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Jerusalem Cross of Welded Concrete Nails

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Picture of Jerusalem Cross of Welded Concrete Nails
This is a Jerusalem cross.  It is really four small crosses and one larger cross for a total of five.  I did a similar Instructable quite a few months in the past, but its construction was quite different. 

The earlier version involved cutting the nails and brazing the pieces back in place.  I wanted to try an all-welded construction.  The welds are all done from behind the finished surfaces, except for the weld in the center that is covered with brazing rod for decorative effect.

Click on this link to see the earlier version and to read about the significance of the Jerusalem cross. 
 
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Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
In the USA both Home Depot and Lowe's home improvement stores now sell 2 1/2 inch  (6.35 cm) square cut concrete nails in boxes of 60. 

I am using a flux-core wire feed welder, some holding jigs I made, some brazing rod with a MAPP gas torch, a wire wheel, and some spray shellac.  I will also add a loop made from a small nut welded behind the nails and some bent wire for hanging on the wall. 

Step 2: Small cross array

Picture of Small cross array
This photo shows the array of the four small crosses welded together from four nails.  Holding the nails in place for the desired end product is very difficult by hand.  The ends of the nails want to slide away in the direction shown by the red arrows.  A homemade jig makes holding the nails in place easy.  See the next step.
poofrabbit1 year ago
Oh this is lovely. Clearly I need to learn to weld. :)
Phil B (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
I did an Instructable on learning to weld. In step 18 I mentioned and linked a book on decorative welding for women by a woman. My wife saw the book at a fabric store and bought it for me. A wire feed welder would be reasonably easy to learn for decorative welding where a lot of structural integrity for supporting a load is not really necessary. I think you would like the book. It is at Amazon and I reviewed it there. It is called "Ready, Set, Weld." Thank you for looking at my Instructable.
OOH thanks for the info!
rartis3 years ago
And then I remember how they used to make Wooden Crosses from olive wood.. They still do is Israel!
Phil B (author)  rartis3 years ago
I think I have a relatively small one someplace--about 2 inches high.
natcrazz4 years ago
Could I put nails in a piece of wood like that for a jig? I'm welding out side so if the wood caught fire, it wouldn't be a problem.
Phil B (author)  natcrazz4 years ago
I believe you could use a wooden jig. I am guessing it is not too likely to catch fire, but may singe and turn dark brown near your welds. I considered making a wooden jig because I could have stacked four pieces and made identical notches in all of the pieces at the same time. But, I decided I could tweak any inaccuracies in my jig more easily if it were steel by adding a little weld material where I might have ground away too much, etc. Also, I knew I wanted to make more of these crosses later. The steel jig seemed more durable. And, the steel jig helps conduct ground current back to the welder. I hope it works well for you. I tweaked on my jig for quite a while, but now it works like I want it to, so it was worth the effort. Thank you for your interest and your comment.
natcrazz Phil B3 years ago
Thank you for your thoughts. A welded jig is the better option but I am a beginner so less welding is better for me.
Phil B (author)  natcrazz3 years ago
I am a beginner, too; but have been at it long enough to have developed an attitude. My welds are not great, but they also do not break, hence the attitude. ;-) I keep my angle head grinder near for times when things do not go well. With welding you can usually cut it apart and do it over if something goes wrong. I assume you are using a wire welder of some type (flux core or MIG).
natcrazz Phil B3 years ago
I must confess that I have yet to weld and it may never happen. I'm in the process of making a stick/arc welder from two old microwaves. It's in another instructable.
Phil B (author)  natcrazz3 years ago
I have seen that Instructable. My first welder was a 115 volt commercially made machine with a 70 and a 50 amp setting. It was a big advance over no welder, but still quite limited in the final analysis. If you want to weld nails as in this Instructable and use such a welder, I would recommend getting some 1/16 inch welding rods. Also get some carbon rods and check my Instructable on starting an arc exactly where you want it to begin. There is a link to it in step 8 above. You will need to experiment with pushing the rod into the joint to get good fusion between the two pieces, but also breaking off the arc so you do not burn away the nails into a molten glob. I hope it all works for you. Enjoy what you are doing.
Phil B (author)  Phil B3 years ago
If you build your microwave arc welder and want to weld thinner, smaller pieces, like these nails, try backing them with a piece of aluminum while welding. Aluminum will not fuse to steel. It absorbs excess heat and keeps small pieces from turning molten and blowing away. I have used a short section from the window frame on an old aluminum storm window or storm door. You will still need to watch carefully the length of time you hold your arc. It will need to be long enough to for the two parts to fuse together, but short enough that nothing blows away in drops of molten steel.
Rune Cutter4 years ago
Very nice as always Phil, I've done crosses with masons nails before but the Jerusalem heraldry never occurred to me, very nice
Phil B (author)  Rune Cutter4 years ago
Thank you. I would be interested in seeing photos of your crosses. Would you consider an Instructable on them?
rimar20004 years ago
Phil, these crosses are very nice. You always make tools for help your work, I do the same.
Phil B (author)  rimar20004 years ago
Thank you, Osvaldo. Now you know what was at the link I sent to you, but would not open for you. My father often criticized me because he wanted me to do something immediately, but I knew I could do the job better if I made a jig first. He did not like the delay.
I must confess that ever happened that your father told you, I have taken longer to make the tool that do the job. But the tool I had for another chance, and I also had the pleasure to design it and make it...!
Phil B (author)  rimar20004 years ago
You regret that my father criticized me for making a jig so I could do the job better. Even though you used more time to make a tool or a jig than it took to do the job, you had the tool to use again later, as well as having the enjoyment of designing, making, and using the tool. (I am paraphrasing what I believe you mean.)
Yes, that's precisely what I meant, following the phrase "I must confess that ever happened that your father told you". May be is better to say "I must confess that ever happened to me that your father told you"
Phil B (author)  rimar20004 years ago
Thank you.
Phil B (author)  rimar20004 years ago
I agree completely.
Arbitror4 years ago
I'm not Jewish, but I will totally make a Christian cross like this. In fact, I have a sterling silver cross necklace that looks pretty similar to this, with three nails "bound" by copper wire.
Phil B (author)  Arbitror4 years ago
The name "Jerusalem cross" does not imply that this is Jewish. The name seems to be related to two things. One is that a group of Crusaders adopted this cross in their famous campaigns against Muslims occupying Jerusalem. The other is that it reflects Acts 1:8 which speaks of the Gospel going from Jerusalem out to the four corners of the world. (The center cross represents Jerusalem and the four smaller crosses the outward extremes of the world.)
Here's a picture.
P6074858.JPG
Phil B (author)  Arbitror4 years ago
Your cross is very nice. The cross I made is not a true Jerusalem cross, but a stylized adaptation. I have always liked a Jerusalem cross, whether faithful to the original pattern or stylized. Feel free to adapt as you see fit. Thank you for your comment.
Jayefuu4 years ago
Nice work Phil! While not something I'd make it was really interesting reading about the jigging and processes. :D
Phil B (author)  Jayefuu4 years ago
Thank you. Hopefully the preparations might have application for some other project.
ChrysN4 years ago
This is really beautiful, the iridescent colour created by heating the nails is really nice!
Phil B (author)  ChrysN4 years ago
Thank you. The striations from heating to braze were a happy accident I decided to keep and utilize.
Kryptonite4 years ago
That's a nice result!

I love working with metal, and these nails are brilliant.
Phil B (author)  Kryptonite4 years ago
Thank you.
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