How to Cut a Titanium Sheet

A lightweight but strong metal, titanium has uses ranging from jewelry to industrial components.
Fabricating titanium is similar to standard hard metals like stainless steel, but titanium has a different reaction to heat than other metals. Cutting titanium requires a cold-cutting method or a high-heat, gas-cutting method, for example, an oxy-acetylene torch. Cold-cutting methods require specialized equipment for wide sheets of titanium and are not in the budget for the average do-it-yourselfer. The equipment needed to cut a titanium sheet with the high-heat method is more mobile and easily rented from tool rental stores.

Step 1

Lay the titanium sheet flat on the work table.

Step 2

Make two length marks on the surface of the titanium sheet with the tape measure and permanent marker. The marks need to be on two parallel edges of the sheet to show a cut length.

Step 3

Place the straight edge on top of the titanium sheet; align the center of the plasma torch tip with one of the length marks you made in Step 2. Push the straight edge up to the side of the plasma cutter tip and clamp the straight edge to the titanium sheet with a pair of self-locking pliers. Move to the other side of the titanium sheet and repeat the listed procedure to align and secure the straight edge to the other edge of the sheet.

Step 4

Put on your safety glasses, face shield with cutting lens and leather welding gloves.

Step 5

Clear the area around the work table of all flammable materials and set the fire extinguisher close by.

Step 6

Set the side of the plasma tip against the straight edge, with the tip aligned with the edge of the titanium sheet farthest away from you.

Step 7

Lower your face shield, start the plasma cutter and slowly pull the plasma torch toward you while keeping the tip of the plasma torch against the straight edge. If sparks shoot toward you, you are pulling the plasma torch too fast.

Step 8

Attach the 6-inch diameter, 60-grit flapper wheel to the 6-inch angle grinder and run the 60-grit flapper wheel along the cut edge of the titanium sheet to remove the slag left by the plasma cutter.

Step 9

Release the self-locking pliers from the titanium sheet, set the straight edge aside and allow the cut edge to cool before handling.

Things You Will Need

  • Work table
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Straight edge
  • Plasma cutter with built-in air compressor
  • Two pair of self-locking pliers
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shield with cutting lens
  • Leather welding gloves
  • Fire extinguisher
  • 6-inch diameter, 60-grit flapper wheel
  • 6-inch angle grinder