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Re: [Shop-talk] Annealing Copper bars

To: David Scheidt <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Annealing Copper bars
From: Jack Brooks <>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2020 00:21:55 +0000
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Thread-topic: [Shop-talk] Annealing Copper bars

Thanks for the heads up on the Bernzomatic TS-8000.  I am using a 20+ year old 
all brass Bernzomatic head which has never let me down before, but it could be 
a contributing factor. It does put out a heck of a long beautiful blue flame 

I chose to support the copper bars on the hack saw blade teeth because there is 
the least contact between the part and the support to wick away the heat. I was 
afraid that brickwork would absorb some of the heat.  I did unsuccessfully 
search my garage for some old refractory blanket. 

Cleaning - Good reminder about sandpaper on glass - Thanks.  I learned the 
"glass" trick when rebuilding a 1960 Triumph TR3 engine and took the crank 
thrust bearing down to the minimum specified gap by sanding a mismatched set of 
standard and oversized backing plates down on a piece of glass and also 
blueprinted the pump by reducing the pump rotor baseplate clearances on a 
sandpaper/glass setup. Great tip!


-----Original Message-----
From: David Scheidt <> 
Sent: Sunday, August 9, 2020 7:21 AM
To: Jack Brooks <>; shop-talk <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Annealing Copper bars

On Sat, Aug 8, 2020 at 5:51 PM Jack Brooks <> wrote:
> Insulation - BINGO!  Great thought Donald!
> I underestimated copper's heat transmission rate.  Using propane, I could not 
> get a 1/8 x 1 inch x 8 inch bar to get to glow with the bottom of the bar 
> clamped in a vice.  I decided to try "Insulating".
> I laid a 3 inch long copper bar (typical busbar length) across the teeth of 
> two sections of a coarse hack saw blade clamped off to the side of my vice.  
> There is almost no contact between the copper bar and these supports, only 
> across the tips of the teeth on the two halves of the hack saw blades, so 
> maybe a dozen pinheads.  With this arrangement and with a partially-dark 
> room, I could just barely see the red glow in the copper. After a quench, the 
> copper bar was soft!

That's a clever way of doing it.  A firebrick is the usual suface to put things 
on while they're heated.  For a propane torch, you could use a regular brick, 
or a cinderblock. They don't work with a welding torch, because they explode.  
Also, there's a surprising difference in torch output.  A few years ago, I 
couldn't get a 1" copper fitting hot enough to flow solder using the crappy 
propane torch I'd had for 20
years.   I bought a Bernzomatic TS-8000, at the advise of a plumber,
and it did it with out breaking a sweat.

> I now have a method.  Now I have to insure that I can clean up the contact 
> surfaces well without affecting the flatness and I can go forward with 
> softening the real busbars.

Sand paper or emery paper on glass will work well.

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