Spotlight Hobbies

Color the part with a black Sharpie. Hold the part over the flame of a lighter or candle, not in the flame, until the Sharpie ink burns off. Quench in water. Works on copper and brass (aluminum too).

Ferrous metals need to cool very, very slowly to anneal. Common nonferrous metals anneal just fine with a quench in water.

For larger parts, mix up a carburizing flame on an oxy-acetylene torch, then coat the sheet in soot. Open up the oxy to make a neutral flame. Heat the part, from a distance that won't melt the metal, from the back side until the soot burns off. Quench in water. Your metal will now be dead soft. Or, use a Sharpie and burn it off from the back side with a propane well for aluminum, but you might not be able to exceed the heat dissipating capabilities of large, thick pieces of copper or brass with a propane torch.

Photoetch size parts can be annealed with a Bic lighter. BUT, those tiny pieces are easy to burn up too. Keep your distance and heat slowly for best results.

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