How to Solder Horseshoe Nails

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.

(Image: soldering image by Bube from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Things You'll Need

  • Black permanent marker

  • Sketch pad

  • 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

  • Flux brush

  • Spray bottle of water

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Clamp all the pieces of the design together using alligator clips, wire soldering clamps or hemostats.

Step 3

Apply low-temp silver bearing solder-compatible flux to the areas of the nails that need to be soldered.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

References & Resources