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Heat Treating Titanium?

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by EastCompassoKnivery, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. EastCompassoKnivery


    Feb 26, 2014
    Well a while ago when I was ordering some stock I may or may not of messed up my order a little, and when push comes to shove I wound up with no order and a little bit of non refundable credit. So I thought hey why not get some titanium?

    So I ordered titanium a couple of days ago and it hasn't showed up but I would like to be able to hit the ground running when it comes in. I've heard that it comes relatively hard and was curious if there was a way to soften it for grinding. And then I was wondering how I can go about bringing it back up to hardness.

    I heard that if you get it red hot then quench it it softens and if you get it read hot and let it air cool it hardens. This seems kind backwards to me having only used steel.

    Any input would be GREATLY appreciated.
  2. Chris Larrikin

    Chris Larrikin

    Jul 19, 2012
    There is a member by the name of Mecha who has written some detailed posts and WIPs about titanium, wbat you can do with it etc. It would be worth having a look at those. Daniel Fairly (correct spelling if needed guys) also works with titanium and I think his approach is to carbidise the edge.
  3. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    I do not do any heat treat besides heating to bend lock bars... heat treat on Grade 5 Ti is somewhat debated as well as air and work hardening. I personally don't think it will harden in any way that is noticeable including work hardening. I may be completely wrong though, this is just based off of what I have seen.

    I put Grade 5 (6al4v) in bold because that is what I work with, other titanium alloys can absolutely be hardened.

    My best tips would be to grind slow, use sharp belts, quality sharp bits (cobalt or carbide) and always keep the Ti cool.
  4. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
  5. EastCompassoKnivery


    Feb 26, 2014
    Well. I appreciate the answers. Although I'm not sure my use was stated in the first post. I am in no place to make a frame lock or any sort of locking folder (at least not at the moment) What I am now curious about is whether or not it can be used as a fixed blade? Is there anything wrong with that or is only used for frames of folders?
  6. EastCompassoKnivery


    Feb 26, 2014
    Also it may be helpful if I state that the type of titanium is "Grade 2" not exactly sure if that helps or not. Also I know that y'all are probably face palming at my stupidity when it comes to this. Probably should have done a little more research. I appreciate the patience.
  7. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Titanium fixed blades are my specialty, :) I do add 72 RC tungsten carbide to the edge for edge holding though. I use 6al4v Ti only, it has a decent RC to start and stays springy.

    I have sold over 150 Ti fixed blades this year alone and hear nothing but good about them, I do feel they need carbide to work well though. For self defense alone it would not matter. (carbide does cut flesh better though)

    Not at all, it is probably good that you aren't as obsessed with Titanium as I am. :p :D

    Grade 2 is also known as commercially pure Titanium, it will make great parts, jewelry, is hypoallergenic. I wouldn't use it on a knife blade, clip or framelock lock side as the edge stability and spring is not very good. You could use it for scales, a framelock frame side, a knife shaped object just for fun... all sorts of Ti things that don't need an edge.

    Grade 2 and 5 are combined to make Timascus and Mokuti also.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    A good long time back I made a group of Ti dive/kayak knives. They were 6Al4V. I put them in the HT oven at 1000F for 6 hours, IIRC. Can't say it made them like steel blades, but it probably added few points of hardness. Mid to upper Rc30's is all you will get with Ti.

    I have couple titanium swords in the works that will be age hardened.
  9. sloth357

    sloth357 Platinum m0f0

    Jan 5, 2011
    I second for checking out Mecha. He is working with a beta Ti with a different composition, "very rare 89.5Ti 10Nb 0.5Fe titanium alloy". The Nb is Niobium.

    Sounds like he is getting mid to upper Rc40s... shooting for low 50s...

    Later :)

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