May 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm #1258656
I can cut this stuff with ordinary scissors, and I can punch small holes with an ordinary paper punch. However, I need to make holes that are too small for scissor work and too large for the paper punch. Just imagine holes that are a half inch square or one inch square. What is a good tool? About all that I have left is a Dremel tool.
–B.G.–May 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm #1607466
you can use a new exacto blade. Using a template of some sort to cut around, for instance a piece of steel or alum square stock of the right dimensions.May 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm #1607467
I hope I have enough new blades, because I think they will be dulled rapidly against the titanium. I have enough holes to cut that I was hoping for an easier solution.
–B.G.–May 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm #1607469
I use my Dremel tool, Bob. First, place the foil on a piece of scrap wood, pop a hole in the foil with your round bit, then simply widen the diameter with your straight bit (take the foil off the wood for this and hold it securely in your hand). Finally, polish the edges (on both sides of the foil) with your green abrasive point.May 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm #1607473
Gary, please clarify a little. "pop", "round bit", "straight bit".
I have abrasive bits, cutting wheels, and ordinary drill bits.
–B.G.–May 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm #1607478
I bought a sheet metal punch to work with my ti foil, following advice I read on here.
The advice was good. You can increase hand strength by using a regular hand paper punch, but I destroyed the punch in the process. The punch I bought (for cheap in internet land) has lots of different sized punches to choose from and lots of mass for even cutting.
For what it's worth, I made a real mess of things going the dremel route. Scissors and sheet metal punch have worked great for 3 caldera – type cones and 2 pot lids.
LoganMay 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm #1607483
I think what gary means is using your hole punch first then enlarging the round hole to your desired size with a dremel. I sometimes use a square hole punch from the sheet metal industry (not sure of the mfg) and I can't seem to find them online at present. Just curious but why do the holes need to be square?May 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm #1607488
Well, not exactly square holes, but something close to rectangular holes.
I used to have a whole set of Greenlee punches, and I can't find them, so I am attempting to get by with a Dremel tool with a small set of abrasive bits. I've already ruined a couple of tools, because titanium is weird stuff!
I'm making some "accessories" for a Ti-Tri Caldera.
–B.G.–May 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm #1607492
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Why not punch holes in the corners of your square and use the scissors to cut between them. Then just fold and break the Ti between the hole edges. Leave the radii in the corners.May 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm #1607493
Bob, by "pop" I simply meant "drill." Sorry for the slang.
I expect that your drill bit set has what you need. I assume that it includes at least one or more "straight bits." You know, the ones you would use to drill a hole in a piece of wood. Dremel also makes round ones, maybe 1/16" diameter. These are good for making the first hole right where you want it. Then I use a straight bit to widen the hole diameter, like I had mentioned. If you don't have a round bit, just use one of your straight ones to make the first hole. For polishing the rough edges, I use a silicon carbide grinding stone (I suggest part #84922). Don't use aluminum oxide grinding points–they're too soft, and you'll go through them very quickly).
I don't know what else to say. If you're still confused, you might pay a visit to your local Lowe's or Home Depot and chat with one of the folks there. They carry most of the Dremel parts.May 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm #1607497
yes ti is weird stuff, when I need a really nice looking shape cut out I cut the shape into two pieces of wood (labor intensive) punch a small hole in the ti, then I sandwich the ti in between the wood using clamps to hold the whole thing tight, then you can simply file to the edges of your wooden template. a mill file should last for many holes. hope this helps.May 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm #1607498
Rog, if I were trying to make 2"-square holes, then your suggestion makes sense to me. But, I am trying to make small holes, maybe a half-inch to one-inch square or rectangular. I don't think that I can work scissors into a hole that small.
I'm inclined to centerpunch corner holes with a nail, then drill, then abrade, then polish. Plus, I think I better wear eye protection, because there is going to be stuff flying everywhere.
