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Thread: Anyone want some titanium?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone want some titanium?

    I have a 17.92mm solid titanium rod that is 36 & 1/4 inches long. I'll let any of you talented machinists have it, if you build me a flashlight from it. I'd like a single AA for a CREE and whatever electronics will fit it. Doesn't need to be fancy.
    This rod has a few minor flaws. Someone cut about 10 little marks down it's length, maybe 1mm deep at most, and one end is mushroomed a little from being hammered.

    Any takers?


    ***EDITED to correct dimensions***
    Last edited by PhotonFanatic; 05-08-2009 at 06:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    That buck looks like it is content and falling asleep! I just ordered my Lathe so I wont be ready for Titanium for a while yet.

    Ken

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    Flashaholic Sable's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Ah, damn. I've had this very idea for a while, too!

    If it works out, maybe I'll dig out my titanium rod from the combat-robot-project-that-never-was...
    A government is a body of people usually notabably ungoverned.

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    Flashaholic sortafast's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    I would think about it, but i am having enough issues turning 6061-T6 right now. But my noobness is slowly wearing off. I just remember a place i used to work for used to make some Ti stuff, and the machine operator would have to have a fire extinguisher at the ready with the pin pulled because the hot shavings would catch the coolant oil on fire (running 100% oil). Crazy stuff when a I-don't-know-how-many-tens-of-thousands-of-dollars CNC machine lights up. They always hated making those parts tho.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    I'll be back-up, in case no one else steps up.
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Very how curious this would turn out...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    It looks like PhotonFanatic is gonna get it. I have another piece the same size, so whenever any of you other guys are ready let me know. 2 flashlights are better than 1

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Quote Originally Posted by ManBearPig
    It looks like PhotonFanatic is gonna get it. I have another piece the same size, so whenever any of you other guys are ready let me know. 2 flashlights are better than 1
    Send me the one without the gouges in it!
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonFanatic
    Send me the one without the gouges in it!
    The second piece has only 5 gouges in it in a section that is 5&5/8s inches long. It's also 1/8 inch longer and minus the mushroom. I'll send you this one.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Anyone up for a blow-by-blow of how this progresses?

    I thought so! So here we go:

    The bar arrived vey quickly. Man this guy must really be impatient--he sent it Express Mail--as though that would get him his light any quicker.

    Problem is that the bar wasn't .75" in diameter (19.05mm) but was really 17.92mm, before any turning down needed to get to a smooth clean surface. What the heck, it's a challenge, isn't it? Back to the drawing board to redesign the light to fit the bar.

    Decided to go with a McR-17-XR reflector and will turn it just a smidge to fit into the 16.50mm bore for the lens, reflector and converter module. OK, looked fine on paper, now on to the real world--the basement.

    Took forever to saw through the bar using a hacksaw, but that's OK because it was very cold in the basement. Chucked up the 60mm piece in the four-jaw chuck, adjusted it true and then cleaned up the mushroomed end and turned down the diameter until I had a nice clean surface--net diameter 17.84mm. Not a lot of metal left to play with between the lens/reflector bore and the outside of the head--that would mean using a fine thread to avoid cutting too deeply into the wall.

    Next up: drill and bore for the lens and reflector space. Never having drilled Ti before, this was all guesswork, especially since I was too dumb to seek the advice of others first.

    Took out a nice new cobalt 10mm drill that I had in stock and went to it. I had not read about suggested SFM, or RPMs for drilling Ti, so I think I went with 800 RPMs. At first I didn't think it was going to go anywhere, but a little more determined feeding got it going. Tough stuff, took a lot of pressure to hand crank the drill into the piece. Noticed a little smoke coming off the surface--definitely getting hot. Backed it off and decided to put a little cutting fluid into the hole to cut down on the friction and reduce the heat.

