Horse Shoe Art – Horseshoes to a Cactus

Horse Shoe Art – Horseshoes to a Cactus



okay good afternoon everybody and what's today's topic well I had a couple of requests from somebody can I explain to them how I made some of these cactuses that I make out of horse shoes because they don't find that it's such an easy process or an easy thing to do it isn't just you know tack welding a bunch of horseshoes together and I said sure and I answered some questions and stuff and I kept a record of them and I thought well let me just do a short video or you know whatever I can and explain it a little bit better maybe the first thing you're gonna need to do is get some horseshoes so where are you gonna get them from we got Craigslist eBay Howsam maybe a local fairy or somebody now I get mine for free because I trade the farrier projects I do things for the farrier they give me tons of horseshoes I use those horseshoes then to you know make different little artistic things a to give them away I sell them you know whatever and that's what I do with the horseshoes that I get but the first thing I do is I compile a great big pile of them like you see here in the picture and when I get a chance I cut all the nails off of them and I clean them up and I use my bench grinder with a wire wheel on there and I don't knock off a ton of the debris but I knock off most of it I guess in a way it's a way of weld prepping too because it cleans the metal for welding but then I throw them down and when I accumulate enough of them now I make these cactuses anywhere from 6 to 7 and a half feet tall it's got two big arms one on each side and I'll show you some pictures in a minute and an approximate guess I'm using around 200 horseshoes let's say so I use the number 200 and I wait until I have about that many now the next step in this you've already you know like I said cut the nails off you cleaned them up horses are a lot like people in a way and that sounds funny but their feet are different sizes that's the reason why farriers I've got these mobile forges and they Bend them and they tweak them to a particular horse's foot so they're not going to all be the same as what I'm trying to say so then I start putting them into piles ones that are very close and very similar in shape and size and I do that with just a whole bunch of them until I have piles and piles of them together and there's a reason for that as you create each circle when you're making this cactus the dimensions can change on you real easily and you're gonna become really frustrated you're not gonna want to do it because hey they're not lining up I mean it's not coming out level I've got too much of a gap or there's too much overlap I don't know what to do and you start running into all these problems and the reason why is because they're all different sizes so you can't just take a bunch of horseshoes and start welding them together and I think it's going to come out you know aesthetically good-looking so you have to spend the time and kind of organize everything correctly before you start the welding now I'm going to take this picture down and I'll throw up a couple of when and how I start these projects or these cactuses give me one side okay so let's take a look at these two pictures now the first thing I do when I go out to the steel supply yard I look around for a base now it could be like you know a half round piece of steel from a tank that they cut it could be anything this is diamond plate and it's probably about an eighth of an inch thick it's nice thick solid piece of steel and so this is what I use for the base so I go ahead and I bring it home and then I start my circle of horseshoes so the best way to start this circle start off with a piece of wood whether it's a log or something like that know it doesn't have to be exactly a perfect circle if you use the log or something like that I would make it several inches tall and just cut the log or anything that you can I use wood I mean as my template to start this so what I do with that first row is with that piece of wood I like on my welding bench I start lining up that first row of horseshoes now what I find works for me okay now it may not work for everybody else is the method that I'm describing and I use nine horseshoes in a circle I think that that gives it a really nice like you know bulky looking trunk so that's the reason why I like using nine now you can use eight you can use six you can use whatever you want it's your project but don't get frustrated the first thing in this whole thing is you have to get off your rear end and actually go out there and start doing it and if you mess up use your angle grinder with a cut-off wheel cut the weld start over and remember to tack weld everything at first because it's a lot easier to knock off a tack weld or cut through it than if you've done is you know some full-blown bead so you can see in the picture over here which is a little bit clearer on the left where I built those circles now the next one you can use that same wood template and do it again and then after you made the circle set it on that first circle or and I've done this before or you can do them one at a time like I was saying and you can use a level a little torpedo level or a longer level and as you complete each row and you're going make sure that everything stays level from one side to the other and that's the reason why it requires a little bit of tweaking sometimes you have to lift up on one and kind of fill the gap with weld and you have to play around there's there's so many little variables in this sometimes I have to bend the horseshoe in a little bit that's pretty easy to do in a vise with a you know a heavy hammer and you keep playing around and you build each one of these rows and you make them nice and straight and you can do it by eye it doesn't have to be like super exact and you just keep working on these rows and don't be in a rush but the biggest thing is you have to really get out there and actually start doing it and then you'll see it starts to come together after a while and you'll figure things out as you go so I'm going to throw up a picture of the completed project so we don't make the video long and we'll go right to questions I'm going to just suck okay let's just go ahead and jump to questions and answers it's a lot easier I think because it is what it is it's a cactus made out of horseshoes and I've already described