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I Want To Build This Cartridge Case Annealer

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John_Dennis

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I want to build this cartridge case Annealer. It looks like an easy design to replicate. The concept is to heat the ends of a rifle case to a specific temperature to anneal the neck before re-sizing to extend case life. I have a nice little torch for this project already.


I want an RPM meter to help with repeatability http://www.amazon.com/TmallTech-Digital-Tachometer-Proximity-Switch/dp/B00VKATA9G/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1452821547&sr=8-5&keywords=rpm+meter

I am wondering if anyone has experimented with these RPM meters. I really need one designed for precisely measuring low RPM in 5-9 rpm range. I could also measure duration instead, but I haven't found a way to do that.

this meter would also be nice for my machine tools.

My thought is to drive the large and small capstans with separate motors for simplicity with a speed control on the large capstan to control the heating duration.
http://www.amazon.com/Small-Worm-Reduction-Geared-Motor/dp/B00NLZGDHA/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1452823862&sr=8-11&keywords=TSINY+gear+motor

http://www.amazon.com/DROK-Controller-Electric-Protection-High-Current/dp/B00CGXJSNY/ref=sr_1_66?ie=UTF8&qid=1452823468&sr=8-66-spons&keywords=12v+gear+motor&psc=1


One of my concerns is that I do not want to transfer too much heat to the motor shaft. I think a stainless steel shaft on bronze bearings would be heat resistant enough.

Does anyone have any wisdom? I am wondering if anyone has experimented with these RPM meters. I really need one designed for precisely measuring low RPM in 5-9 rpm range. I could also measure duration instead, but I haven't found a way to do that.

Thanks

John Dennis
 

Holescreek

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Couldn't you just make one that uses a gear motor that runs in the range you want? Then it's just plug and play after you add a couple more gears to drive the small roller. Instead of the fixed position "bump" on the large pick-up wheel you could make an adjustable clamp on thing to trigger the release. The original system looks very nice, well thought out and executed.
 

joshua43214

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Building one of these has been on my project list for quite a while.
A few thoughts from my own tentative plans

The case roller should be aluminum to draw the heat off the case, only the neck and shoulder should annealed.
A small gear motor for the roller that is separate from the man drive motor is good, this way loading speed and dwell time are easier to adjust.
No need for a tachometer, you will have to adjust each batch since there are too many variables.
A shield to prevent the flame from heating the body might be needed. You really really do not want to anneal the body.
The annealed case should either have a very short drop, or should always drop case head first.
 

brino

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Well that's neat! Thanks for sharing.....

Two thoughts:
1) With the design shown the wheel that guides/holds the cartridge is far enough away from the flame that it should not get very hot. It's (thermal) mass should also help.

2) Drop it in a pan of water....really? For me I only immediately cool things that I want to remain hard (and therefore brittle)..... I admit to knowing nothing about guns and ammo; my experience is all with steel, but really? Really?

Please educate me on it!

-brino
 

blaser.306

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FYI, a BBQ rotisserie motor runs at approximately the speed you want an annealer to rotate at and already has a provided square drive !
 

JimDawson

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2) Drop it in a pan of water....really? For me I only immediately cool things that I want to remain hard (and therefore brittle)..... I admit to knowing nothing about guns and ammo; my experience is all with steel, but really? Really?
It really has nothing to do with ammo specifically. The way to harden brass (and aluminum) is to work it between rollers or other mechanical stressing. To anneal it, heat it and cool rapidly, The opposite of ferritic metals.
 

brino

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The way to harden brass (and aluminum) is to work it between rollers or other mechanical stressing. To anneal it, heat it and cool rapidly, The opposite of ferritic metals.
Thanks Jim!
What about copper? If I want to undo the "work hardening" that occurs?

-brino

PS: sorry if it's seen as a post hijack! No offense intended!
 

JimDawson

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Thanks Jim!
What about copper? If I want to undo the "work hardening" that occurs?

-brino

PS: sorry if it's seen as a post hijack! No offense intended!
It applies to all copper/copper alloys
 

RJSakowski

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Thanks Jim!
What about copper? If I want to undo the "work hardening" that occurs?

-brino

PS: sorry if it's seen as a post hijack! No offense intended!
The same with copper.
 

JimDawson

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I am wondering if anyone has experimented with these RPM meters. I really need one designed for precisely measuring low RPM in 5-9 rpm range. I could also measure duration instead, but I haven't found a way to do that.
Those tachs won't measure in 5-9 RPM range accurately, but you know the gear ratio in the gear box so put the tach pickup on the motor shaft rather than the geared output and do a little math.

