A big thumbs up to everyone's efforts on this project. My experience has been that yes, quenching copper after high heat will soften it. It's opposite of steel. Learned that working in the OC Steam Department many years ago.
Yes. Certainly heating to red heat softens copper that has become work hardened.
Various sources indicate that there is little / no effect on the crystalline structure if the hot metal is quenched vs. air cooled. However, it has traditionally been quenched and it does remove the surface scale so we will do it.
Nigel, I'd be willing to donate some large rolls of plastic painter's sheeting if you guys want to build a dust-free tent around 1630 or help mask areas off after priming everything so it can be painted all at once. Shoot me an e-mail if you'd be interested.
Let me know if you guys can use a donation of larger painter's plastic sheeting. We've used them in the diesel shop for masking off large areas, and after priming all the areas of 1630, could build a dust-free tent around the loco so it can be painted all at once. Jamie is pretty much the resident locomotive painter, so I'm sure he could provide a lot of valuable advice for the painting project as well.
Shoot me an email with how much square footage you think you'd need, and we could discuss it further from there.