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Titanium Tools?

I feel silly that I didn’t think of turning the stuff in reply to the
original query! I’m so accustomed to casting and soldering pieces. I
was wondering what alloys of tool steel hold up best to working
titanium. I spoke with a dealer of titanium watches (Boccia) and he
told me that the most expensive part of manufacturing titanium objects
was the tooling and the fact that titanium can wear it down very
quickly. I saw an ad for Grobet Valtitan files and they claim to be
good for filing titanium. What kind of turning inserts or brazed tools
work well on the lathe and how quickly do they wear down, etc? I have
never turned metal on a lathe but would love to learn someday. Once I
get some practice on other metals, I will definitely try titanium.
Thanks for the great input I’ve heard so far on this thread. Juliet

Julie, High Speed steel is the tool of choice when turning Ti. The
real key is proper lubrication and plenty of it. Cutting speeds,
angle are both very important. this is available in most
current texts used in the machining industry. the International
Titanium Development Assoc. has a web sight were much of this
is available. Bill


For my turning applications, I generally hand grind all of my own
tooling. I use high-speed steel with 5% Cobalt. This material has
better heat resistance than regular high-speed steel. I resharpen the
tooling frequently, but not obsessively. I rarely take a cut larger
than 0.0075", but I have a tiny lathe and mill.

For drilling, either 5% cobalt drill bits, or carbide drills work
fairly well. If I have access to a larger machine, I will drill 1/2"
holes in the bar stock, otherwise I usually stop at 3/8". From there
I use a hand ground boring bar to bring the inside diameter up to the
appropriate ring size.

Hope this is interesting or useful to somebody,
Daniel J. Statman, Statman Designs