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.
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
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.)
"rbmcrafter" wrote: I'm trying to weld or solder 14 guage copper wire to a
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?
I think the times I have been successful doing this I probably lucked
had both materials at the right temperature by chance. So, no, I'm not
with the technique for properly distributing the heat.
Regarding comments in the other replies, I have thoroughly cleaned
surfaces to be soldered.
Thank you for the help.
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 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.
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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.