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Re: Annealing Copper Head Gaskets [Re: Triless] #580738
01/13/15 10:06 am
01/13/15 10:06 am
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,993
Running from demons in WNY
Hillbilly bike Online content
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Running from demons in WNY
Wow,do you guys have digital thermo sensors to indicate the proper temperature for annealing or is the bright red color close enough? grin


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Re: Annealing Copper Head Gaskets [Re: Charlieboy] #580745
01/13/15 10:47 am
01/13/15 10:47 am
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,487
Back on the mainland!
JubeePrince Offline

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Back on the mainland!
If it's Amaranth Red, it's not hot enough.


'77 T140J
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Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
Re: Annealing Copper Head Gaskets [Re: Hillbilly bike] #580747
01/13/15 10:59 am
01/13/15 10:59 am
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,726
U.S.
Magnetoman Offline

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Originally Posted By: Hillbilly bike
do you guys have digital thermo sensors
Yes, and...
Originally Posted By: Hillbilly bike
or is the bright red color close enough?
...Yes.

Here the analog eyeball definitely is close enough.

Re: Annealing Copper Head Gaskets [Re: Charlieboy] #580760
01/13/15 1:01 pm
01/13/15 1:01 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,500
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Online content

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Tridentman  Online Content

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New Jersey USA
Cherry red has done the job for me for over 50 years--without any problems.

Re: Annealing Copper Head Gaskets [Re: Tridentman] #580765
01/13/15 1:21 pm
01/13/15 1:21 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
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Magnetoman Offline

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Originally Posted By: Tridentman
Cherry red has done the job for me for over 50 years--without any problems.
Amaranth red is ~1200 oF, cherry red is ~1500 oF, and red paint that has been in the desert sun too long (i.e. orange) is ~~1700 oF, so it's easily possible by eye to discern temperature difference of only 100 oF or so.

You don't have to get the entire head gasket glowing cherry red simultaneously to accomplish the task. Just get a region a few sq. inches in size up to cherry red and then slowly advance the torch to "push" that red region around the entire gasket (with the back edge of that region cooling off as the torch advances). Although you will do the entire gasket, at any one time only a few sq. inches will be glowing.

I've never timed it, but the heat capacity of the copper does a pretty good job of timing the annealing for you. That is, if you try to advance the torch too quickly the leading edge won't have time to come up to cherry red so that will force you to slow down. It only requires being at cherry red for a few seconds to accomplish the task. Longer is fine (although, with increased oxidation of the surface), but hotter is risky.

It's safer if you do this with a propane torch since it is possible to melt the thin copper with oxy-acetylene. If you do use acetylene I'd recommend using a "rosebud" tip, although any tip will work as long as you pay attention and don't let any portion ever get hotter than cherry red.

Re: Annealing Copper Head Gaskets [Re: Charlieboy] #580781
01/13/15 3:48 pm
01/13/15 3:48 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,500
New Jersey USA
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New Jersey USA
Yes--I use a propane torch and progressively "cover" the whole of the gasket.
When all done I ease the gasket into a bucket of cold water. That gets rid of most of the crud and the gasket is then very soft.

Re: Annealing Copper Head Gaskets [Re: Charlieboy] #580796
01/13/15 5:19 pm
01/13/15 5:19 pm
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,114
Noblesville, IN
Jack Adams Offline
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Jack Adams  Offline
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Noblesville, IN
The last part of TDM's post gets to the real point. When you are done annealing it,It will be soft enough to bend with your fingers. Jack

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