Well, after looking into several of the alternatives offered here, I have learned a lot more.

1. Plastic blades with weighted centers: Kodak used teflon on cheaper metals because that was the only plastic (it is really a polymer) that is not photoactive in some way or which does not absorb chemistry from the emulsion.

2. Wood blades with metal inserts and polymer coating: See above, apparently only teflon works.

In the final analysis, the teflon becomes scratched and the contamination or erosion process of the blade material begins.

It looks like titanium and stainless are the only metal options available. Welding or some sort of milling are the only ways of working with these metals.

That is a summary to date and my thanks to all for their comments. I'm still open to suggestions.