I mean how you can do these circles you can do them freehand it's a little harder especially if you're just doing the base I would use a round piece of wood and start your first circle after that if you keep using that wood piece that I'm telling you about and you keep welding circles when you go to stack them you could have difficulty lining them up so the last set that I made I tried it another way and I just did my first row from a wood template and then I started doing all the other rows by just setting them on there in tack welding them now remember the word tack weld in case you have to bend it a little of the laughs to bend it a little of the right and then I would do like the opposite side I'd put one on one side one on the opposite side and I'd set a level on there just to keep things kind of plumb and level as I'm going up once you have one on the each opposite side you can start filling in in between this can get hard to do because like I said horseshoes are different sizes so you can just start however you want and start playing around and don't get frustrated it's a matter sometimes I have to take them back off it's not working and I have to bend some horseshoes and I have to play around so this is not an easy project it's not a hard project in terms of technical ability it's just labor-intensive is what I'm trying to say here next question is how do I charge for these okay well let's say you bought the horseshoes off of ebay as an example and you're gonna spend it well over a dollar something each or right around a dollar now if you get them from a farrier and you trade or whatever you might get them cheaper let's just use a dollar okay and I need 200 of them so there's 200 dollars right there before I even start now I throw in a figure $30 on top of that for you know maybe wire and another 30 just to be safe for the gas that I'm using you know off on my MIG welder so now you're up to about 260 I throw on another 40 for the plate steel or the diamond plate which more than covers it but let's just say in a roundabout way I'm into it at 300 dollars now that's the deposit I want upfront before I even attempt to build these because I don't want to get stuck buying everything and having somebody go oh gee I don't have the money so I had $300 there I multiply that times 3 900 so I'm looking at nine hundred to a thousand dollars for one of these cactuses that are about the one here on the right and the left the tall one that's about seven foot six inches tall so and that's what I sold the one for I sold it for 9.50 so nine hundred to a thousand I mean gives you a rough idea on pricing now that's how I do it maybe you can get more maybe you got to take a little bit less things get negotiable because it's not something I want to build and have just sitting around waiting to be sold so I only build these off of pictures that I've done and people give me deposits I mean that's just the way that I do it I'm not in production I'm not running a retail store so it's just the way I do it so I hope that answers your question well I kind of already answered the question I mean how do you get your hand in there once it's in the ground to plant the plant take a look at the base here and look at one of those bottom horseshoes all I did is I cut it free and I welded a hinge a little tiny hinge made out of steel you can get them at Lowe's you can get them at Home Depot you can get them anywhere and I welded that hinge on there so that one horseshoe opens and closes that's enough room for me to stick my hand in there and plant the plant or do whatever I have to do and then you just close it and because you've cut it free you know from this base I mean it's easy to open and close it and make it look like you know it was welded there and I usually do it to the side of the back I mean one or the other but it's it's real easy it it was something that I just did at the spur of the moment how did I cut the hole okay I used a plasma cutter now you can use anything I mean around your shop I mean to cut the hole the holes gonna be hidden once it's on the ground anyway you don't necessarily need a plasma cutter you could use a jigsaw you could use your four and a half inch angle grinder with a cut-off wheel on there and just cut a big square hole it doesn't have to be this round hole like I did you know just make the hole any size you want it I did it for the reason of being able to plant a plant if you don't want to plant a plant you can just leave it solid and you know I had a friend the one that I did this other one for he made a concrete base he used two by fours he took like a whole a square hole on the ground set him in there he poured concrete he had like a couple of bolt holes and I had to drill holes in one of these plates because he wanted to actually set it on the concrete pad and anchor it that's a good idea a little more time-consuming but you can do things like that or if you have a space in your yard where there's no moisture you could do it that way too but this is just the way I did it okay I threw up another one in the middle this is the shorter one showing you where I you know I put it in relation to my wall and I did the same thing you know I put that vining plant in there of course like I said you can do this any way you want it's your project but my hope is is the vine will grow up in through here and I'll trim it eventually and hopefully it makes it look green and kind of cool-looking one of the other questions is aren't you worried about this thing rusting out well yeah and no I also put it in a part of my yard where there really isn't much water and I did use epoxy primer I put a bunch of coats on there but yes it's still going to get to the steel it's still going to rust I assume somewhere way down the line I'll probably have problems but you know I've got that uh you know I've got a torch I've got a MIG welder I mean I can always repair things I like how they came out I liked how I planted them next to the walls so for right now I mean this works for me and I'll let you know about problems going forward that's it for this video if you got any other questions I mean you can drop them in the comments below I'm a home handyman and I hope you click subscribe and keep following me and I'll keep doing these videos as work lets me alright you folks have a good day and I'll talk to you soon bye bye

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