–B.G.–May 7, 2010 at 2:20 pm #1607499
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
The Scissors on a Leatherman Micra are very good for little snipping jobs. Diamond files are cheap too. The wooden supports mentioned above work well too.May 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm #1607578
First of all, why square holes rather than round ones? They can be much harder to make: is there a real benefit?
Assuming you really do need square holes, then beware of sharp (ie square) corners. They will localise stress and be the start of cracks and tears. You need to make round corners – even a 3 mm (1/8") drill bit in each corner would increase the life by a factor of 10, although I would prefer 4 mm.
If you need a few of these square holes and want a professional job, consider the following. Yes, i have been working with Ti for a couople of years now.
Take two bits of Al sheet maybe 1.6 mm (1/16") thick and larger than the Ti foil, at least in one direction. Clamp them together. Way out on the edges of the two bits of Al drill two small holes outside where the Ti foil will be. These are registration holes and allow you to align the two bits when there is Ti foil in between. These registration holes are very important.
Mark out your square in the middle, and drill out the four corners with 3 or 4 mm drill bits. Then remove the rest of the centre any way you want – filing may be needed to finish. Do both sheets together to get them the same. This makes a cutting template.
Now clamp the one bit of Al sheet over your Ti foil in the right place; put a bit of hard wood on the underside. Drill the four corners with the same drill bits. Remove the wood and replace with the second bit of Al sheet. Clamp well. Cut out the rest of the square with a small box knife, running it against the Al sheet. Repeat as needed for all the holes.
Note that a square hole punch&die will probably not work with 5 thou sheet: the clearance between the punch and the die is far too large for foil. It will probably just distort and tear the foil.
CheersMay 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm #1607579
@aeronauticalLocale: Stoke Newington, London, UK.
Sounds like a cheap chisel would be the easiest, suitable tool for making small, square holes, and resharpening will also be easy.
Its what I'd use, and the titanium I'm working on is thicker (0.20mm).May 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm #1607582
It kind of makes me wonder how the Lockheed Skunk Works ever built the SR-71 Blackbird.
–B.G.–May 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm #1607583
> a cheap chisel would be the easiest, suitable tool for making small, square holes
Now there's a thought! I'd drill the corners first to avoid stress concentration though.
CheersMay 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm #1607595
"It kind of makes me wonder how the Lockheed Skunk Works ever built the SR-71 Blackbird."
1) the Techs were wizards
2) unlimited budgetMay 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm #1607601
" "It kind of makes me wonder how the Lockheed Skunk Works ever built the SR-71 Blackbird."
1) the Tech's were wizards
2) unlimited budget"
So, for item #2, all I have to do is to get Roger to fund it. OK by me.
–B.G.–May 8, 2010 at 1:39 am #1607707
@backfeets1Locale: Midwest.... Missouri
With lots and lots of your taxes, in a dim basement for so long that they grow big eyes and their skin turns gray:)May 8, 2010 at 4:52 am #1607714
> So, for item #2, all I have to do is to get Roger to fund it. OK by me.
But they have already built the SR-71 Blackbird, and we don't need another one.
CheersMay 8, 2010 at 5:11 am #1607715
That's just the sort of thing you could write a review on, Roger. It probably has Carbon Monoxide emissions.
All along I thought you were a patron of science and technology.
–B.G.–May 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm #1607848
> All along I thought you were a patron of science and technology.
Hum. Was the Blackbird anything to do with science and technology, or was it a self-indulgent boy's toys military-industrial boondoggle?
CheersMay 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm #1608138
Roger, perhaps science and metallurgical technology. Remember, those were the Cold War days.
Read the book about the Lockheed Skunk Works in Burbank when they cooked up the SR-71.
–B.G.–May 10, 2010 at 5:52 am #1608259
@red_foxLocale: South Florida
What about using a leather punch tool? These can be found at home depot or lowes for pretty cheap. They have several different diameter punches.
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