Annealing

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Annealing is a method for softening metal. Before Annealing, the metal, when whacked with a hammer, is brittle and breaks (photo 1.) after Annealing, the metal is soft and malleable (photo 2.), and easy to work with.

This is how you Anneal: what you need is a powerful blow torch, a surface that will not catch fire or melt, a bucket of cool water, tongs, and the metal. Place the metal on the surface and turn on the blow torch. Wave the flame evenly over the metal until the metal has turned a dull red color (it is easier to see the colors if you do this somewhere fairly dark). When that happens, immediately turn of the blow torch (not  much more heat and the metal is ruined) and put the metal (with the tongs, of course) in the water. It will hiss (a sound that I love) but don’t worry, it won’t harm the metal. Voila! your metal is Annealed and ready to work.

(By the way, does anyone know how to re-harden the metal?)

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