    Stuck the drill back in and went deeper, only to see smoke real soon--the cutting fluid on the outside of the head was being vaporized quickly. Not sure what to do--keep going or back it out? I backed out, let it cool a bit, and started up again. More smoke, real soon. In fact, the outside of the piece was getting discolored. I couldn't tell if it was from the fluid being burned off, or whether the metal was really discoloring.

    Oh, well, backed it out again and let it cool for 15 seconds and then back to work. Took a bit of pressure, no fire broke out, but still a bit more smoke--I stopped adding the cutting fluid.

    Finally reached my desired depth of 25mm and withdrew the drill bit. Inspection showed no unusual wear and no bonding of any Ti to the bit, a little surprise given all the heat and pressure.

    On to boring out the opening to size, from 10mm in diameter up to 16.50mm. Man did that take a while, especially when the best depth of cut was .30mm per bore. You do the math. At a decent hourly wage, I figure I'm already losing money.

    Beaming with pride that things were going well, i.e., it was being machined into some sort of shape and I hadn't started any fires, or broke any tooling, I broke out the threading bar and set it up carefully. Took great pains to make sure it was parallel to the piece and on center.

    The first cut was fairly light, .02mm, and it came out just fine. I did put some cutting fluid on it for each pass. Succeeding passes were gradually increased up to .08mm per pass. Suddenly I had a sinking feeling in my stomach--I realized that instead of the .5mm pitch that I wanted to cut, that I had failed to change the gears and was, in fact, cutting 1mm pitch instead.

    ARRGH! All that time and energy was now really going up in smoke, since the depth of cut for .5mm pitch was only .52mm versus the 1.08mm for the 1mm pitch. And with only .67mm of metal thickness in which to cut the threads, the 1mm pitch wasn't going to work.

    Shut down the lathe, shut off all the lights, and called it a night.

    Ah, well, it is a learning experience after all.

    About an hour later, I realize that all is not lost yet. Fortunately, the 60mm piece still leaves plenty of material to play with axially--I just need to deepen the bore, cut off the mis-sized threads and start threading again--this time at .5mm pitch.

    (To be continued.)




    OK, you can stop laughing now!
    Last edited by PhotonFanatic; 07-08-2007 at 07:30 PM.
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    Flashaholic* PEU's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Fred, general rule for machining titanium is: use 1/3 the speed used for ALU and don't let it overheat because that makes the surface harder making things more difficult. Use a lot of fluid to keep the piece as cool as possible. This advise was provided to me by the shop where I purchased TI bars


    Pablo

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Anglepoise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    I was just thinking this morning that I had not seen a 'machining ' update from you for a while.

    Bought a smile to my face.

    You wont get a fire on the heavy stuff. It's the very fine turnings that come off the cutting edge like fine silver threads that you have to worry about.

    Very sharp tools, very slow and plenty of coolant/lube.
    David............................................." Some Homemade Creations"

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Pablo and David,

    Thanks for the tips/info.

    Of course, I learned all that ex post facto.

    Here are some similar points that I found today:
    Titanium can be cut very easily, but only if the tools you use are kept sharp. It is always easier to sharpen a tool than to have a wearland develop. Proper tool angles, adequate coolants and the use of slow speeds and heavy feeds are also advised.

    Due to the fact that titanium has low thermal conductivity, when cutting, the chips have a tendency to gall and weld to the cutting edges on the tool. This always speeds up the wear on the tool itself. Rather than lose production, it is best advised to work the tool to its maximum capacity and then replace it when productivity decreases.

    To lengthen tool life, use of the proper coolant is necessary to reduce cutting temperature and inhibit galling. Cutting fluids containing chlorine, fluorine, bromine and iodine should not be used, in order to avoid corrosion problems.

    Sawing
    Sawing titanium requires slow speeds - in the 50 fpm [15.25 mps] range - and heavy, constant pressure from the blade.

