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Titanium with gold inlay


Does anyone know how to inlay gold in titanium? Thanks,


Hello Jared,

Inlay are difficult to glue, so you need to make a groove with an
undercut. Hammer in this a soft wire and file, grind the surface. The
groove can be made with a burr of good quality (HSS or hard metal)
The usual ones will have a short life in titanium. Use a low speed
with a lot of cutting oil. Titanium has a bad head guidance, so if
the speed is to high, titanium will build up the cutting edges. If
this build up (by heat) is big it will break of including some of
the cutting edge of the burr.

Martin Niemeijer


Dear Jared, you can inlay gold in Ti the same way damascening is
done. Essentially one cuts a groove with undercut edges and hammers
the gold in. This is fine if your Ti is thick enough to cut the

I’ve done a lot of inlay work onto repoussed Ti where I’ve started
with 1mm thick sheet. Here I use a small hart burr to cut a groove on
the inside edge of the Ti opening to be inlaid. I prefer to inlay
with 18ct gold or higher because I get a better colour from the gold
after heat-colouring the Ti. My gold inlays are cut from 1.2mm to
1.5mm sheet depending on the area to be inlaid (some of the shapes
are quite unusual) I fit the inlays very accurately and simply hammer
them in over a doming (we say doming, you say dapping) die or
planishing stake - whatever fits the curve or shape of the section
I’m working on. To finish, I carefully file to the edge where the
gold has spread and locked into the groove cut by the hart burr.

My most recent piece was a gold sphere inlaid with Ti shapes, and at
present I’m working on a fluid shape based on a nudibranch where I’m
inlaying swirls and loops of gold into repoussed Ti.

In the two decades that I’ve been doing it this way, I’ve only had
one section come loose and that was easily repaired.
Kind regards, Rex from Oz