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I Forge Iron

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I bought 75lbs of Ti scraps last week when I was picking up a machine.. Its all bar ends... Most 1 3/4 but a bit of 2 1/2".... short chunks... I want to make some tools and will get to a few things later... But I had a moment to day so I wanted to see how it would move and how much oxidation I would get doing a major reorientation of the material.. So I made a few crowbars... This was the second one, I thought it was interesting enough I would take a few pictures and share..

Started with 3.5" of 1 3/4 bar... Ended up with a 28" taper jimmy bar.. Seems to be portioned right, will pick up a 800lb block of steel with no affect...

Lost about 3 grams to grinding and scale..


I really like forging Ti... I think its easier to control than steel.. Its hard on stuff though... If you planish a little cold it starts denting the face of your hammer.... Hard to clean up too... Moves really nice at the sweet temp spot, but that sweet spot is fairly small compared to most other materials

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That is interesting. Was your titanium pure then or some sort of titanium/iron alloy? I recently tried forging some Monel and found it to be incredibly hard. Without the power hammer I could hardly dent the stuff! Even using the Anyang it took me an hour to forge a large ice cream scoop from a 7/8" rod. My questing mind requires that I investigate myriad possible materials as well as techniques. Thanks for sharing!

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So do I ritually slaughter a chicken and spread the entrails in a symbolic way whilst looking at said sun. What do I do if it's March?

No you just try it for yourself, and make your own assessment, basically its at a red heat, what shade is your interpretation, if you have temperature calibrated eyeballs then please let me know the temperature, just out of curiosity really. the actual degree range is not as important to me

Have you ever tried asking a blind person to describe a colour? Same thing here, all colours are perceived differently and described differently.
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Dad talked with a smith at a the Napa county fair years ago the was making Ti tent stakes for a circus. He loved working with the stuff because it moved so well.

How much ya paying for scrap?

I bought 75# for $150... They are paying about $1.60/lb for scrap so its a bit over, but this was all fair sized solid bits (And I had to give them an incentive to sell to me over giving it to the scrappy)

Ti scrap has dropped by a huge margin... It wasn't that long ago that scrap was worth $10/lb or more... My understanding is they have developed a new manufacturing proses that made making Ti from raw materials much cheaper than before

As for working temp... You dont want to get it white.... If its white it is absorbing O2 and becoming brittle... A dull orange down to a medium/bright red... One thing that is kind of strange... There is a point where its red hot still, but stops moving.... its strange... You can still do minor tuning under a big hammer but by hand its just like pounding on a cold chunk of tool steel... the hammer bounces off and nothing happens...

This stuff is Ti-6Al-4V which is the most common alloy... I know there are alloys that are specifically for forging but I have yet to get my hands on any yet...

I should say that although this is fun its also more or less ridiculous... To do the same thing in mild steel, or even tool steel, would have taken maybe 20-30 minuets .. Forging and clean up. I bet it took three hours to make the two crowbars..
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Interesting, I remember back in the 80's when I was attending various DRMO auctions that the scrap guys were commenting on how little they were getting for Ti. What I usually saw being sold were jet engine tail cones, and hardware. Items like pumps, valves, etc that were made of Monel, Inconel,copper, etc. they were all fighting over, but the Ti stuff went pretty cheap.

The community college I attended had some 10' bars of 2"x3" Ti that they got surplus. Don't remember anyone ever using it for a project in the machine shop class.

A cutting torch, and some Ti makes some great fireworks. Beautiful intense white sparks.

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I picked up some Ti from Patrick at Quad state to try it out. I was thinking of making some ultralight tent pegs, a fork and spoon and maybe a fold up grill for canoe tripping. There are Ti pots made for mountaneering and ultralight backpacking I have been told they are naturally non stick.

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I've forged a set of Ti tongs, pipe tamper, knife. fork, spoon, penannular brooch, etc Mainly for the bragging rights, though the eating set is handy---dishwasher safe! I need to finish it off with a Ti plate and cup...

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