    Low flash point cutting oils are not recommended, due to the fact that during machining, high heat is generated, which may cause the oil to ignite. High flash point cutting fluids or water-soluble oils are recommended.
    Since the next piece is the battery tube, and therefor requiring a much deeper hole to be drilled, I definitely plan to change my tactics.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonFanatic

    The bar arrived vey quickly. Man this guy must really be impatient--he sent it Express Mail--as though that would get him his light any quicker.
    I didn't intend on mailing it express. My brother was on his way to the post office and volunteered to take it for me. I gave him 20 bucks and told him to send it Priority, expecting change. I was a little angry with him.

    Sorry again about the wrong dementions, and for your trouble. TAKE YOUR TIME! I'm in no hurry.
    Last edited by ManBearPig; 02-26-2007 at 07:56 PM.

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    Flashaholic* modamag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Fred there are coolant thru drills & boring bar which should help.

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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Quote Originally Posted by modamag
    Fred there are coolant thru drills & boring bar which should help.
    Jonathan,

    I know they exist, in fact I have some, but I don't have any easy way to feed the coolant through the tools.

    Seen any simple solutions, i.e., even something like a hand operated system, rather than a full-blown coolant pump set-up?
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    I had fun myself drill / machining titanium

    You need to go slow I was spinning 160 rpm.

    After an hour I packaged it up and sent it to Morelite. A couple weeks later I has some nice machined parts

    I intend to try it again with my new lathe.

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    Flashaholic* 65535's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    tungsten carbide or diamond bits, a must for such hard metal. Good luck.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Fred
    Can't wait for the next instalment!
    Kind Regards

    David

  20. #20

    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Fred,
    I hope your lathe hasn't imploded.

    Don't forget to engrave the names of my cats. All 93 of them in alphabetical order. But make Mr. Whiskers name bigger then the rest or he'll get jealous.

    Have you sent it to the gold plater yet?

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* chesterqw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    LOL manbearpig.
    if killing was legal, i would have killed countless number of people...

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Actually I was thinking of having their pictures laser engraved on the body, just to be different from the usual run of the mill named lights. I can put Mr. Whiskers on the head, so he'll be more prominent.

    If it weren't for the P4 sales, I might have done some work on it this past weekend, but I only got to play for about 1/2 hour. And, shall we admit it, it was another learning experience.

    In my attempt to salvage the mis-threaded head by parting off the wrong pitch threads, I would have to make the bore deeper into the piece. Plenty of metal remained, but for some reason, I decided to bore the hole deeper rather than drill it deeper. Bad mistake. I only needed another 6mm in depth, but I could only go about .25mm deeper with each pass of the boring bar.

    That wouldn't have been the end of the world, it would only take a large number of passes. But I made one mistake, and repeated it a few times without realizing it: When I plunged the boring bar axially to deepen the hole and then moved the boring bar toward the axis, I failed to go completely to the axis, or beyond on a couple of passes. That left a little nub in the center, which as it grew, started to deflect the boring bar.

    Realizing something was wrong, I attempted to remove the nub by attacking it close to its base. Broke the boring bar. The little nub was work hardened at that point and wasn't going to be pushed around.

    Another lesson learned. So, time for plan C: Now I'll drill in from the other end, thus wiping out the nub completely. Then I'll finish the boring and opening for the light to escape.

    I'm still agonizing over how to give some grip to the surface of the head (this is a twisty after all). Toying with the idea of milling some thin lines parallel to the axis of the light. The head is too thin to knurl, not that I'm able to knurl Ti yet.

    You did say you wanted this by Xmas, right?
    Last edited by PhotonFanatic; 07-28-2008 at 05:24 PM.
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    Flashaholic* 65535's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Ya Xmas of 2000 Never.! Lol sorry for your bar loss, this is certanly interesting.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    And once in a while, things go your way!

    Had a little time on Friday and today to work on the Ti AA ManBearPig Light (catchy name, no?).

    As you may recall I was having trouble with the head when I managed to break a boring bar and left a nasty nub in the middle that was work-hardened. The game plan was to attack it from the other direction and just drill it out. It worked! But this time, I heeded everyone's advice and went nice and slow, never letting the Ti get too hot. Took a while, but I did break through and the nub was gone.

