I don't own the equipment to test the actual hardness of my .014" thick 6mm brass compared with my .012" .223 brass, for instance. Most likely they're a little different from one another, but I do my best to make each kind of brass identical to its sibling.

    Annealing has a direct effect on neck tension and that depends on exactly what happens when I fire, resize, clean, uniform, and otherwise process my brass. I do that ritual exactly the same each time. The guy shooting next to me may use a different procedure and his brass might be a little harder or softer than mine. But as long as we are both consistent, I strongly suspect neither one of us hold an advantage. We should both enjoy long brass life and, assuming we've done careful testing, we can both shoot small groups. Likewise my .223 brass and 6mm brass may not have identical hardness in the neck area, but that is not the holy grail of precision shooting as far as I'm concerned. Don't forget, our end results are measured at the target, not at the hardness machine. They don't give out trophies based on who has the ideal brass hardness.

    I have no doubt that a DIY induction machine can be made to do a fine job annealing cases even without also building a hardness tester. I firmly believe that is because absolute hardness, within reason, isn't as important as being consistent. We DIY aficionados have inexpensive tools available to us to know quite a bit about our annealing process without measuring the actual hardness value. Of course, there's nothing wrong with commercial induction machines, especially ones where the maker goes out of his way to do plenty of testing and calibrating. That's all well and good. But just because F-1 racing teams adjust their tire pressure in 1/4 psi increments doesn't mean I have to do the same on my grocery getter.

    Finally, to put this all in perspective, Bryan Litz, who is recognized as one of our sports more careful testers, did an experiment measuring any accuracy difference between cases annealed every time with those fired ten times and resized ten times without annealing. The unannealed cases were definitely harder, yet there was no delectable difference in performance. At some point we need to ask ourselves, how much time and money are we willing to invest in picking fly out of the pepper?

    Nevertheless, I anneal every time anyway no matter what Mr. Litz's tests indicate. Don't get me wrong, if you can afford an AMP annealer, go for it. It's probably the best thing on the market. However, for someone watching their money who already has a precision annealer (even if it's a DIY version), I would argue that you are likely to get more bang for the buck spending that extra money on a betters scope,barrel, scale, rest, or what-have-you.

  5. #20
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    Origiinal goal

    The original goal with annealing was to extend the life of the brass which has not only increased in cost over the years but it also takes time to prepare. So even if the accuracy didn't increase due to consistency, which it might not , I would still anneal just to extend the life of the brass. I couldn't design or build the likes of an amp annealing unit for the cost of one. Has there been more R&D go into the unit than is necessary. Probably but who cares ?

  6. #21
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    Well Said

    Quote Originally Posted by Mozella View Post
    Don't let yourself get wrapped around the axle because a piece of equipment has the potential to produce results with very high resolution. For example, do you need a scale which reads to .0002 gr when a kernel of Varget weighs about .02 grains if you know you aren't going to cut a single powder kernel into 100 pieces? Probably not.

    So while the job the AMP people do is good and while they are able to measure the condition of an annealed case and while they are able to offer suggestions on how you can match those test results, you must ask yourself if that is really required? You use the term "necessary adjustments", but first you must ask yourself if these fine adjustments are truly necessary or simply nice to have. I suppose you could argue that high precision is nearly always desirable; however, it might not be quite so important in this instance. Here's why I say that.

    As part of my formal education I took some classes in metallurgy. And while I'm no metallurgist, I do have some training in what happens to brass when you work harden it and then subject it to an annealing process. Yes, time and temperature are the two main factors we deal with when making our cases softer than their "as fired and/or as resized" condition. But don't overlook the question about how important is it to hit your hardness goal exactly? Just because you can do something doesn't mean you must do it.

    I would argue that consistency is the most important factor and actual hardness is of secondary concern. I anneal every time using a DIY machine which has an automatic case handler I can adjust to a fraction of a second. I have a setting for each caliber I reload as well as an adjustment for neck thickness. But I don't own the equipment to test the actual hardness of my .014" thick 6mm brass compared with my .012" .223 brass, for instance. Most likely they're a little different from one another, but I do my best to make each kind of brass identical to its sibling.

    Annealing has a direct effect on neck tension and that depends on exactly what happens when I fire, resize, clean, uniform, and otherwise process my brass. I do that ritual exactly the same each time. The guy shooting next to me may use a different procedure and his brass might be a little harder or softer than mine. But as long as we are both consistent, I strongly suspect neither one of us hold an advantage. We should both enjoy long brass life and, assuming we've done careful testing, we can both shoot small groups. Likewise my .223 brass and 6mm brass may not have identical hardness in the neck area, but that is not the holy grail of precision shooting as far as I'm concerned. Don't forget, our end results are measured at the target, not at the hardness machine. They don't give out trophies based on who has the ideal brass hardness.

