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Chisel made of Titanium

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Hi,
I know that Titanium it is very hard material. I have some bars of Titanium and I wonder if it is a good idea to make from it chisels. Is it posible to forge Titanium and is ther advaced to use this material for chisels? I would appreciate your advice on this issue.

Regards,

Rob

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There are two main issues for chisels, strength and hardness.

Unalloyed titanium is softer, not harder, than hardened steel, and by a wide margin. Titanium carbide and titanium diboride are both harder than hardened steel, though, apparently, for what its worth.

In terms of strength, titanium is stronger than steel by weight, but by the same token, aluminum is stronger than titanium by weight. But of course having a really strong giant chisel isn't really of much interest, what you care about is how strong it is by volume, in which case steel is the big winner. I suppose if you wanted something with a very large profile but wanted it to be light, then titanium might be your choice. Again, though, I can't imagine needing a very large, very light chisel.

There are blacksmiths who use titanium, but presumably that is primarily for aesthetic reasons, not structural ones.

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You can make anything you want out of pretty much any material you want(People made axes out of stone for centuries). Whether making a chisel out of a relatively new material would be an improvement only experimentation and evaluation can say. What is a huge improvement to you may not be at all significant to the way I work.
The factors I`ve seen that factor most in regard to titanium are weight,heat and resistance to corrosion. Are these really important factors when using chisels? Only you can answer that.
You may be a diver who plans to work on wooden boats while they`re still on moorings for all I know.You didn`t even say if you`re talking about hot work,cold work,stone or wood chisels.
Hard tellin` not knowin`.

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not sure how a chisel with out an edge would work out.

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Talk to MonsterMetal aka Larry Langdon, he has made crowbars out of Ti.

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you could talk to me, Id tell you the same thing all the other guys did.. Not a good choice for a chisel.. heck send me the Ti and I'll send you some S7 or H13 or 4340... All great choices for hot work chisels... There is a big diffrence between tough and hard... Ti is very tough stuff with lots of great uses in a forge shop... Ive made many pry and crow bars from a few inches to 5 feet, makes great tongs too.... But stick to alloy/tool steel for thing that is going to be struck to do work or needs to be sharp. Ti is just not hard enough

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I did a bit more home grown research ............the hard steel chisels/ punches won but were damaged. The punch damage was hardly noticeable........The engravers chisel and the sharpened cold chisel bunged up the ti but didn't cut.........I wacked the ti bar on the edge of the platen table (duh)and it left a bigger than expected mark..... I get the impression that ti might work for a while but the edge would crumble....mb

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I second what the others have stated. Titanium has been made out as a wonder metal that can do anything. Just look at the advertising that uses titanium for purposes of selling an otherwise crappy product. I have seen things that didn't even have titanium in them named titanium whatevers.

As Larry said, titanium is TOUGH, not hard. big difference. It is difficult to work in a cold state IE; rolling, bending, punching,,, and is also more difficult to machine than steels dictating slower speeds, and feeds.

Some tools need to be made from other materials due to their application. For areas that have explosive atmospheres ,such as grain elevators, copper beryllium tools are used due to their non-sparking quality. CuBe alloys are tough enough to be made into wrenches, hammers, and even knives, but they don't last as long as a properly heat treated steel tool will. They are also very expensive in comparison to steel tools. We are currently paying around $23 a pound for CuBe bar stock.

Back when I was going to my local JC the machine shop had some 2x3 Titanium bars. Some got used by a couple of lowriders that needed some sparking blocks, which they excelled at. Mounted to the bottom of the chassis, they would jam down the road then lower the rear end till the block started dragging. The friction would send a shower of intense white sparks out the back.

I would look at either artistic, home decor/utilitarian , or architectural items to make from this, and use the "titanium" angle to sell it. It does take some nice oxide colors that last, and last, and last.

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Ti can make nice tongs as it doesn't transmit heat as well and so the reigns stay cooler longer in the gasser. I've forged a pair (CP 1 and 2 is *softer* than steel at forging temp!)

Ti can be wildly coloured and so makes good jewelry.

Ti is quite inert at STP and so I once forged a Ti knife fork and spoon for a camp eating set---dishwasher safe!

Ti makes lousy knives compared to a good steel and just saying that gets the quivering pouty lips form folks saying "But it's TITANIUM" Now if you wanted to make a dive knife that doesn't have a magnetic signature it would be on the list of appropriate alloys.

I have a boss who is a Titanium-phile and got a Ti cased laptop---he wasn't amused when I explained how the Al cases were *better* as they dissipated heat better than Ti and laptops have heat issues by their very nature. I plan to forge him a Ti doorstop to make amends...

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Thank you folks for the very intersting feedback and helpfull tips. Apprerciated.
Rob

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On 5/8/2011 at 2:40 PM, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

quote removed

Titaniums main use is for alloying, when alloyed with steel and carbide it makes very hard tooling.

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I work in the aircraft industry. Titanium has flammability characteristics similar to magnesium (not identical). I have had drill chips spontaneously ignite from too high of a drilling RPM. It has its uses, and limitations. 

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*Exactly*!   Metals and Alloys all have things they are good for and things there are terrible for.  The problem occurs when people get to thinking that some Metal or Alloy is *special* and so should be good for *EVERYTHING*!

Also; you ever notice that when people say "I know that XYZ..." how often they are wrong?  I guess they base their ideas on "common knowledge" which is fueled by ads, video games, movies, fantasy books, wishful thinking; and seldomly by reality...

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