The LRH Annealing Article

Jeffpatton00

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Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
45
I know a guy who is talking about buying an AMP if he does I got a salt bath and a friend has a Guriad we can test them to compare
I hope you guys will publish a post comparing the 3 methods in some technical detail. Everything I've learned about the salt bath method indicates it's simple, technically effective and cost-effective, so it would be interesting to see if the other devices are so much more effective that they justify the increased cost.
 

Canhunter35

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Jun 13, 2017
Messages
2,654
And then there’s those of us who just stick the case in a socket and anneal it. Lol
My experience with using a flame, keep it out of the tip and let it anneal slowly for best results
 

birdiemc

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Jan 1, 2011
Messages
818
Location
San Antonio, TX
The object here is not to FULLY anneal our brass. It would take a lot of effort to get that from a salt bath.
What WE do is stress relieve, which is process annealing. Salt bath is perfect for this as you can't under nor over anneal with it. There is nothing more consistent.

As far as bias:
Any expensive widget will be heavily defended by those who invested in it.
That is, right to the moment they've freed themselves of it..
Take that to the bank
In search of an effective alternate to salt several of us tried annealing in sand and various powdered metals, but should have just listened to Mikecr...in the end he was right salt bath is going to be the most effective for achieving consistent results. Never used the AMP but the articles they put out about it make it sound pretty nifty. And if I had a never ending toy budget I would certainly have one, along with a laser welder and CNC "everything you can imagine" but I dont, so I dont.
 

Don A Parsons

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Aug 12, 2016
Messages
1,026
Location
Some Where in America
I use the old school torch method,,, i templac a few cases to get started,,, turn out the lights and run the rest of the case necks threw the process to get a very dim glow like the first ones I run threw...

Im sure Im under doing it,,, neck tension seems more consitent over all which is a good thing,,, I can run 200 peaces in less then a 1/2 hour ish if i don't stop for a coffee break... Ha

Cheers from the North
 

Jeffpatton00

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Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
45
I just used my salt bath annealer for the first time. I found it very easy to set up and to use, but a couple of cautions:

1) I put too little salt in on the first try, so it didn't get to the shoulder, only the neck. So I put more salt in and now had a little more than I think I'd normally want to use, it reached maybe 3/8" past the shoulder. Others can chime in but I think 3/16" past the shoulder would be sufficient. I quickly dropped the cases into cold water so I'm not concerned about weakening the case head, but there's no need to anneal beyond the shoulder so watch your salt level. There is a slot in the support piece that holds up the top disc (through which you insert the cases) and as a rough estimate, if the top of the salt bath is even with the top of that slot, it'd be at the right level for my 6.5CM cases. Your cases will vary but that slot might offer a useful reference point.

2) My Lee melter has a pretty poor thermostat and allows temperature swings of 30 degrees C or more, and I ended up annealing a small batch at 485 C before I noticed it had cooled. I ended up manually moving the temperature knob up and down to keep it between 500 - 510 C, and I may see what it would take to replace the thermostat with a more accurate one that could keep the temperature within a narrower band.

I decided to rinse the cases in more water to get the salt off, then I ran them through an ultrasonic cleaner to make sure they're fully clean for the next steps, then they went into a case dryer. This isn't hard but be aware, if you choose to do this, that it does add steps and flow time. By the way, it's worth buying a set of leather welding gloves with long forearm protection, 500 C is nothing to fool around with, and don't take short cuts with eye protection.
 

Rick Richard

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Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
2,893
Location
North Carolina
I just used my salt bath annealer for the first time. I found it very easy to set up and to use, but a couple of cautions:

1) I put too little salt in on the first try, so it didn't get to the shoulder, only the neck. So I put more salt in and now had a little more than I think I'd normally want to use, it reached maybe 3/8" past the shoulder. Others can chime in but I think 3/16" past the shoulder would be sufficient. I quickly dropped the cases into cold water so I'm not concerned about weakening the case head, but there's no need to anneal beyond the shoulder so watch your salt level. There is a slot in the support piece that holds up the top disc (through which you insert the cases) and as a rough estimate, if the top of the salt bath is even with the top of that slot, it'd be at the right level for my 6.5CM cases. Your cases will vary but that slot might offer a useful reference point.

2) My Lee melter has a pretty poor thermostat and allows temperature swings of 30 degrees C or more, and I ended up annealing a small batch at 485 C before I noticed it had cooled. I ended up manually moving the temperature knob up and down to keep it between 500 - 510 C, and I may see what it would take to replace the thermostat with a more accurate one that could keep the temperature within a narrower band.

I decided to rinse the cases in more water to get the salt off, then I ran them through an ultrasonic cleaner to make sure they're fully clean for the next steps, then they went into a case dryer. This isn't hard but be aware, if you choose to do this, that it does add steps and flow time. By the way, it's worth buying a set of leather welding gloves with long forearm protection, 500 C is nothing to fool around with, and don't take short cuts with eye protection.
Yep, been there and done that with my first couple of tries.

After I drop in the water I just place them in the tumbler and run them for awhile to dry and clean.
 

Jeffpatton00

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Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
45
I sent a note to Lee Precision about the wide temperature range the Melter's thermostat allows, and their response wasn't too helpful, they said that most people don't need to control the temp very closely. They did suggest that if you really want to control the temp. more closely, set the Melter's thermostat to high, and use a tabletop lamp dimmer to control the Melter's temperature. If you're handy enough to add a female connector to the dimmer assembly, here's one dimmer I found on Amazon:


I think I'll give this a try.
JP
 

Mram10us

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
2,598
Location
Idaho
Not sure on the whole salt bath thing.
I know this article is put out by the competition to them(AMP) but who else has the capacity to test the salt bath method so in depth?
Take it for what you will, could be biased of could be 100%?

Great articles debunking the idea that SBA doesn't work. I can afford AMP and the others, but I use the SBA because it makes sense to me with regards to metallurgy and annealing temps. I've done well over 1000 rounds of edge, ultras, wsm, etc. Lapua, bertram, adg, nosler, etc. All have worked great and a noticeable difference when resizing afterward and seating.
 

Mram10us

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
2,598
Location
Idaho
I just used my salt bath annealer for the first time. I found it very easy to set up and to use, but a couple of cautions:

1) I put too little salt in on the first try, so it didn't get to the shoulder, only the neck. So I put more salt in and now had a little more than I think I'd normally want to use, it reached maybe 3/8" past the shoulder. Others can chime in but I think 3/16" past the shoulder would be sufficient. I quickly dropped the cases into cold water so I'm not concerned about weakening the case head, but there's no need to anneal beyond the shoulder so watch your salt level. There is a slot in the support piece that holds up the top disc (through which you insert the cases) and as a rough estimate, if the top of the salt bath is even with the top of that slot, it'd be at the right level for my 6.5CM cases. Your cases will vary but that slot might offer a useful reference point.

2) My Lee melter has a pretty poor thermostat and allows temperature swings of 30 degrees C or more, and I ended up annealing a small batch at 485 C before I noticed it had cooled. I ended up manually moving the temperature knob up and down to keep it between 500 - 510 C, and I may see what it would take to replace the thermostat with a more accurate one that could keep the temperature within a narrower band.

I decided to rinse the cases in more water to get the salt off, then I ran them through an ultrasonic cleaner to make sure they're fully clean for the next steps, then they went into a case dryer. This isn't hard but be aware, if you choose to do this, that it does add steps and flow time. By the way, it's worth buying a set of leather welding gloves with long forearm protection, 500 C is nothing to fool around with, and don't take short cuts with eye protection.
485c is stil in the range for annealing, Sir, so you re good to go
 

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