Horseshoe nail jewelry is popular with rodeo, country/western and barrel racing fans and participants. Horseshoe nails can be heated and bent into elaborate shapes and soldered into place, making rings, pendants and bracelets. Soldering requires a heat source, lead-free solder and flux.
Things You'll Need
Black permanent marker
Fine-tip jewelers' propane or butane torch
0 and 00 fine steel wool
Vise grips or pliers
Alligator clips, wire soldering clamps or hemostats
Low-temp silver bearing solder and compatible flux
Spray bottle of water
Make a sketch of your chosen design with a black permanent marker. Heat nails with a torch until they are bright orange as seen in dull light. Use vise grips or other pliers to bend each nail to the shapes needed to construct your design.
Clamp all the pieces of the design together using alligator clips, wire soldering clamps or hemostats.
Apply low-temp silver bearing solder-compatible flux to the areas of the nails that need to be soldered.
Preheat the area to be soldered with a fine-tip jewelers', butane or propane torch until the solder flows. Electronics Club.com owner, John Hewes, prefers to, "...hold the soldering iron like a pen, near the base of the handle. Imagine you are going to write your name...(the soldered area) should look shiny and have a 'volcano' shape. If not, you will need to reheat it and feed in a little more solder." Use a flux brush to remove any excess solder.
Spritz the entire soldered item with water to cool it. Apply slight pressure to the soldered joints to test them. Resolder if any break or seem loose.