Copper - Steel Welding/Soldering

I'm trying to weld or solder 14 guage copper wire to a steel horseshoe for an art project. What is the best way to do this? Welding melts the copper wire. I've tried soldering
with a torch and plumbers flux and acid core solder with only a 15% success rate. I'm open to suggestions on the best way to do this. Thanks.
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rbmcrafter wrote:

Keep in mind that soft solder will not support any load, even if done well.
Get both of them meticulously clean, tin them both with silver solder and silver solder flux then silver solder them together.
100% success rate if you don't take any shortcuts.
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rbmcrafter wrote:

I have soft soldered stranded copper wire to steel using regular electrical solder. It was plenty strong enough for what I needed at the time.
Grant
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Grant Erwin wrote:

When soft soldering to steel, it helps a lot to copper plate the steel. Fortunately, steel immersed in copper sulphate solution plates itself. The steel has to be totally clean, bright and grease free, apply copper sulphate solution where you want to solder, wait for the colour change, wash off, dry, flux and tin immediately then solder normally preferably with a soldering gun not a torch to avoid too much oxidation. (Though the torch will be needed to pre-heat the horseshoe till the solder is close to melting.)
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"rbmcrafter" wrote: I'm trying to weld or solder 14 guage copper wire to a steel horseshoe

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ If you even tried welding copper wire to steel, you need to learn more about welding. It can be done by soft soldering, silver soldering or brazing, but in every case you will have difficulty with the following two factors: 1.) Horseshoes are always covered with black iron oxide, or rust, Both have to be removed completely, so you are working with a shiny surface. 2.) There is a fairly big difference in cross section between wire and the horseshoe. Are you familiar with the technique for distributing the heat properly between them, so they both reach the melting temp of the filler metal at the same time?
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I think the times I have been successful doing this I probably lucked out and had both materials at the right temperature by chance. So, no, I'm not familiar with the technique for properly distributing the heat.
Regarding comments in the other replies, I have thoroughly cleaned both surfaces to be soldered.
Thank you for the help.
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Ok - two ideas for you.
1. If this is low strength - soft solder - might try Tin based solder. I mean mostly Tin - often you can find a silver box of Kester solder for Al. IT has flux and the solder. That might work.
2. Braze. Braze with bronze. Bronze requires a hot propane fire and I would braze each by themselves first. Then together.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
rbmcrafter wrote:

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On Tue, 7 Oct 2008 16:16:23 -0700 (PDT), rbmcrafter

Easy peasy, no problemo. I routinely stick copper to steel.
Both the steel and the copper must be bright clean. Then use Harris Staybrite solder and Staykleen flux. I may have spelled them wrong.
The solder is a tin-silver alloy that wets ferrous and copper alloys very nicely, like soldering copper to copper with radio solder. It is quite strong and it works at temps only slightly higher than lead-tin soft solder. The flux is pretty much ordinary tinning fluid. You'll find it at a good welding store. It is pricey by the pound but they do have blisterpack offerings too.
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