    I have no doubt that a DIY induction machine can be made to do a fine job annealing cases even without also building a hardness tester. I firmly believe that is because absolute hardness, within reason, isn't as important as being consistent. We DIY aficionados have inexpensive tools available to us to know quite a bit about our annealing process without measuring the actual hardness value. Of course, there's nothing wrong with commercial induction machines, especially ones where the maker goes out of his way to do plenty of testing and calibrating. That's all well and good. But just because F-1 racing teams adjust their tire pressure in 1/4 psi increments doesn't mean I have to do the same on my grocery getter.

    Finally, to put this all in perspective, Bryan Litz, who is recognized as one of our sports more careful testers, did an experiment measuring any accuracy difference between cases annealed every time with those fired ten times and resized ten times without annealing. The unannealed cases were definitely harder, yet there was no delectable difference in performance. At some point we need to ask ourselves, how much time and money are we willing to invest in picking fly out of the pepper?

    Nevertheless, I anneal every time anyway no matter what Mr. Litz's tests indicate. Don't get me wrong, if you can afford an AMP annealer, go for it. It's probably the best thing on the market. However, for someone watching their money who already has a precision annealer (even if it's a DIY version), I would argue that you are likely to get more bang for the buck spending that extra money on a betters scope,barrel, scale, rest, or what-have-you.

    All I'm looking for here is to anneal the case necks with consistency. I don't need to hit the same exact hardness as the AMP unit. I don't even know that I would want the same hardness that they say is the best. I would anneal to the desired hardness by achieving the desired neck tension that I'm looking for, not what someone else is looking for. Then I would make sure all cases have been run through with the same time and voltage settings. I don't know of one person out there that could prove this to be a mistake. If anyone thinks that this is a bad approach, and can prove to me that all case necks need to be the exact hardness that a lab test tells me they should be, then they need to tell us all what seating depth we should be using. That way we could all comply, and stop wasting time using seating depth as a means of tuning our rifles. If I actually only had one choice on seating depth, I would probably always run a light jam, and tune with powder charge, but not everyone would agree with this method, and they shouldn't.

    Most of us would be better off to build their own annealer, even if they need to use another's design, and then use the leftover money to buy their wife 30 dozen roses, or anything else she might love. After all, most of our wives put up with a lot, when it comes to our expensive hobbies.

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 09-03-2017 at 12:47 AM.

  7. #22
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    Left over money ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by mturner View Post
    All I'm looking for here is to anneal the case necks with consistency. I don't need to hit the same exact hardness as the AMP unit. I don't even know that I would want the same hardness that they say is the best. I would anneal to the desired hardness by achieving the desired neck tension that I'm looking for, not what someone else is looking for. Then I would make sure all cases have been run through with the same time and voltage settings. I don't know of one person out there that could prove this to be a mistake. If anyone thinks that this is a bad approach, and can prove to me that all case necks need to be the exact hardness that a lab test tells me they should be, then they need to tell us all what seating depth we should be using. That way we could all comply, and stop wasting time using seating depth as a means of tuning our rifles. If I actually only had one choice on seating depth, I would probably always run a light jam, and tune with powder charge, but not everyone would agree with this method, and they shouldn't.

    Most of us would be better off to build their own annealer, even if they need to use another's design, and then use the leftover money to buy their wife 30 dozen roses, or anything else she might love. After all, most of our wives put up with a lot, when it comes to our expensive hobbies.

    Michael
    Even if you plagiarised some one else's design the idea you would have money left over from the cost of an amp unit is amusing.

  8. #23
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    ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Cross View Post
    Even if you plagiarised some one else's design the idea you would have money left over from the cost of an amp unit is amusing.

    If I tell you the cost of the components is around $125 - $150, why wouldn't I have money left over? If you are referring to the value of my time, and saying that I should put a value on every minute I spend developing this, then I can't afford to relax, sleep, or watch TV. I have made it very plain that I'm having fun. As far as how long it will take to develop this. Seriously, this is way too simple to even consider it to be a brain exercise. This is about as simple as buying a DC motor, and SCR controller, and hooking the two up. This is simpler than installing a car stereo. This is simpler than finding a tune on a benchrest rifle. Why would anyone have a problem with me doing this? Why don't I just pay a competent benchrest shooter to sit behind my rifle while I watch TV?

    The actual development time, is the time and voltage setting, which is no different that using a propane torch and learning how long to hold the flame, and how close to put the torch. There is no development time in the induction annealer, just the build time. I will explain.

    If you hook the induction module to a 36V power supply with two wires, positive and negative, you already have an annealer that is like a torch. Hooking up a potentiometer to the power supply, we get variable voltage output. Hooking up a relay to a Arduino board, we can set the time in tenths of a second. Using copper tubing for a water cooled inductor, we can keep the induction coil from getting hot. That is all there is to this thing. The part I dread the most is simply making a metal enclosure. Not that it's a complicated job, since I have a shear and metal break, but the most boring part of the whole job.

