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How do you forge titanium?


firebug

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I got to play with TI 2 times, at hammer-ins. I hope someone can shed some light on the different alloys.. The first piece was a crescent shaped saw drop about 4 inches long. The guy that had it asked if we could make something out of it during midnite-maddness. I got to be the forge guy, and got 2 strapping lads with 8# sledges to strike for me. After maybe 6 heats and plenty of re-hydration, we succeded in making a slightly dented crescent shaped piece, we all agreed on a stupid art-speak title for the 'scuplture', and gave it back to its owner.

The other piece was at another hammer-in, a piece of flat bar, maybe 1/2 by 1 inch, we heated it up and it moved a bit faster than warm butter, but left a yellow powder residue on the surface..

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Robb Gunter has done this. Don't know how. I weld the stuff regularly and it not the art of welding but the art of PRUGING the stuff. On on my test coupons, back in the 80's, we cut the weld only out of the coupon and tied a knot in it. When not purged correctly it will break like glass. Fun stuff to weld. Would like to try forging it some day.

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I have forged grade 5 Ti some. It is absorbing oxygen as you heat it and after it is out of the fire so you would do best with a reducing fire and get the job done with a minimum number of heats. It forges best when pretty hot and starts getting hard when you think it should still be hot enough (or at least that is what I thought). Quenching in water does not seem to effect hardness/brittleness from my personal tests.
To make tongs I would punch my rivet hole as it may be difficult to drill.

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I've foged a bit of the CP 1&2 grades of Ti, like butter at temp; but the more/longer it's hot in the forge the more brittle it can become so start with a piece as close to the finished size you can and work *fast*.

There is supposedly some Ti alloys that will give off toxic fumes. I can never remember which alloy though as my stash was CP 1&2.

I forged a set of Ti tongs for my gasser about 10 years ago and punching the rivit hole is a *good* idea! (other things I have forged was a knife fork and spoon, penannular brooch, pipe tool. I have some large stock I was thinking of making some hammer heads from... need to make a tool to cut and form the peens using my screw press in one operation.

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Any idea what type you have? I’ve ground and done a little machining, but never forged any, I gave Ron Reil a drop of 6AL-4V bar (AL for aluminum, V for vanadium, some places list this as grade 5) I got from a knifemaker friend. After forging Ron noticed some flu like symptoms, he thought it was possibly due to the vanadium. CP2 commercially pure, aka grade 2 is another common type, and might be a little more forge friendly.

Todd

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  • 9 months later...

The most impressive thing i seen on titanium is a guy on you tube that made a knife with it. Right after he forged it and let it air cool he put it in a vise with the blade portion sticking out, Took a six pound sledge and and hit the blade with all his might and you could tell the force he was puting in it and it never broke or bent!!

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Where can I get some Ti for decent money. 2 years ago a guy I work with asked me to forge a knife for him, I looked into buying some and it was about $380 for a 3/4" x 3/4" x 12" of I don't remember what grade. But like steel and stainless there are some grades that are more forge friendly than others, no idea which ones though.

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The most impressive thing i seen on titanium is a guy on you tube that made a knife with it. Right after he forged it and let it air cool he put it in a vise with the blade portion sticking out, Took a six pound sledge and and hit the blade with all his might and you could tell the force he was puting in it and it never broke or bent!!


YouTube - Forged Titanium Knife
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Steve you are right that Timascus shows that titanium can be forge welded. We have made a lot of it and it is a really interesting material to work with. It requires close monitoring of heat since ti will burn and that can cause a fire in excess of 4000 f. Makes for a really exciting time when that happens!
Titanium works well under a hammer, either manual or power. Keep the heat in the 1800 - 1950 range and it really moves well. There is a point it will be moving well and the next blow just bounces off. At that point temp has dropped off to 16-17 hundred and it just flat refuses to move any more.
Titanium will NOT make an acceptable blade folks. It just will not get hard enough. I, and a lot of other knife makers use it for knife furniture, liners, locks, handles etc.

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