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Titanium ring with dino bone inlay


#1

Hi all…

I would like to pick your brains. I have never worked with titanium
and would like to find some for all those who have been
there done that…

My project is a ring that I would like to inlay some dino bone and
meteorite into the ring. I have your basic jewelers equipment. My
questions are as follows:

  1. What glue works with titanium?

  2. What works best for polishing titanium? (I have diamond wheels and
    polish will this work?)

  3. Can I use diamond burs to create a grove or texture in the
    titanium?

  4. Can I cut it with a regular jewelers saw?

  5. When I inlay…what type of groove is best in titanium to hold the
    inlay? Any suggestions on how wide…deep the groove needs to be for
    best results?

  6. Anything else that you can think of that I need to know before
    starting this project?

  7. I was also thinking of setting up my flex shaft as a lathe does
    this have enough rpm’s to make a dent in titanium and what tools
    would be the best to work with titanium on a lathe set up?

Oh, I am using a titanium ring that has already been created I just
want to add my touch to it.

Also, has anyone written a book on this?

Thank you in advance.
Linda Crawford


#2

Hi Linda,

I do a fair bit of work with various reactives.

1. What glue works with titanium? 

Dunno, haven’t tried to glue it, but I expect a good epoxy would
bite decently. Better if you score up the surface you want it to bite
to, to give it something to hang onto.

2. What works best for polishing titanium? (I have diamond wheels
and polish will this work?) 

Interesting question. It likes to orange-peel. I rarely (never) go
for a full-on polish with it, as the anodized colors (which are the
whole point of using it, most times.) have some serious issues when
viewed on a mirrored surface. But if I were going for it, I’d use
abrasives as far as I could. Up into micron grades, and then polish
with tripoli from there. (the objective is to have as little time on
the buff as possible.) As a ring, Ti’s soft enough that it won’t
really hold a rouge polish for more than a couple of days. You might
be better served stopping at a micron grade abrasive finish.
Burnishing also gives a very nice polished surface to it from the
abrasive stage, depending on your surface profiles.

3. Can I use diamond burs to create a grove or texture in the
titanium? 

Sure. Just use lots of water/burr-life.

4. Can I cut it with a regular jewelers saw? 

Sure. Just use liquid burr-life, and be prepared to change out your
blades frequently. It dulls them shockingly quickly.

5. When I inlay..what type of groove is best in titanium to hold
the inlay? Any suggestions on how wide..deep the groove needs to be
for best results? 

No clue, but I suspect it’d have more to do with the nature of
whatever you’re planning on inlaying, rather than the Ti.

6. Anything else that you can think of that I need to know before
starting this project? 

Two things:

(A) Ti has a lousy heat transfer rate. This means that if you try to
drill it, or do other things that generate heat, it’ll hold the heat
at the point of contact. Toasting your drill bit, or burr, unless
you know this, and either use lots of coolant, or pull off every few
seconds to let the bit cool down.

(B) If you heat it up, it’s allergic to everything in your air. It’ll
pull oxygen, nitrogen etc into its crystal structure, and become both
brittle and incredibly hard. Don’t heat it in open air unless you
know why you want to.

7. I was also thinking of setting up my flex shaft as a lathe does
this have enough rpm's to make a dent in titanium and what tools
would be the best to work with titanium on a lathe set up? 

What? To turn the Ti like it were a wax ring? No. It’ll either laugh
at you, or find a way to hurt you or your tool. Used properly, with
the right jigging, you might be able to frankenstein up a flex- shaft
powered lathe rigid enough to turn Ti, but by the time you did, you’d
be better served to just go get a proper little lathe.

Oh, I am using a titanium ring that has already been created I
just want to add my touch to it. 

Lucky thing that you have the tube, as there’s no way for a typical
jeweler to seam one up. (Or to size it…)

Also, has anyone written a book on this? 

Nope. Welcome to the wonderful world of titanium.

Regards,
Brian Meek.


#3

Brian I sized a ring with the Orion welder.

http://tinyurl.com/d584h9

Also note that you do not know what grade of titanium was used to
make the ring. This can make a difference in all processing. I have
always been a fan of keeping things simple. My favorite polish is
Zam, from silver to niobium. Use separate buffs for titanium. Do not
contaminate the metal.

Bill


#4

Thanks for all the great info…looks like I have my work cut out for
me! Though I always love a challenge and maybe I will get to buy a
new toy I have always wanted a lathe!

Now I’m off to the gemshow…

Linda
www.lindacrawforddesigns.com


#5

Hi Mark. I would like to also offer our services as a manufacturer of
titanium rings. We specialize in custom rings with single day
turnaround for most rings. We offer several hundred styles including
tension sets, titanium rings with inlays of meteorite, precious
metals, carbon fiber, hardwoods, stones, and laser designs. We also
can do any of those in stainless steel or black zirconium. Our
capacity is several hundred rings per week and we offer merchant
pricing. We haven’t dealt with a lot of jewelers, but the ones that
do use us come to us over and over.

Bruce Boone
Boone Titanium Rings
www.boonerings.com