    If you wonder how long it took to anneal the case in the picture. I had to hook up two DC wires between the induction unit, and the DC power supply. I have to hook up the L&N AC wires. I put the case in and plugged the annealer in the wall for a few seconds. It took longer to take the picture, transfer the picture to the computer, and post it.

    I'm not trying to talk anyone out of buying an AMP annealer. It is there for those who desire a ready made unit for one reason or another. The only reasons I know of are someone either doesn't understand how to build their own, doesn't have the time, or has so much money that they always pay someone else to do everything for them. I know a lot of benchrest shooters that build their own rifles, and none of them that I know can't afford to have someone else build it for them. I make a way better living than most people, and I'm a very busy person, but I still like to tinker with things to have fun.

    By the way, AMP didn't invent the induction annealer, or induction heating. I am not copying anyone else's design. I have never seen an induction annealer made by anyone in person. I know what the AMP annealer looks like from pictures. I'm not claiming to invent anything. I do not know when or who invented induction annealing, and don't care to find out. Just having fun building a simple device, and not building them for anyone else. You seem to have a problem with this Andy. Why? I bake my own cookies when I feel like it. If I brought some to a benchrest match, nobody would ask why.

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 09-03-2017 at 03:05 PM.

  9. #24
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    Michael

    I bought an Amp annealer because I wanted to anneal my brass and it was a turn key operation. Just like I bought a lathe to chamber barrels instead of building one.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamsgt View Post
    I bought an Amp annealer because I wanted to anneal my brass and it was a turn key operation. Just like I bought a lathe to chamber barrels instead of building one.
    Jerry,
    Your argument is week. You own a mill, a lathe, and a welder. You are a do-it-yourself kind of guy. You are trying to make an argument, and defending mine in the same sentence.

    If you bought a turn key rifle, you wouldn't need a lathe to chamber barrels. Buying a lathe proves that to some extent you like to do things yourself. Buy a CNC lathe, and you won't even have to turn handles. Please tell me what you build with your lathe, mill, or welder that can't be bought. If you feel that nobody else can cut a chamber as good as you can, you're fooling yourself. What is with some of you? Can't a guy have any fun building a case annealer? It seems that some of you are totally against how I spend some free time. Just tell me what is really on your mind. Do some of you feel that I'm infringing on a patent? Please explain.

    By the way, it would take me one to two years to build a lathe, but a day to build an annealer. Not a good comparison at all. Some of you are very interested in this thread, and some of you want to have your own copy of what I build, but for those who are not interested in what I'm doing, why bother posting when you have no interest? I don't care that some of you are not wanting to build your own. For those who bought a turn key annealer, I'm glad you have learned how to exercise free will. That's what I'm doing here. We all have our own way of living life. Some of you like my 30-30 benchrest rifles, while it rubs some of you the wrong way. I don't live my life over concerned about how it makes others feel. I only answer to one, and so will the rest of you.

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 09-04-2017 at 01:36 AM.

  11. #26
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    Michael, back in the early sixties, while I was a young second lieutenant navigator in B-52's, I built a shortwave radio from a kit. Star Roamer I think. Had a blast. Later, I built nearly every piece of electronic test equipment in the Heathkit catalog. Oscilloscope, VOM, Wave generator, Tube Tester, Capacitor Tester, etc. Eventually gave it all away to my brother-in-law who worked for Burroughs Computers. Over the years I built all kinds of stuff just for the fun of building it. At some point, I decided to look at what my focus really was. While it was fun building stuff, what was the point if it didn't lead anywhere? So now, if I need some gizmo and nobody makes one, then I'll do it. But if one is readily available and good enough quality, I'll buy it and get on with my higher goal, whatever that is. While, building an annealer is fun, my goal is to anneal brass. Same thing with measuring velocity. I could build a chronograph, but there are plenty good ones available so I buy one as my goal is to get the velocities.

    I'm not knocking your enthusiasm for what you're doing or the reasons for it. Been there, done that, got the hat and T-shirt. I'll be 77 years old in a couple of weeks and I've become more circumspect in how I allocate the time I have left. So, don't knock me because I'll spend my hard earned money to buy some wonder tool that'll make it easier for me to get to my goal. In retrospect, I think that buying the lathe, mill and tig welder was a mistake as I've not realized the value returned for the value invested. I've spent nearly $60,000.00 just on rent for the shop space I leased over the last 10 years. How many barrels could I have Larry Baggett do for me with that money. I finally realized that my overarching goal, the thing that I really, really want to do is SHOOT GUNS. So, that's going to be my focus and start divesting myself of those things I don't need to reach that goal.

