Titanium Damascus Hexagon Ring
this is the raw blank rings will be cut from you can see the subtle layers of different hardness types inside the first step is to drill a through hole this requires stepping up through several drill sizes The lathe starts to load down a bit as the cut size increases, and must be slowed down in order to not overheat the work or drill. and once the hole is drilled big enough, boring tools are used which are much more accurate for sizing holes this tool is a hole gage that is read with calipers the clicking is a ratchet thimble this starrett caliper is accurate to about .0001″ or 1 ten thousandth of an inch. Most paper is about .003 thick. The reading is used to set the Digital Read Out (DRO) which then calibrates the work of the lathe so that you can bore accurate holes the final pass is made with the power feed of the lathe engaged. It runs at a constant speed to make the hole accurately sized carbide tooling is great for titanium, but high speed steel also works it’s most important to have rigid setups and not let too much heat build up and to work accurately. this is a facing operation to make one side of the ring perfectly flat however, it does leave burrs on the work titanium Damascus seems especially prone to burrs. the work is then placed on a arbor. which holds it concentric and it’s placed in a 5c collet with 6 sides and tightened to hold it securely. and installed on the bridgeport knee mill with tailstock support to minimize movement and a first cut is made And then brought down to depth the works is then rotated and roughed to the same height on all 6 sides and visually checked it’s very flat, but not quite final dimension this is the final pass on all 6 sides we then move it to the lath and the radius cutter which is custom made, is used to round the corners slightly first once side then the other and dimensions checked the work is then removed from the arbor and the hand finishing begins first the burrs need to be removed A file is used first and then about 30 minutes of hand finishing with sandpaper in several different grits (not shown) This makes the facets extremely flat and the pattern shows through a little bit but the inside of the ring must be chamfered to make it more comfortable to wear this is done with a form tool Next up is flame annodizing which is pretty magical A heat source is used to bring out the colors of the different layers of titanium the works must be very clean, and polished and then heated very evenly in this case, MAPP gas is used care must be taken not to overheat the work because if it is overheated, ALL of the anodization must be removed by sanding, and the process started over. The anodization is a layer about .003 thick, but it’s suprisingly durable. It does not wear off with regular use And it looks amazing!