I would probably use a cheap stepper motor/drive and a cheap pulse speed controller. That way you can use the stepper drive PPR as the ''gear box'' and the rpm is a function of the number of pulses per rotation. You could hook the tach to the pulse input to the stepper drive to read RPM or duration.
 

Cavediver

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This is not an rmp meter, but it does give you a simple and accurate method of setting and resetting flame time (when combined with some testing and the templaq). Add a 30-40 rpm motor and you should be good to go.
http://www.amazon.com/Unique-Goods-Digital-Controller-Stepless/dp/B00QLYO7XU/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1452852521&sr=8-16&keywords=motor+controller

I have a similar unfinished build languishing on my bench. I used a bronze bushing, an aluminum cake pan, a couple of bolts for axles, and a motor with chain and sprockets to power it.
 

Tozguy

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It really has nothing to do with ammo specifically. The way to harden brass (and aluminum) is to work it between rollers or other mechanical stressing. To anneal it, heat it and cool rapidly, The opposite of ferritic metals.
Just a detail about cooling the brass, is the quench in water necessary? From what I have read about cartridge annealing air cooling in ambient air should be sufficient. Water cooling doesn't hurt but it adds a drying step to the whole process.
 

kingmt01

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To more accurately measure low rpm you need to use more magnets. The more magnets mounted the better the accuracy for low rpm motors. If also place them on the fastest moving parts. Of course you need something doing the counting & math to give you the reading.
 

planeflyer21

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Very cool.

Also, this was linked on that same video, a person making one in their homeshop:
 

Cavediver

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Re: Heat transfer on the shaft
If you want direct drive, you could create an aluminum coupler with heat sink fins to connect the motor to the rotating shaft. Phenolic or some other non-metal would work as well.

I researched a bunch of these when I was getting ready to start my build. One guy said he overheated the plastic gears in his motor; that and timing the release of the shell to the tray were the reasons I went with a chain drive.
 

joshua43214

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Just a detail about cooling the brass, is the quench in water necessary? From what I have read about cartridge annealing air cooling in ambient air should be sufficient. Water cooling doesn't hurt but it adds a drying step to the whole process.
There are two good reasons to quench.
You want to prevent the body of the case from annealing.
You want to stop the annealing.

Annealing the case body has issues, but more importantly, annealing the case head can cause major problems even on bolt rifles.
To anneal brass, the temp should be held at ~650 F for about 2 minutes. Since this would result in the heat spreading down the case, the more common practice is to heat to about 750 F for a few seconds. Since you do not want to fully anneal the case neck, the annealing must be stopped - so quenching is the common practice. If the case neck is over-annealed, it will not grip the bullet securely. Repeatability is fairly important in annealing, especially if the bullet is not crimped (a common practice in precision shooting).

I have always had some doubts that these annealers actually produce good repeatability when RPM and dwell time is blindly followed.
The roller will heat as the machine is being run, so it will be actively cooling the first cases, and actively heating the last cases. This will have an effect on the rate at which the case necks reach the proper temperature. One would really need to have a bunch of old cases that would be run through the machine to get it into equilibrium. It is easier to just watch it run and adjust it on the fly. The flame temp will also vary depending on the temp of the propane bottle and amount of propane remaining.
I think the platter style annealers answer most of the problems better than the vertical style.
One idea I had was to use a temp sensor and an Arduino to eject the case at the proper temp.
 

Tozguy

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If the neck is over annealed the case is scrap anyway.
With many bottleneck rifle calibers, if the neck is properly annealed within a few seconds then removed from the heat source is it likely that residual heat will continue to anneal the neck and that enough heat will be conducted to the case head to anneal it? If as you say the case head is exposed to being heated during the heat treatment then it should be prevented by design features of the machine rather than be compensated for by water quench.
I have used water quench for handgun calibers but don't find it necessary for longer bottleneck cases.
 

joshua43214

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If the neck is over annealed the case is scrap anyway.
With many bottleneck rifle calibers, if the neck is properly annealed within a few seconds then removed from the heat source is it likely that residual heat will continue to anneal the neck and that enough heat will be conducted to the case head to anneal it? If as you say the case head is exposed to being heated during the heat treatment then it should be prevented by design features of the machine rather than be compensated for by water quench.
I have used water quench for handgun calibers but don't find it necessary for longer bottleneck cases.
I do agree.
I was more making the point about using quenching to stop annealing. Which as you point out should not be needed on a rifle cartridge that it not overheated. Some folks push the heat limit a bit, and others just try to be extra careful. My annealer is a welding glove and a propane torch, it works so well that building a motorized replacement keeps getting pushed back I favor of other projects. I only anneal rifle cases though, pistol cases just get loaded til they split.
 