    Then I just had to complete the bore to depth and do the threading at the right pitch, i.e., .5mm pitch. That came out fine as you can see here:



    Next I started on the converter housing, which is made of brass. I love working with brass--it is so easy to work with, and it looks great. Beside those points, the brass will be needed for thermal transfer as this is, after all, a Ti light. Again, .5mm pitch threads:



    For those wondering why the threads are so fine, it is because ManBearPig was a cheapskate and send me an undersize bar!.

    So the only way to work with the thickness of the wall, was to use a superfine thread as the depth of cut is less than it would be with a coarser thread.

    Finally, I spent a lot of time perfecting the fit of the 1mm O-ring to its slot, as I want a tight fit there. The goal is to have the head/converter so tight that they turn as a unit, rather than separate. Of course, in a pinch, threadlocker can be used also.

    Here's what the combo looks like at the moment:



    So, a little bit of progress. Maybe ManBearPig will get it by XMas '08 after all.
    Last edited by PhotonFanatic; 03-10-2007 at 09:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?



    Nice work, great progress too !
    Hope to see it finished soon

  26. #26

    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Excelsior!

    That's some fine craftsmanship there Fred!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Quote Originally Posted by ManBearPig
    .... I'd like a single AA for a CREE and whatever electronics will fit it. Doesn't need to be fancy. ...
    Had you seen the nice small twisty "a friend" of GregW made for him ?
    I'm sure Fred can make you one even nicer

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* KingSmono's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Quote Originally Posted by ManBearPig
    Don't forget to engrave the names of my cats. All 93 of them in alphabetical order. But make Mr. Whiskers name bigger then the rest or he'll get jealous.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonFanatic
    Actually I was thinking of having their pictures laser engraved on the body, just to be different from the usual run of the mill named lights. I can put Mr. Whiskers on the head, so he'll be more prominent.
    LOL!
    "There are two kinds of light--the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures."

    -James Thurber

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    As you may recall in the ongoing saga of the Ti AA light, the walls are quite thin, but since this is a twisty, there is a need to create some grip in the head so that ManBearPig will be able to turn his $1,000 Ti AA light on.

    So, yesterday and today were spent learning how to set up my lathe so that I could mill some slots in Ti. First I started with SS and that went pretty well, so today it was time to try some Ti.

    Here's the big picture set-up:


    That right angle block of iron is holding an indexable collet chuck, in which the Ti is held. It is stationery, meaning that it doesn't rotate during the cutting. The end mill will rotate and cut the Ti piece, which is moved into the end to start the cut, then the piece is moved lengthwise to create the grooves.

    Here is the end mill up close, actually doing some cutting:



    As you can see, a few grooves have already been done. Between the SS and those grooves, the end mill decided it had had enough and broke:



    Interestingly enough, it didn't break while their was any side load on it, it broke as it started to penetrate the Ti. Well, it is only 1mm in diameter, so no complaints about its longevity.

    Time to clean it up, face the end to get rid of that nasty burr, and to turn it down a hair, too:



    Off to the buffing machine to get rid of the burs in the grooves and to give it a little shine and we get this--1mm wide grooves cut .25mm deep:




    I wonder of rounded bottom grooves might look a bit better, even if they might have to be a tad deeper. That's another day's play.
    Last edited by PhotonFanatic; 03-17-2007 at 05:45 PM.
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Anyone want some titanium?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonFanatic
    Time to clean it up, face the end to get rid of that nasty bur, and to turn it down a hair, too...

    Off to the buffing machine to get rid of the burs in the grooves and to give it a little shine and we get this--1mm wide grooves cut .25mm deep:
    So after milling is done, you turn the part again to cut 0.00? from the dia ?
    Nice !
    Is this also the same Diameter of the AA-light ?

    Cheers !

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