Q: Can I Stamp and Rivet with Titanium?

Kelley asks:

I make stamped jewelry and I have never worked with titanium before. Can titanium be stamped with a usual tool hardened steel stamp set? A client is wanting inspirational words stamped on a premade titanium bracelet.
Another question, would my usual method using a riveting hammer and a bench block do with titanium wire to create a rivet?

The short and qualified answer is, “Yes”.

Odds are that you are working with one of the less hard alloys or grades. Titanium behaves much like stainless steel, in that it takes more force to work it than do silver and other “normal” jewelry materials. Hit harder, maybe with a bigger hammer or mallet than you use to mark silver. I use normal steel stamps, myself  (as in this picture).

Where titanium gets its tough reputation from is that it is harder than steel under pressure. Stamps and especially cutting tools wear out faster because titanium, unlike steel, doesn’t get softer at a mere few thousand psi. Silver, gold, etc are softer to start with. I used a 20 oz. hammer to strike this stamp.

I have also used titanium wire to make rivets, using an ordinary little chasing hammer to set them. Nice, soft Grade #1 wire. Here is a List of Grades and their relative hardnesses.

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