artificial hips

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by redneckswami, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. redneckswami


    Mar 31, 2008
    Good afternoon, ya'll.
    I have a question that might sound a little offbeat, but here goes... A buddy just recently had his hips replaced - old appliances taken out and new ones installed. We were wondering if these could be, somehow, made into knife blades? They are titanium, I believe, but I don't know what kind of titanium. Anyone have any thoughts, or experience, on this kind of thing? Any advice is greatly appreciated! If knifeblades aren't so good, then I might incorporate them into a sculpture somehow...
  2. Atlas Knife Company

    Atlas Knife Company

    Feb 16, 2010
    They could make great wall hangers, but they won't keep an edge very well at all.
  3. redneckswami


    Mar 31, 2008
    Hi Zaph.
    Yeah - they'd be intended to be more of a novelty than actual "using" blades.
  4. BChou-E29


    Dec 4, 2009

    Ariel made a kitchen knife out of titanium that is apparently fully functional. How he went about doing it is beyond me but it's been done alright... However, seeing as how you seem to be pretty green in this field and this is only a very uncommon exception, I would still recommend you put that titanium to use somewhere else.
  5. Atlas Knife Company

    Atlas Knife Company

    Feb 16, 2010
    I didn't find it particularly difficult to work with, just make sure you clear all wood dust from the area and wear a very good respirator. The sparks while grinding are bright white and numerous. You won't be able to heat treat it, so your initial grinding is also the final grinding.

  6. billf

    billf Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    HA !

    Something I know about!!

    I am an orthopedic surgeon who does alot of hip replacements - most are made of Titanium - rarely it is CP Titanium but usually it is Ti-6AL-4V.

    Not good for knives, very biocompatible though

  7. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007

    That's good to know.

    Hey, I need some titanium or something in my lower back (I was hoping to score some Patrick Swayze cadaver bone, but no luck). Ever work around the sciatic nerve? You take knife trades?
  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    In 1970 they had to put an IMP in to replace and support my right femur (Basically, to space out the knee and hip ends of the femur, because there wasn't much left between them). They removed it a year later after I regrew the bone. In 1999 I forged the IMP into two letter opener knives. It was something similar to monel.
    My father had a hip replaced in 1998. One of my customers was the rep for a prosthesis company that makes hips and knees. He gave me an old hip joint for dad to take to the hospital and say he brought his own parts to save money,and only wanted to be billed for labor ( he actually did this joke). Of course they used their hip joint. I forged the shaft out into letter opener blade and mounted the socket on a wooden base with a pen and pencil. The ball just sat in the socket ,so the letter opener could be picked up and used. It was some type of stainless steel ASFAICT. It was really hot hard, and a b!#@h to forge. He gave it to his surgeon.
  9. billf

    billf Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 9, 2003

    the early hips were 300 series stainless


    I don't do spinal surgery, but several of my partners do, and almost all the spinal implants are titanium. I don't take knives as trades.....but maybe a radius platen....:p

  10. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod

    Apr 6, 2000
    Chris Reeve used the titanium balls made for hip joints as the knob tops for his walking sticks. I understand he got blems from the supplier.


    Sep 28, 2005
    I have the plates and screws and staples used in my legs and I plan on making a very special Kris knife with them as fittings, but using knife quality steel for the blade.
  12. redneckswami


    Mar 31, 2008
    Thanks for all of the feedback, ya'll. Didn't expect to get information from an orthopedic surgeon, but thanks Bill! Esav and Stacey - ya'll have given me a couple of cool ideas. I've been forging/making knives for 6 years, but haven't worked at all with titanium, so I'm clueless as to the best way to work the stuff. I might try forging a little of it to see if I can make a letter opener, and if not, I might make him a walking stick or a cane. If I can't do one of those 2 things, then I'm going to go with my original sculpture idea - something robotic and mechanical looking utilizing the implants as legs or arms. Star Wars walker maybe... Thanks very much again for the information. This is one of the reasons I like the Bladeforums!
  13. Phil Dwyer

    Phil Dwyer

    Feb 28, 2006
    If your buddy is into knives why not use the titanium for the fittings? You could make up some neat guards and pommels with it! Do you have any snap shots of the Ti hip part? I ask, because I wonder if any of the shapes, like the ball, could be incorporated more or less as is or sliced to get cross sections or some such. Of course there's always forging. I've seen some nice looking texturing and coloring done with Ti too. What an exciting project! Keep us posted.

  14. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Google gave this picture.
    Maybe it can be used as a handle to hold a proper steel blade?
    Or use tha ball a a pomel?

  15. rayban


    Apr 14, 2007
    I have one of those installed in me and the thought of someone hammering on it makes my hip ache!!:D
  16. butcher_block


    Dec 6, 2004
    seeing the pic it sems to have a thong hole ready to go
    i say make a chopper and keep the ball for the but since its Ti it will not be overly heavy (and really missleading when the knife is picked up )

    tho also a large elk skinner as the ball could be used to help seraprate the skin from the flesh
    cool project
  17. fitzo


    Aug 14, 2001
    Implant technology has progressed quite abit.
    That's a lot more compact than the pair I got back in '96.
  18. Phil Dwyer

    Phil Dwyer

    Feb 28, 2006
    Any chance we can see a pic of the actual replaced part that will be used?

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