Framebuilders - Anybody work with Ti?
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04-04-11, 01:25 PM
I'm having a heck of a time sourcing Ti frame material in the US. Found a couple of overseas suppliers but it's a bit hard to know who to trust plus most of it is bulk material and I wanted to start with a couple to tubesets just to make that end a bit easier.
I'd also love to chat with anybody manipulating tubing that doesn't have access to heavy mandrels or hydroforming.
Nova sells some Ti tubing, I haven't used it so I can't help you on that. Does not seem to be a huge selections. Paragon sells their usual high end bits.
I don't use Ti as mentioned, but is there anything special about forming it? Are you just trying to bend it? I have a lot of bender experience. There are some Ti builders here, so you may get a real answer in due course.
04-04-11, 02:02 PM
I'll ideally be bending and forming. I know the preferred methods for cold working Ti tubing in theory, what I'm after is a bit more of a practical take on the process. What tools I'll need, what are the limitations of of the materials etc. I'd like to know if what I'm attempting to do is going to work before I start trashing tubes.
04-04-11, 02:11 PM
Seen these guys? http://titaniumjoe.com/tubing.htm only a $65 if you order the stock sizes.
I've built a few frames in 3AL-2.5 (Grade 9).
1. Cleanliness is paramount - Make absolutely sure your grinding & cutting tools are new or haven't been used with other metals. Even fingerprints on joining areas of the tubing will contaminate the joint during welding.
2. Ti is brutal on drill bits and cutters such as hole saws. They need to be quality and sharp.
3. Successfully bending thinwall won't be easy without access to a very expensive mandrel bender. I suggest you try to eliminate bends wherever possible.
4. Ti burns in the presents of oxygen. I know,... in the process of turning a piece on a lathe, I was creating a sizable pile of curly Q's. Long-story-short, the strings eventually caught fire and started burning under the lathe bed - real pretty colored flames. Of course, this means that back-purging is manditory.
5. Be clean & careful.
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