Saturday, April 12, 2014

Titanium Feathers.

 

I wanted to experiment with making titanium feathers for my new project called Nest.

At first I thought of making them out of silver or copper but the problem is that whether you like it or not, they will always tarnish.

So I decided titanium, also because I like the blue that can be made iridescent , much like the Roller, Botswana’s national bird.

 

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I rolled titanium down to 0.5 mm and cut it out with tinsnips.

 

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I pre-polish the blanks.

Just bobbing compound on a 9 inch buff.

You got to wear leather finger tips because these things pick up some serious heat.

 

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These are two wedge shaped punches that I used.

 

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I bash them like this to raise a slight “spine” .

The one on the left still needs some more bashing, but you get the idea.

I just use some wood underneath instead o f wax because wax is to soft.

 

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I ground some setting burrs down to make the cutting edge more visible.

 

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Then I cut them into a feather texture.

Titanium cuts easy and it does not grab like copper or brass.

I tends to wear tools down a bit quicker than gold but it’s quite doable.

The one on the left was torch heated and I was not really happy with that—to difficult with such thin metal.

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So I took a piece of iron flat bar and put them on that and then heated the flat bar from underneath and that was more controllable.

They shimmer in the light.

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I made some longer ones as part of the experiment.

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Rough cut.

 

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This one I bent into a circle and heated it in my oven.

I used a dental vacuum oven but I later also used my standard kiln, so either one is good.

The dental oven goes from zero degrees to 600 C in five minutes so impatience was the only reason I used that one first.

 

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Came out just like I wanted.

The temperature was 550C but that is a more or less, because I was constantly looking so there was some serious fluctuation in temperatures.

 

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Here is picture of my bird’s naked uncoloured feathers.

 

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A picture of the feathers being attached. The screws will still get gem nuts to hold then in.

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All dressed up and blued.

The “wings” were blued in my big oven at 550 C – carefully.

I am not really happy with that colour so I am going to do them over.

And the reason I am using heat and not anodizing is because I blew my rectifier up.

I had the one from reactive metals and a very nice machine it was too.

Unfortunately ‘ol bright eyes plugged it into 220 volts instead of 110 and Boom, she was expired.

Now I got to figure how I am going to wangle one into Germany from the USA without going bankrupt paying the taxes.

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