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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I hate paying ridiculous prices for something I can make myself, so I did...

Here's a brass annealer using 3d printed parts (hopper, feeder mechanism, and the entire geared drive mechanism is all 3d printed). Based on a design by Richard Bean.

So, first up was building the box. It's made from 1/4" MDF. I used the parts as a template for drilling all the holes. Here is the box with holes drilled and digital display window cut out, and everything painted. The face of the box is angled at 15 degrees to prevent cases from sliding out, etc:

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Inside from the back. I JB Welded magnets on the bracing blocks and a top block to hold the back cover on:

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Close up of the digital display window. I used my drill press and a forstner bit to cut out areas where some of the pins on the display's board protrude and I relieved the side of the box for the edge of the display board with a dremel:

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The relief was necessary as this annealer is small, only 8 3/4" wide, so real estate is limited. I had to take the display out of its plastic mounting box to use it as it was way too large to fit.

Plastic mounting box that I removed:

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Here's the display without its mounting box:

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And here it is all mounted up in the box (I got lucky and cut the window just right and the friction fit is perfect to hold it in place, no glue needed):

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And from the front:

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Next up is the drive mechanism. It consists of a 3d printed frame with a couple of inline skate wheel bearings. The motor mounts on the back. It is a 12v with a 90 degree reduction gear drive (10RPM):

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These are the 3d printed gears with the shafts JB Welded in. The bottom gear fits on the motor drive shaft:

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Continued in next post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The gears fit into the frame assembly as such. Then, the entire assembly is screwed onto the back of the face plate with the two shafts protruding to drive the feed mechanism and the tub:

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Here are the 3d printed hopper and the feed ramp that bolt to the front:

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The case feeder has three sizes of pocket to accommodate different sized cases. The gray drum attaches inside the feeder using magnets. The gray drum is simply spun so that the correct pocket size is facing out:

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I also had to bend a 1/4" steel rod to shape to act as the holder at the bottom of the tub. It is bent so that it rides over then into the tub so that no part of the metal rod is in the torch flame. This is an issue I see on many of the DIY annealers.

Finally, here it is test running some 243 brass:

 

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Makes my way look stone age but I guess my way is stone age but it works. Honestly I only do it on occasion cause for the most part it’s unnecessary unless you’re shooting mags and can’t get neck tension it’s a waste of time. I mostly do it to avoid splitting cases with my 30/06 cast bullet loads cause they need to be belled.
 

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I built an Induction annealer that works great. I also have all the stuff to build one like yours, it's been setting in a box in the shop for years.
I've been doing it by hand with a propane torch for decades!

Notrighty, maybe it's unnecessary and a waste of time to you, but as a precision / long range shooter annealing my brass is a must do to have consistent shoulder set back and neck tension.
For the average shooter / hunter, annealing isn't really needed in most cases, but if you want consistent hand loads you might want to start.
 

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Wow....impressive!! I still use my fingers to hold the case neck and shoulder in the flame of a propane torch. 'Course I might do 20 at a time. 50 would be a huge # for me. 'Course those are all in conjunction with case forming or turning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was doing it by hand with pliers and the torch, but since my son and I got on the AR bandwagon with a 300 Blackout pistol, one in 350 Legend, and his new 5.56, well, it's no longer a 20 at a time affair. We have 1,000 5.56 cases coming, and probably a couple thousand more coming from one of his friend's, I'm not about to sit there with pliers to do that!

If you reload, but don't anneal your rifle cases, you should, you'll get a lot more reloads out of them. The 243 went 2 reloads and on the third, we started splitting necks. With the way things are at the moment, brass is too expensive not to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I built an Induction annealer that works great. I also have all the stuff to build one like yours, it's been setting in a box in the shop for years.
I've been doing it by hand with a propane torch for decades!

Notrighty, maybe it's unnecessary and a waste of time to you, but as a precision / long range shooter annealing my brass is a must do to have consistent shoulder set back and neck tension.
For the average shooter / hunter, annealing isn't really needed in most cases, but if you want consistent hand loads you might want to start.
I considered doing an induction version, but couldn't really come up with an easy (and cheap) way to auto feed cases. Besides, the induction unit would have cost more either to buy or make than it cost me for the entire one I made above. Mine cost me about $65 to make, and it was that much only because I had a friend of mine print the parts and I paid him for 2 full reels of the plastic filament. It used just short of an entire reel to print all the parts, but I gave hgim the extra for his time and trouble.
 

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I considered doing an induction version, but couldn't really come up with an easy (and cheap) way to auto feed cases. Besides, the induction unit would have cost more either to buy or make than it cost me for the entire one I made above. Mine cost me about $65 to make, and it was that much only because I had a friend of mine print the parts and I paid him for 2 full reels of the plastic filament. It used just short of an entire reel to print all the parts, but I gave hgim the extra for his time and trouble.
So, dumb question here probably. Where does the torch go on yours? Are you building an armature for it? Or just hold it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I thought about mounting a torch head on the box, but that would mean buying another torch and I use mine for other things (and I'm a cheap bast ard), so, I bought a U-bolt that fits around the torch and some plastic feet to go on the ends. I just clamp it in that, set it on its side on the bench aiming where I want it. Quick and easy to adjust and free to be used for other things when I need it.

I plan to mount a small stand under the annealer to raise it up for putting a pan of water underneath. The torch will work a little better if it is taller (I can get it aimed to blow more level or even up slightly to keep heat off the bench, etc).

Until I actually run some brass to see for sure, I'm wondering if I should have gone with a faster gear ratio. This one is 10 RPM, but even at 100%, it seems like it might be a bit slow. Worst case scenario, I'll just get a 20 RPM version and replace this one. The motor and gear box is cheap enough ($14.99 on Amazon).

Also need to order a 12v 2A power supply and a female 5.5x2.1 mm jack. That way it'll have a small plug in power wart and a way to unplug it from the side of the annealer. More compact and no permanently mounted power cord (easier to wrap up and store). Right now I'm using some old big power brick that I had in a box (don't even know what it originally went to, lol) and it's direct wired to the controller.

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Very interesting. You know more than many engineers I've worked with over the years.
 

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I believe I annealed my first case.....40+ years ago? When needed it's part of my case prep or case forming process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
First in line if you start selling these!
Well, sorry, won't be making these to sell. I don't have a 3d printer (had a buddy print the parts for me) and there are plenty of "commercial" made ones already. They're really not hard to make at all.
 
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