How to forge titanium?

If anyone could provide info on how to forge titanium I would appreciate it. Also if anyone has could you tell me whether or not you think it is worth
it. Thank you.
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Matthew Swanner wrote:

In my experience, titanium forges like butter at a yellow and doesn't move at a dull red.

To me, the value of any forging material is related to its suitability for a particular application. Titanium is expensive, but if you need a material that's light, rigid, and strong, it might be just the ticket. I find it to be extremely useful for forging horseshoes for the front end of big speed horses that routinely bend the lateral branch of aluminum shoes.
--
Tom Stovall, CJF
Farrier & Blacksmith
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wrote:

Get it hot
Hit it
Make sure you stop hitting it when it goes even _slightly_ cold. The stuff switches behaviour almost instantly from "irksome" to "Your wrist just broke"
OTOH, you can get some lovely surface colours simoply by polishing and heating it.

It's a good way to make a forged titanium thing. The rest depends on why you want it. The colours are nice, it's weatherproof and the light weight might be attractive. However it won't take an edge, it's a pig to machine and it's complex to weld (TIG is reasonably easy, but you need a glovebox)
There's a few rcm people who regularly work Ti at a "backyard workshop" level.
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This subject has come up a few times on theforge. You might try checking the theforge archives at qth.net and on Ron Reil's site.
I have done only a very small amount of work with titanium, but I have seen other peoples work and have spoken with them about it. My understanding is this:
Titanium (Ti) is very tough when cold, but very easily forged when hot, rather like pure iron. It is forgeable at about the same heat as iron. It is a reactive metal like aluminum, but forms a protective oxide layer (like aluminum). This oxide layer prevents forge welding (at least without fancy flux - or TIG - but that's not my expertise). Otherwise you can do wonderful things with it. It forges so easily that you can use upsetting and drawing out to accomplish what you might do by welding with steel.
Titanium is a rather lightweight metal. Heavier than aluminum, but much lighter than steel. Yet it's at least as strong as steel. I understand that forging it like iron tends to weaken it, probably because of the oxididation. However, you are unlikely to notice the loss in strength.
Titanium is not toxic. It may be less toxic than iron. But it may be alloyed with toxic metals such as vanadium (V). You should use titanium CP (commercially pure). I understand that when forged, Ti-V alloys give off V vapors that produce "symptoms of flu." Sounds nasty.
Titanium is expensive. Whereas iron is probably about 50 cents per pound, Ti may be $25 per pound. Look for sources of industrial scrap. It is used industrially for medical implants and for aerospace applications.
Bruce NJ

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