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Tempilsticks for annealing

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Unread 07-31-2008, 04:50 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 422
Tempilsticks for annealing

So after reading a few articles (6mm BR and another good one by Ken Howell) I picked up the 650F Tempilstick.

The instructions are to "stroke" the surface and look out for a watery mark. I managed this only a few times. It's tricky too because we all know how quickly the temperature of the case changes in a flame. Howell recommends making a mark on the case, but the Tempilstick crayon is like chalk and won't "write" on the brass. It may crumble and leave a few crumbs on the surface, but the burn immediately and that's useless too.

Howell recommends warming the surface a bit before trying to make the mark, but that didn't help either; still couldn't leave a mark on the case.

So, whilst everyone seems to recommend the crayons, I'm, wondering if anyone has tips on how to actually make them work for you. Or did I just get a bum old dried out hard Tempilstick? Otherwise is the lacquer a better idea?

Last edited by LRHWAL; 07-31-2008 at 04:52 AM. Reason: sp
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Unread 07-31-2008, 09:10 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,863
Been there done that and gave up. So I'm no help there.

I've just been eyeballing things and don't know how well I'm doing or not doing. No split necks though. But my cases are usually discarded long before annealing becomes necessary.

Here's my next (most probably dumb) idea. For barrel temp measurement I'm going to get one of those infrared temp meters with the laser aim point. They seem to work well on engines. I hope I can get one with a range sufficient for annealing use.

I'm figuring on rigging everything up stationary except for the torch.

Just a thought. I don't think this kind of technology was around back then???
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Unread 07-31-2008, 11:14 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 614
Forget the sticks and get the liquid.

Here is an example.


You "paint" a stripe on the case, let it dry (very quickly in a matter of seconds) and then do your annealing. The paint will blacken AND MELT at its temperature threshold, but not below the temp threshold. In other words if you paint a stripe on a case from tip of the neck to edgs of the base, the paint will blacken AND MELT at and above the temp. threshold, but do nothing at temps below that temp.

I paint my set up cases (scrap cases that can be ruined without any problems because they are only used for setting up my annealing gizmo) with two temp stripes running from the top of the neck down to about 1.5 inches below the shoulder. I use a liquid that is above the temp that I want and one that is just below at the minimum annealing temp (something like 480 degrees) to establish an upper and lower boundry for the brass temp. When I anneal the brass, the upper boundry will char but not melt, and the lower will blacken and melt, but only down to a certain point on the case. Below that point, neither paint is charred black or melted.

Next time I anneal some cases I can take some pictures to helps explain the process that I use.

I hope that makes sense.

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Unread 07-31-2008, 01:41 PM
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Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
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Great idea!

Keep 'em comming.....

That'll save me a bunch of time effort and mistakes.
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Unread 08-01-2008, 03:15 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 422
Guys thanks for the replies.

I know the Hornady Kit also uses the lacquer, but the 6mmBR article specifically favoured the crayon... hmmm pleased I'm not the only one who struggled. Thanks Roy!

Here's what did work after a bunch of trying. I have a holder (similar to the Hornady). I managed to hold the electric screwdriver in one hand and the Tempilstick in the other, out of the flame and just barely touching the shoulder of the case. I then rotated the case with the neck up to the neck-shoulder junction in the flame and wow at a certain point the stick starts making a watery black mark.

It certainly works, but it's finicky and really needs 3 hands. Managed to do this and still have my eyebrows!

I'm using one of the little plumbing torches that uses a propane (backpacking stove type) cylinder. By the way it's taking longer to get to the temp than I thought; as I was told 15 seconds initially and it's quite a bit more than that. Haven't timed it yet, just practicing on old cases.

I'll try the lacquer, thanks Jeff. My question to you is if you were doing it my way, one at a time in the holder, would you use one case to determine time and just use a watch to time it and put a similar part of the case in the flame after that? Is that consistent enough across say 50 cases, or does a few seconds make enough difference to make things inconsistent over the chrono? I may try something a little lower than target tempreature and paint the shoulder, or shoulder-body junction. That way I can keep the lacquer out of the flame (see the instructions from Tempil in post below).

On another point, one big thumbs up for the guys from Tempil. I asked for advice on their website and got a same day emailed reply and advice (also recommended lacquer, so go figure). It was not a pre-prepared one liner either. Originally when I was looking for the Tempilsticks here in South Africa I also emailed them and received a same day reply with the details of the local agents. I like the service and advice and the fact that a mere hobby user of their product is not treated like a worthless client.

Last edited by LRHWAL; 08-01-2008 at 03:32 AM. Reason: Added a bit to already looong post!
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Unread 08-01-2008, 03:18 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: South Africa
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The advice from Tempil:

Tempilstik is designed to make a mark only after the surface has reached the rated temperature of the Tempilstik. It does not make a mark on smooth surface in cold condition. The way it works is that when the surface is about to reach the rated temperature of the Tempilstik, it is struck on the surface like a chalk or a pen and at the point of contact the Tempilstik MELTS and makes the mark.

If your application requires pre-marking th eproduct before it is being HEATED then we suggest you use TEMPILAQ. The Tempilaq is a liquid version of tempilstik and is designed to make a mark on smooth surface in cold condition. when you mark it with Tempilaq, the mark will dry very fast and leave a chalky appearence. then when the surface is heated the mark will melt at the rated temperature of the Tempilaq. If th emark is horizontal the liquid formed will move a little but will be still there and as the surface cools it gets re-solidified. However the re-solidifed mark is DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT the th eoriginal chalky mark. it is slightly Glassy, Dark mark. if the mark is vertical then the liquid will trickle down confirming the surface did reach the temperature.

The only caution about using Tempilaq is that the open flame MUST NOT HIT THE TEMPILAQ MARK other wise the mark will be "CHARRED" and trun black before it melts.
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Unread 08-01-2008, 12:59 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
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This might be a dumb idea/question... but how about dipping the neck and shoulder of cases into molten lead? Lead melts at 621 F. I t would be quick and uniform, the only problem being that some lead might stick to the case but it would probably be easy to remove?

Any thoughts? I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this so there is probably a stumbling block here?
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