Bending wax cast trigger guard question

Discussion in 'The Gun Builder's Bench' started by old ugly, Jul 18, 2019.

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  1. Jul 18, 2019 #1

    old ugly

    old ugly

    old ugly

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    This has probably been discussed before but I couldn’t find it.
    I want to bend the rear long part of a wax cast brass rifle trigger guard to fit the curve of a Kentucky pistol stock. So quite a bit of a curve in the stock and the guard is almost flat.
    It’s a TOW wax cast guard.
    Do I heat it and anneal it first, let it cool, then bend it cold.
    Or how should I do it?
     
  2. Jul 18, 2019 #2

    Eutycus

    Eutycus

    Eutycus

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    This should be an interesting a reply. Let's hope an expert on the subject "chimes in". I wouldn't suggest trying to cold bend a cast brass trigger guard. Mine didn't bend , it snapped like a matchstick.
     
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  3. Jul 19, 2019 #3

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

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    Like you I too would be scared. I would try to bend it while it's hot, which is what I did with a Reeves Goering TG (needed to deepen the bow of it). Minor bends like getting the feet to lay down flush with the stock seemed to go ok, but that was after it had been heated a whole lot to do the other more serious bends.

    Why don't you call Track and ask them? That way if it breaks you can send it back to them after taking their advice.
     
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  4. Jul 19, 2019 #4

    EC121

    EC121

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    I have cold bent the grip rails and bows but not a big bend. I like a close grip on the wrist so I bend them to get a better grip. After I inlet the last one I used a piece of sledge hammer handle on the rail. I just kept tapping it til it was where I wanted. Probably just dumb luck that I didn't break it. Annealing would be a better method.
     
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  5. Jul 19, 2019 #5

    longcruise

    longcruise

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    Bend a little bit at a time and thoroughly anneal and cool between little bits .

    Steel, bend hot
    Brass bend cold.
     
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  6. Jul 19, 2019 #6

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

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    I've bent my trigger guards to fit the contour of the stock while cold. Trick is to go slow and only bend a small amount at a time.
     
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  7. Jul 19, 2019 #7

    dave_person

    dave_person

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    Hi,
    You may have trouble trying to bend it radically as a pistol guard. Wax castings from TOW and most others usually are not soft yellow brass. This is where a sand cast guard would be better. Heat it cherry red and either let air cool or quench in water. Then bend it a little cold and repeat. You may reach a point where the casting crumbles from the repeated heating and bending. A better method may be to use the front extension and bow of the guard and cutt off the rear. Then use yellow sheet brass to make the rear extension and rivet and solder it to the rear of the bow. Then anneal and bend to your hearts delight with no worries.

    dave
     
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  8. Jul 19, 2019 #8

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

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    Is there some reason or advantage to bending annealed brass while it's cold, rather than when it's heated in the red-orange range?

    I know from bending sheet brass for MC's. that you can definitely "feel it" when it's starting to stiffen up in the midst of a bend, which means it's time to re-anneal it before going further.
     
  9. Jul 19, 2019 #9

    rich pierce

    rich pierce

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    Brass is too weak when hot. Can just fall apart. I’d never heat brass past a very dull red.

    Dave is spot on about weird alloys often used in wax cast “brass” parts. Some are a form of bronze and do not anneal.
     
  10. Jul 19, 2019 #10

    old ugly

    old ugly

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    The tail of the guard is longer than I need. I’ll do an experimental bend on it first.
    If it won’t bend after it’s annealed I’ll do Dave’s idea. I should be able to make the joint with only a very thin line of solder.
    Thanks all for your help , I’ll let you know what happens
    OU
    Tom
     
  11. Jul 19, 2019 #11

    Daniel Kaylor

    Daniel Kaylor

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    Yeah the brass is brittle it will break if you try to bend it, just cut it.
     
  12. Jul 20, 2019 #12

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    The problem is there are hundreds of different mixes of metals that go into making brass and bronze. Many of the wrought alloys are quite workable but many of the cast alloys are brittle and will break when you try to bend them.

    Because no one except for the people who are pouring the castings know which alloy is being used, it is impossible to know what will happen when you try to bend, say a trigger guard.

    I've had success with some and failure with others. The German Silver alloys seem to bend without breaking but they aren't appropriate for the earlier guns.
     
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  13. Jul 20, 2019 #13

    kansas_volunteer

    kansas_volunteer

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    Brass work hardens, so bending it too many times when cold might cause it to brake. Annealing would help, I think. Heat to cherry red and let it air cool. Quenching is a no no. Trying to think this trough I see that sheet brass can be bent easily when cold but thicker brass might crack because of the relation of the outside sufaces to the middle. That is when bending one surface goes into tension, or stretching while the other surface goes into compression the middle, because of the two opposing acting as they do tries to shear, leading to breaks if every thing isn't just right annealing would relive the stresses. Sheet brass has less middle to go into shear so it bends more without breaking as I see it.
     
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  14. Jul 21, 2019 #14

    Tim L

    Tim L

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    I do believe to anneal brass you heat it to about 500 degrees and quench it in water. Google it.
     
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  15. Jul 23, 2019 #15

    45man

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    It matters not if air cooled or dunked in water, brass softens. Rifle cases are annealed all the time and tipped in water or cooled fast. the reason is to keep heat from traveling down too far and making places you need hard from getting soft.
    The good castings I used to get were bent cold as long as not too much.
    What I hated was all the filing and sanding.
    I would not try to bend hot.
     
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  16. Jul 26, 2019 #16

    old ugly

    old ugly

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    No heat, no annealing, right out of the box. This guard was perfectly flat.
    I went slow and supposed the Center section. it seams I got lucky.
    I was all ready to heat an anneal it but it was bending and shaping so nice I went for it.
    Thanks again for the help
    OU
    Tom
     

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  17. Jul 26, 2019 #17

    Walkingeagle

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    Good job sir!!
    Walk
     
  18. Jul 27, 2019 #18

    old ugly

    old ugly

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    not quite 100% but it came out pretty good.
     

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  19. Jul 27, 2019 #19

    Zonie

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    Based on my experiences with trying to bend a brass trigger guard that much I'd say you lucked out. Congratulations on your success. :):thumb:
     
  20. Jul 27, 2019 #20

    Pete G

    Pete G

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    I second Zonie's comment. :thumb:
    Don't start thinking that any casting can be bent that much.
     

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