The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
Please note this blog is written in 5 parts due to file size constraints. Please access parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 to view the rest of the knives
As most of you know by now, Stanley May is a huge titanium fan. My background from my work at Honeywell Inc., where I performed countless stress analyses on commercial and military aircraft
wheels and brakes has highly influenced me. Because of its many great characteristics, a large aircraft brake part called a torque tube was/is often fabricated from 6AL-4V investment cast titanium. These torque tubes operate in intimate contact with parts containing the “brake pads”, causing this part to heat up to temperatures in the 800 – 1000 ⁰F range while supporting enormous loads. It needs to be lightweight at the same time since the aircraft has to carry them around. And it must resist the many environmental substances it will be exposed to; like water, salt, skydrol (a very corrosive brake fluid they use on commercial aircraft), wing deicing fluids, various acids, etc. (Try putting a little acid on a hot metal, and see how long it lasts…..on second thought, don’t try this at home) All aircraft carrier based navy planes have titanium torque tubes, because they are sitting around in a salt spray environment, where a steel torque tube would oxidize in no time flat. It is incredible to me that there is such a metal that can perform and operate in such conditions and not degrade. Below is a picture of an F-18 torque tube that has been sitting around in my garage for 10+ years. (Note: the part was mismachined/unusable……so don’t get upset taxpayers, I didn’t steal it!) Everything else in my garage that is metal is either well rusted or broken down. But this torque tube looks just like the day it was made.
Titanium knife fans, I have good news for you! Titanium handles and liners are also made of 6AL-4V titanium. This is one tough and rugged metal that provides high strength at a relatively low weight. If this metal can survive the punishing environment of a torque tube, a knife environment is a walk in the park. And if like and can hold onto it, you can use the knife when it is 1000 ⁰F. To learn a little more about this amazing metal, you can refer to a blog I wrote not too long ago titled “My Favorite Handles”.
Titanium does suffer somewhat from being a cold looking, grey metal that is not all that attractive, especially when compared to natural materials like the woods or bone. I am not even going to begin to argue with this because truth be known, for outright beauty, I think the natural materials are by far the best. However knife makers have found ways to make titanium very attractive; I think. So the rest of this blog will simply be pictures of some titanium knives I find attractive and have collected. Feel free to agree or disagree with me as to their attractiveness. Please email me and tell me which one(s) you like best, as well as any comments and any titanium knives you find appealing that I have not included.
#1 – A custom Darrel Ralph Gun Hammer 3D Alpha Carved Titanium with Maxx, Glide Bearing System, Thick Blue Anodizing, CPM S90V Blade, Very Expensive (I had to save a long time to get this one), Great workmanship and operation.
#2 - SPYDERCO C36TIFP MILITARY FLUTED TITANIUM KNIFE, Blue Anodize, CPM S30V blade, fairly expensive, but a great knife. This is my first Spyderco knife.
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