  12. #27
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    I understand

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsgt View Post
    Michael, back in the early sixties, while I was a young second lieutenant navigator in B-52's, I built a shortwave radio from a kit. Star Roamer I think. Had a blast. Later, I built nearly every piece of electronic test equipment in the Heathkit catalog. Oscilloscope, VOM, Wave generator, Tube Tester, Capacitor Tester, etc. Eventually gave it all away to my brother-in-law who worked for Burroughs Computers. Over the years I built all kinds of stuff just for the fun of building it. At some point, I decided to look at what my focus really was. While it was fun building stuff, what was the point if it didn't lead anywhere? So now, if I need some gizmo and nobody makes one, then I'll do it. But if one is readily available and good enough quality, I'll buy it and get on with my higher goal, whatever that is. While, building an annealer is fun, my goal is to anneal brass. Same thing with measuring velocity. I could build a chronograph, but there are plenty good ones available so I buy one as my goal is to get the velocities.

    I'm not knocking your enthusiasm for what you're doing or the reasons for it. Been there, done that, got the hat and T-shirt. I'll be 77 years old in a couple of weeks and I've become more circumspect in how I allocate the time I have left. So, don't knock me because I'll spend my hard earned money to buy some wonder tool that'll make it easier for me to get to my goal. In retrospect, I think that buying the lathe, mill and tig welder was a mistake as I've not realized the value returned for the value invested. I've spent nearly $60,000.00 just on rent for the shop space I leased over the last 10 years. How many barrels could I have Larry Baggett do for me with that money. I finally realized that my overarching goal, the thing that I really, really want to do is SHOOT GUNS. So, that's going to be my focus and start divesting myself of those things I don't need to reach that goal.
    Now that's a completely understandable answer. When I get in my mid sixties, I know my priorities are going to change. I hope by then I can spend more time shooting, and traveling with the wife.

    This project is a small one. I could stop now, and anneal cases more effectively than a propane torch, and my total time would be about 1 hour so far. The pictures case was annealed by simply hitting the power for about 4 seconds while watching a second hand on the clock. Just a simple timer controlling a relay in .1 second increments, and a potentiometer to adjust the voltage would put me worlds ahead of a torch. The biggest job of this whole project (and most boring) is building the enclosure.

    My current big project is the building of my 2 1/2 story house. I would desperately love to pay someone else to help me, but so far, everyone I have hired to help resulted in me tearing out their work and doing it over myself. I realize it's just wood, and I'm used to the precision of metal, but some of those guys are challenged to work in 1/4" tolerances. Even in my mid fifties, I'm feeling tired and pain. Not anywhere near the way I felt when I was in my 30's and younger.

    Michael

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mturner View Post
    My first test coil is 12GA solid copper wire. It is about .75" diameter by 1.25" tall. Tubing is better because you can water cooling the coil.
    Michael
    Michael,
    Don't let those who want to buy stuff instead bother you. To each his own. Thanks for posting about your annealer. I have is probably a dumb question: Is your power supply current limited? If not, how do you keep from melting the coil or burning up the power supply? Would love to see a picture and some spec's when you are finished. I may build one myself one of these days.

    Thanks,
    Keith

  14. #29
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    Current Draw

    Quote Originally Posted by mks View Post
    Michael,
    Don't let those who want to buy stuff instead bother you. To each his own. Thanks for posting about your annealer. I have is probably a dumb question: Is your power supply current limited? If not, how do you keep from melting the coil or burning up the power supply? Would love to see a picture and some spec's when you are finished. I may build one myself one of these days.

    Thanks,
    Keith
    Keith,

    In this case, the current is limited by the voltage. As we increase the voltage, the current increases. I am running the voltage between 24V and 36V. I tested the current draw at 30V, and the without a case in the coil, it drew 4.8 amps. With a case in the coil, it drew 8.7 amps. Then I tested the current draw at 36V, and without the case, it drew 5.6 amps. With the case in the coil at 36V, it drew 10.6 amps. My power supply is rated 600 watts at 36V, which is 16.67 amps.

    The solid copper coil will discolor from the heat. This heat can travel into the circuit board, and cause problems if too long of continued operation occurs. For that reason, a coil made from copper tubing, and water cooling is required for the final build. A water CPU cooler will be used to carry the heat out of the system. The coil will need enough water flow to make certain that it never reaches much over 100 degrees, so it won't burn your fingers if you ever touch the coil when inserting a case. A common way of removing the case is with a solenoid gate that cycles at the end of the annealing cycle. It has been said that the case will self center in the coil during the annealing process.

    Thanks for the interest,

    Michael

  15. #30
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    has anyone used the salt bath kit - http://ballisticrecreations.ca/ Picked up a Lee bot and the kit.... now to get cracking..(pun intended...)

    Metallurgical Engineer design.....

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