Punching holes in titanium foil
Display Avatars Sort By:
Chris Wright
(chriswrightcycles)
Punching holes in titanium foil on 09/02/2013 16:10:57 MDT Print View

I'm getting ready to make another Ti windscreen for my new 475ml MLD pot, but could use some coaching before I begin. I fabricated a nice titanium windscreen for my last cook kit with the .005" stuff from titanium goat. I tried the hole punch, as they suggest, and broke the punch after the first hole. At that time I had a milling machine in my shop so I decided to drill the remaining holes with the mill. This worked fine, but I'm convinced there must be an easier way.

Does anyone here have first hand experience with making their own Ti windscreen? If so, what tools did you use? I have a feeling that this wont be the last windscreen I make, so I'm not opposed to investing in more expensive tooling if thats what it takes.

Thanks in advance,
-Chris

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Punching holes in titanium foil on 09/02/2013 16:17:17 MDT Print View

"Does anyone here have first hand experience with making their own Ti windscreen? If so, what tools did you use?"

Ordinary sharp scissors and ordinary hand-type paper punch.

--B.G.--

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: punching holes in titanium foil on 09/02/2013 16:58:40 MDT Print View

I've used various styles of ordinary paper punches, and some are better than others. First I used one from Michael's craft store ($7), made in China, with purple handle grips. That worked pretty well, but it eventually quit doing the job. So I bought another, with the same results, maybe 30 good punch holes, then 10-15 crappy ones, and finally none at all. When it was time to buy another, all Michael's had in stock were similiar-looking punches, also made in China (probably by the same manufacturer), but they had pink handle grips. These sucked badly, with 2 of them failing after 2-4 punches. I can't find the purple ones anywhere now. I was relegated to finishing my projects with my Dremel bit, which of course creates a ratty-looking hole (by my hand). I'm thinking that we really need to hit Grainger's and bite the bullet on a professional metal workers' punch. Costly suckers though. Don't waste your money on a $5 office paper punch--it will disappoint you quickly.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Punching foil on 09/02/2013 17:00:50 MDT Print View

There are several archived threads on this topic. As Bob and Gary say, a STURDY paper punch often works. In my experience, a paper punch is likely to work better if it is one of those that has a sharp, scoop-shaped punch rather than a flat one. If it is a hard/brittle alloy (like 6Al4V or 15-3-3-3), or a beta-transition alloy that has been heated to glowing red and air quenched, then a sheet metal punch will work also. If it is a soft alloy or in a soft state, a sheet metal punch will not make a clean hole. The clearance between the punch and the die is not tight enough for malleable 0.005" foils. It will just tear and deform the material. Drilling also works, as you found. Several people have reported good results with a Unibit and the piece clamped between pieces of wood.

Edited by ckrusor on 09/02/2013 17:03:55 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 09/02/2013 18:15:03 MDT Print View

Regular paper hole puncher worked very well for me on that foil.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
I have a punch kit on 09/03/2013 04:33:46 MDT Print View

but for leather. Not sure what the difference is but I am having a hunch that the paper punches are sharper......which is what is needed. My leather punch just badly dented the thin Ti screen and warped the metal :(.

Corbin McFarlane
(raven15) - MLife
McGills worked for me on 09/03/2013 23:06:05 MDT Print View

I experimented with enough that it would have been cheaper and smarter to have bought someone else's windscreen several times over. So far the best I found is McGills 3/16 Inch Round Hand Punch from Amazon. This is over several varieties of paper hole punch, grommet punches, leather punches, etc.

However, for titanium windscreens I still don't want to push it. I have just been using scissors to cut triangles from the bottom. I make each triangle 1cm high x 2cm long along the bottom of the screen, go level along the bottom of the screen for 1cm (no cutting), then repeat (3cm repeating pattern). The upside of this is that upsidedown it can be a very expensive crown for kid's birthday parties. Titanium is bad for hole punches.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Punching holes in titanium foil on 09/04/2013 03:58:44 MDT Print View

> Does anyone here have first hand experience with making their own Ti windscreen
Quite few of us.
To make small holes in very thin hard ti sheet you need to sandwich it between two more robust layers such as 1/8" Perspex and then drill it with a new sharp bit. This works very well.

However, I found the holes weakened the Ti foil a bit too much. I get better performance and longer life by just using a 3/4 windshield with a gap downwind. You don't have to have all those holes everywhere - for the most part they are just glitz.

Cheers

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Punching holes in titanium foil on 09/04/2013 12:25:18 MDT Print View

"You don't have to have all those holes everywhere - for the most part they are just glitz."

The holes do eliminate some metal, which means reducing some weight.

If you position the holes poorly, you will create a weakened line where the metal might fold or crack.

--B.G.--