Re-use for surgical titanium?

An acquaintance gave me the titanium implant that was placed in his
broken leg to help it heal and was later removed. It looks the way a
ladder would look if you could press it against something along its
length until all the rungs were arcs. It’s about 5 inches long, and

Any ideas how I can reshape/rework this into jewelry? I’ve
considered anodizing it and giving it back to him as a trophy. but I
suspect it might be too thick to receive an oxide layer, owing to
resistance. And anyway, I 'd rather make something prettier than a
bone matrix from it. :slight_smile:


Hi Lorraine,

It’ll color just fine. (electrically)

As far as reshaping it…probably not. It’s likely one of the harder
alloys (Ti64-AlV at a bet). Not insurmountably hard to mess with,
but it’ll take more than a little convincing. (Imagine hard stainless
steel.) It’ll work harden quickly as well, so you won’t get much
motion out of it.

A jeweler’s saw will cut it, and you can drill through it for
rivets, so ponder what sorts of shapes you can put together by way of
chopping it up and riveting it back together in some new way. To drill
it, run your drill slow (in a drill press) and use lots of lube. Pull
down harder than you normally would, and drill in short cycles. You
want to ‘peck’ at it. Drill hard for a second or two, pull back for 5
seconds, drill hard for another second or two…etc. If you break a
bit in it, fear not. Just mix up a super concentrated batch of
pickle, and dump it in there for an hour or two. It’ll eat the
drillbit without touching the Ti.

Given that it’s been implanted, I’d probably dump it into a
concentrated bleach solution for a bit, then boil it, just to make
sure it doesn’t have anything on it that you don’t want.

For whatever that’s worth,
Brian Meek.


First off the size/thickness of a piece has little to do with
anodizing. You could anodize a titanium submarine or a 4’ thick ingot
as long as you didn’t try to do it all at once. Resistivity and
current flow is a surface thing. The implant is most likely Grade #5
titanium, an alloy with aluminum and vanadium. Very hard. You will
not be able to cold form it. Cutting it will be difficult, a lot of
blades or cut off disks. I think your trophy idea is not bad. Mount
it in a block of wood or a cast plastic base.

Reactive Metals Studio, Inc

Lorraine, have a look at this website.