Here is a good article about work-hardening and annealing. It's in the form of a student lab experiment, but the explanations are excellent. As you know, non-ferrous metals become brittle after shaping and forming. The common ones used in automobiles being copper, brass, and aluminum.
http://materialseducation.org/educators ... Copper.pdf
One trick I know concerns annealing aluminum body panels. Apply your torch (using acetylene gas only) to the metal, coating it with that annoying black soot. Then, play a rosebud tipped oxy-acetylene torch over the surface. When the soot is burned off, the aluminum is annealed.
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