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How to work with titanium

Titanium necklace with blue or purple color

Anita’s tips

Titanium as a metal – Titanium is a very hard metal to work with. If you are used to working with silver, this metal is so much harder to work with, and you can’t heat it up like the silver to make it softer.

Another thing with the titanium is that you can’t solder it like the silver.

Titanium is a very light metal. The weight of titanium is less than half the weight of silver.

In price silver is about 7 times more expensive than titanium.

Titanium is 100% hypoallergenic and won’t irritate the skin.

One good thing about titanium is that it will never tarnish.

Titanium earrings hand stamped    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Working with titanium – I have done a lot of work in cutting, stamping, shaping, polishing and burning titanium.

Shaping titanium into a ring band is very hard, and I wouldn’t use a sheet thicker than 0.7mm = 0.028 inches. It is hard work to shape the ring band and you need to have strong hands to do it.

If you are a beginner maybe start making a pendant or earrings.

Doing new designs I usually use cardboard, draw my designs and then cut it out. I put the cardboard on a piece of titanium sheet and draw around it. You can now cut or saw it to the shape you like.

After the cutting you use a hand held file or an electric flexi-driver tool to get rid of all the rough edges (flexi driver is like a small hand held grinding tool and it has exchangeable bits e.g. for polishing or for edging sides etc. – it is advised to use a protective eye-wear while in use.)

When your design is smooth around the edges, you can add textures and shape it if you like.

For pendant and earrings you need to drill holes as well.

Titanium turquoise necklace     Titanium perls necklace
Next step is the polishing. The color of titanium is darker grey than silver, but when high polished it is very beautiful. I find titanium easier to polish than the silver, because it is harder.

If you like to add colour to the titanium, you can read more about it in my other article “How to get amazing colours when burning titanium”.

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4 thoughts on “How to work with titanium

  1. Hey Anita, this piece of titanium has amazing colors! How did you do it? Can you make a tutorial on coloring this metal.

    1. Hey Rado! To get the silver look with the coloured lines, I use sandpaper and sand off the top layer. That way the colours stay in the lines where the sandpaper can’t get in. Very fine steel wool can also be used instead of sandpaper (just don’t rub it into the lines). To finish up I use a cloth with a bit of rouge (polishing cream) and give it a good polish, so it gets nice and shiny.

  2. anita,
    nice tutorial…
    but it will much helpfull if you put some picture on steps you did.
    such as , cutting titanium , please explain more detail
    as you said titanium much harder than silver
    wahyu

    1. Hello Wahyu!
      For cutting the titanium, I just use a metal scissors on the 0.7mm thickness. You can also use a saw (using the saw, there will be less clean up in the sanding). After cutting I use a flexi driver (eletrical tool) with sandpaper to get rid of rough edges.To finish I use the polishing machine to get a shiny look. You are right, I schould do more pictures of the whole process! Just to busy at the moment!
      Good luck and have fun with it!
      Anita

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