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About Corbin Ceramic Heat Treatment Blocks

Corbin Manufacturing now offers easily-machinable ceramic foam heat treatment blocks, to make jacket and bullet holders for bonding cores and heat treating jackets.

The new blocks are available both as a simple "kit", with two ceramic blocks, a drill template, and instructions, and as individual add-on blocks to build additional jacket holders or to construct minature heat treatment furnace enclosures, for use with an ordinary propane torch.


Bullet makers often wish to bond the core to the jacket, to prevent separation on impact and provide nearly 100% retained weight. Although jackets can be "propped up" against a fire-resistant surface and the lead melted inside them by applying a propane torch flame (in the presence of one or two drops of Corbin Core-Bond agent), it is quicker to use a drilled ceramic block to support up to 36 jackets at a time (of up to 50 caliber, with slightly larger than 1/2-inch drilled holes). A second block resting on its narrow edge forms a back-stop for the flame, behind the drilled block. This helps to reflect the flame and heat to the back side of the jackets, evenly distributing the heat for a faster melt.

Corbin's special ceramic foam blocks can withstand up to 2,600 degress (F) and protect the work surface. Only about 800 to 1000 degrees is required for rapid melting of the lead core while the bonding flux is still present as a hot vapor, to effect perfect bonded cores and to heat treat drawn copper or gilding metal jackets for better expansion without cracking.

The ceramic blocks are not "hard" in the usual sense, but can be drilled easily with an ordinary wood drill (spade bit) or cut with a coarse-tooth hacksaw. This makes it simple to drill a pattern of 32 half inch (or smaller) holes partly through the 4-1/2 inch by 9 inch side of the block, to create a high temperature "holding tray" for bullet jackets.

The blocks are 4.5 by 9 by 2.5 inches high. Drilling holes one inch deep into them makes an effective, easy to use holder for nearly any size or length of bullet jacket. At least 3/8 inch should be left between adjacent drill holes for strength. The block should be held firmly but not clamped directly with a c-clamp, for drilling (it may crack if compressed too firmly without a wood, rubber, or leather pad under the clamp).

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About Corbin Bullet Balls