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
Get it hot
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
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
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
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