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I'm looking to solder steel nails together, is this possible and how strong will the bond be? Answered

I'm looking to solder the flat ends of nails together to create a crown of nails (headpiece) is solder capable of holding together steel nails in that fashion? If so will they be stuck together well enough to create a relatively heavy headpiece meant to be worn? (approximately 1000 nails)  



3 years ago

Yes, you can solder them but they will only be as strong as your solder. A plumbing solder like 95.5% is much stronger than electronic solder

Personally I would weld it.

It has held things together much better for me that soldering

I like to use MIG welding as it is easyist


Personally I use TIG, but either way Welding is the way to go !

Perhaps push them through some sheet metal then hide your welds on the back ?

To solve the weight problem, I would also suggest you work in some padded shoulder supports. May be a good opportunity for some Flare !

I agree on the shoulder pads thing. I think we all forgot about that


3 years ago

The best fit would be a hammered thin iron zinc sheet metal Spartan helmet as a base to guide and hold your 1000 soldered nails ...


An inspiration, a head mounted nail gun, everytime you bang your head against the wall it nails things to it. A head butt could result in someone getting nailed.

You mus have heard about two men on a ladder, where the top guy had his finger always on trigger and taps the gun against the wall board to nail, then drop rests the arm while placing the next board ... WHEN suddenly the lower guy stands straighter and has his safety helmet nailed to his skull !

If you've access to an oxygen/acetylene torchset that would be an optimal way to make your joints. You'll burn off any coating that's there and you will get very good by the time you get a dozen under your belt. The only suggestion would be to provide a gentle breeze with a pedestal fan to blow away any fumes. Use darkened glasses rated for torch use. The first few will be tricky though......when the two pieces turn bright orange to yellow they'll begin giving off sparks and when they turn white...it is molten metal. Find the sweet spot twixt and tween and go for it !!!!

You'll NOT have to worry about melting previously welded joints loose either.

Here is an Idea create a form for the crown first Look at the center section and bend a piece of sheetmetal to its shape leaving extra metal on all edges Using a nail punch holes spaced for every other nail location in the sheet. Place a nail from the back in every hole. trim nails for between these You can do this in two row steps starting from the center row Flux the bottom of the entire panel and clamp the tops (points) together Then use a propane torch to heat the nails and use a real hard solder (the type used in refrigeration work) comes in hard sticks. Let it cool and from alternate sides keep adding two rows at a time letting it cool all the way between soldering. when you are at the last row for the width flux Bend the sides down to hold the shape and attach the double height nails the same way as before. You may need to cut sheet metal panels as side supports at this point in the assembly. This will reduce the Number and weight of the nails by about half.

I don't know about the weight....

Unless they are small nails it will be damn heavy - did you check the bare weight of a box with with 1000 of your nails?

Plumbing solder is available in hard and soft, the hard version will work for your project with some acid flux.

Biggest problem with soldering over welding I see is that you have a hard time heating all up without loosing those nails you already soldered.
Considering you might have a lot of solder connections that might have to carry weight I would definately consider a Mig welder for the task.
With small welding spots you might actually save some weight too.


3 years ago

You must be very good at soldering. Most nails have a coating to prevent rust and glue to hold the wood being nailed. You will need to file the heads to accept (wet) acid core solder.

This will be my biggest project involving soldering, but I've done other smaller projects in the past. Just never with steel. Do you think a Plumer's torch would work better?


3 years ago

Depending on the nail size 1000 nails is going to be pretty heavy. That might be a problem for something your putting on a head.

As far as connecting nails an epoxy glue might work best. You would still need to file or sand them down to get to bare metal. There are special epoxy's made for iron and metal. If its not going to be under a lot of stress glue might be better and faster.