Bob Korves

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I have heard of some reloaders standing the deprimed cases in a pan of water up to the necks, heating them with a propane torch and then tipping them over, one by one.
 

kd4gij

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FYI, a BBQ rotisserie motor runs at approximately the speed you want an annealer to rotate at and already has a provided square drive !

A lot of the cheaper ones are DC and run on a wall wart which makes it easy to add speed control.
 

Tozguy

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I have heard of some reloaders standing the deprimed cases in a pan of water up to the necks, heating them with a propane torch and then tipping them over, one by one.
Thats the way I started annealing handgun cases. Makes it possible to heat the necks with torch without risk of heating the case head. Once heating completed I tipped them over into the water mostly to be able to keep track of which ones were done.
 

John_Dennis

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To more accurately measure low rpm you need to use more magnets. The more magnets mounted the better the accuracy for low rpm motors. If also place them on the fastest moving parts. Of course you need something doing the counting & math to give you the reading.
If I use 10 magnets instead of one, would that show RPM x 10 much like a automobile tach is RPM x 1000?
 

John_Dennis

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Those tachs won't measure in 5-9 RPM range accurately, but you know the gear ratio in the gear box so put the tach pickup on the motor shaft rather than the geared output and do a little math.

I would probably use a cheap stepper motor/drive and a cheap pulse speed controller. That way you can use the stepper drive PPR as the ''gear box'' and the rpm is a function of the number of pulses per rotation. You could hook the tach to the pulse input to the stepper drive to read RPM or duration.

I have never tried to use a stepper motor. I have pulled them out of old printers and other scrapped machines, but never understood how to use them. How do you figure out the wiring?
 

JimDawson

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Stepper motors are pretty simple, normally having 4 wires coming out of them.

These are just examples that I grabbed, not recommendations

http://www.dx.com/p/geeetech-3d-printer-reprap-1-8-degree-anti-slip-42yb-stepper-motor-black-370044#.VpqS67byvmg
sku_370044_1.jpg





08YWiring(400x374).png

Some could have 6 or 8 wires, but these are not as common as the 4 wire. Ignore the wire colors on the diagram above, there is no standard as far as I can tell. In this case, BLK=A, ORG=/A (not A or A-) RED=B, and YEL = /B You would connect these wires to the corresponding terminals on the driver board. If you are not sure which is which, you can test the pairs with an ohmmeter. Then if you hook it up and it doesn't run, then swap the connection on one of the pairs.


Then all you have to do is add the power supply, normally 24V for small steppers, and a Stepper Speed control


http://www.dx.com/p/tb6560-3a-single-axis-controller-stepper-motor-driver-board-green-black-red-217142#.VpqR0rbyvmg
sku_217142_1.jpg


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stepper-motor-Pulse-Signal-Generator-module-driver-controller-Speed-Regulator-/311203030663?hash=item4875256687:g:JooAAOSw0vBUgQ0v

s-l500.jpg

sku_370044_1.jpg

08YWiring(400x374).png

sku_217142_1.jpg

s-l500.jpg

sku_370044_1.jpg

08YWiring(400x374).png

sku_217142_1.jpg

s-l500.jpg

sku_370044_1.jpg

08YWiring(400x374).png

sku_217142_1.jpg

s-l500.jpg

sku_370044_1.jpg

08YWiring(400x374).png

sku_217142_1.jpg

s-l500.jpg

sku_370044_1.jpg

08YWiring(400x374).png

sku_217142_1.jpg

s-l500.jpg
 

John_Dennis

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Jim,

Thanks for that insight. I never would have found that motor controller. If I understand correctly, the board will run any 4 wire stepper motor with up to 2 amps per phase, and the stepper motor pulse generator sends a variable frequency pulse to the controller to regulate speed.

On the Pulse generator, I see 15-160v and 5-12v power terminals, what is the difference? Would I need access to the two red buttons in my application?

John
 

JimDawson

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You are welcome. Just Google ''Stepper Motor Speed Controller'' and hundreds come up.

I suspect you could connect power from the PS to the 15-160 terminals, the other terminals would take a lower voltage, like from a wall wart. I think the red buttons might be forward and reverse. I didn't read the specs on that board, I just grabbed the picture and the link. There are a bunch of those available on Ebay, some even with wireless remote control, and others with a built in display of some kind, others in a box with external controls. Most under $20 I have a couple of those on the shelf, not that particular one, but I use them for testing systems.
 
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