Annealing Metal for Trap Supplies—— May 31, 2019 14:44:34 GMT -5 via mobile
Post by aixsponsa on May 31, 2019 14:44:34 GMT -5
I’m sure many of you already know about annealing metal and do it yourself when needed, but I’m sharing how I do it just in case some don’t know about it. Annealing metal is a very useful process for trappers. Simply put, annealing metal is making it softer, making it easier to bend (wire) or smash (nuts).
I’ll put a box of nuts on a piece of wire then tie the ends together. (1/4” nuts for cable end stops; larger nuts to go on rebar). If I need snare supports, I’ll cut pieces of wire to the lengths I want and tie them together at dozen or more pieces per bundle.
I build a fire outside or in the fireplace, and I’ll toss the bundles into the heart of the fire on the coals. I let the fire burn, and then I let it die out after I know the metal has at least gotten hot enough to turn cherry red or hotter. I leave them alone to slowly cool until I can touch them with my bare hands. At this point, you’re done. The wire is now much softer and easier to bend for snare supports, and the nuts are ready to be hammered onto cable as end stops or onto rebar for stakes, rebar drowners, KPs, etc.
Most (or all) wire purchased from trap supply houses are already annealed, but if you have some tension wire in the barn or need some snare support wire in a pinch, you can buy rolls of 9 gauge tension wire at hardware/construction stores. It’ll be very stiff, but toss precut pieces or even the entire roll into the fire and give it time, and you’ll have annealed wire.
One advantage to doing it yourself is you can choose to only anneal part of the wire. For hog snares, I prefer having a stiff support to hold up the heavy snares. By only putting the last few inches of the bundles in the coals, I’ll have a stiff support with a tip that’s easy to bend to make a W. Also, tension wire makes good tie wire for securing panels to T-posts for hog traps and other uses.
Some say that metals don’t need to cool so slowly to use them (like letting them cool to the touch in a campfire that’s died out). They just get the nuts glowing cherry red or hotter with a torch and let them immediately air cool. If that works for them, great, but slowly cooling makes them easier to work with. For 1/4” nuts, it’s not really a big deal, but when I’m having to hammer 3/4” nuts onto rebar, I want them to be as soft as I can get them.
I’d add pictures if I could
You can read more about annealing here: