Saturday, November 17, 2012

Knots and nails crossing paths...

I made this knotted horseshoe nail cross on a paracord loop for lanyard/fob use or to be worn around the neck.  It was made with four 2" long horseshoe nails and 0.9mm black nylon cord.

After bending each of the nails to shape, I started with about an 8 foot length of cord, not sure how much I'd need, tying a long 4 bight knot on the bottom section's two nails of the cross, held together with locking pliers, doubled the knot, ran the working end under the knot so it came out at the arms junction, then tightened that knot up.

From there I wrapped the working end around the top two nails, temporarily held together with a rubber band, and bottom half of the cross in an 'X' a couple of times, bringing the those two halves together, and then tied a 5 lead 4 bight Turk's head knot(which is the base of a Gaucho knot that you can learn from video tutorial), doubled that and tightened it, taking the strand under the center 'X' and out to one side.

On one side arm section I continued with the cord's working end to tie a Gaucho knot, and then tightened that knot up.  I wrapped the cord again around the center 'X' a couple more times before tying another Gaucho knot on the other arm, running the working end under that knot and out the other side, tightened it, then trimmed and tucked the end strand.  A total of around 5 feet of 0.9mm cord was used after tightening.

I bent the nails in hand with pliers and the assistance of a tiny anvil with bolt holes that I used for extra leverage in getting the nails to bend.  There is a YouTube video tutorial showing how to bend the horseshoe nails with custom made wooden block jigs.  I'm sure the jigs made it much easier to bend the nails than the considerable bit of aggravation and time I spent working with them in hand.  I even tried heating one nail with a butane torch lighter, to see if that would help, but I guess I didn't heat it long enough and decided I shouldn't press my luck with going down that avenue, and stopped to avoid getting burned.

There are quite a few different styles of horseshoe nail crosses, as found in a Google search, including bent and wire wrapped examples, as well as the cut and welded or soldered type.  Many different Turk's head knots and variations could be tied around the cross, including wall or crown sinnets.

I remember my dad having a horseshoe nail cross back in the 1970's, one that was made of three or four nails cut to length and welded or soldered to make it one piece, and added to a nice neck chain.  I haven't seen it in years, but he may still have it tucked away in a drawer somewhere.  It would be much easier to just knot around a finished cross like that one...

And another knotted horseshoe nails cross with separately tied Gaucho knots, using 1.4mm cord, on a three strand braided thong.  I had tied four of the Gaucho knots, then later decided to add another one on the bottom end.

I also made a 'Thor's Hammer' with horseshoe nails, knotting over the nails with a T handle Turk's head knot, Guacho knots, and a 3 lead knot, using 1.4mm cord.  I was just trying one out with 1.4mm cord, but I'd think I'd like it done with smaller 0.9mm cord and maybe a more complicated T handle knot.

Here's a link for some interesting looking horseshoe nail jewelry on etsy and a blog post on that maker, and many other things that can be made with horseshoe nails like these image results from a google search.   And a few other uses for horseshoe nails.

 

42 comments:

Stephen White Photography said...

That is so cool! We have a few guys in our men's group at church making the copper wire cut nail crosses. I haven't gotten into it yet because I've been trying to learn the art of paracord knot work. I definitely need to try this. Thanks for the great idea!

smet337 said...

Good Sunday morning to you Stormdrane,You blow my mind!!You are such an artist,master craftsmen,truly I love everything you do but this is great thought and ingenuity.How in the world do you come up with all these beautiful pieces?I have never asked but if you do another could you maybe show the stages in a collage?I was also wondering what your real time spent on this was?And ya I used to be a welder/fitter hot metal can be hazardous.Well you have a great day Thanks Scot

Stormdrane said...

@Scot, I've only made the one so far, following the linked video to see how to bend each of the nails, just guesstimating and eyeballing where to bend each one without any specific measurements.

I didn't keep track of time, but it was at least a couple of hours between the nail bending and knotting. The wire wrapped nail crosses only look to take 10 minutes or so from start to finish, but doing knot work will take considerably more time than that... ;)

I bought a packet of 50 horseshoe nails off ebay to try a few ideas. I don't know if the nails that I bought are harder to bend than others, but it was difficult for me to bend them with just my hands and a pair of small craft pliers(no teeth to chew/mark up the nails).

A small pair of locking plier were also used to hold a couple of the nails together as I started the knot work, and a rubber band held the top pair together.

The knots could all be tied separately/individually, it just happened that the strand I started with was plenty long enough to go from one knot to the next with adding the 'X' lashing in the center.

I still have craft wire from a project several years ago, that I can still use to try wire wrapping the horseshoe nails too, if I can figure out how to better, quickly, or more easily bend the nails...

Mac said...

Stromdrane, I was wondering, where is the best place to get the 0.9 mm cord.
I used your picture last night to see what my fans thought of your cross and I am having people request them left and right.
So I need to get stuff ordered and started.

I love your work I get a lot of inspiration from the things that you create.

Stormdrane said...

@Mac, Both the black and white 0.9mm braided nylon cord that I use were purchased on ebay, from different sellers. Not a lot of color options, but you might could dye the white cord different colors if needed...

Mini blind supply sources also carry 0.9mm cord, like fixmyblinds.com, and manufacturers/distributors like R&W Rope & GPJ Rope also sell it, all listed in my blog's links list. ;)

Ellisa DeMattio said...

I have used a small table vice with a cloth buffer to bend my horseshoe nails. I bought my nails at a place called M Bar D Feedstore and Tack place here in Anchorage, AK. Stormdrane,I have learned a lot from from your blog. I have also bought both of JD Lenzen's books. Just beginning to learn different crafts.

Paracord Weaver said...

More great ideas! keep them coming, I love the thoughtfulness you put into your projects!

Dona said...

Hi, your work is really cool. I have made one of our bracelets but can't find 1.4MM cord. I found a website for R&W rope but they charge way to much to ship. Any tips.
Thanks you Dona

Dona said...

Folks might also be able to find horse shoe nails at a stained glass supply store, we use them to hold down glass pieces while we solder them.
Dona

Stormdrane said...

@Dona, Most of the 1.4mm cord I use came from ebay, but with lots of cord on the spools, they have enough weight that shipping costs will be at the going postage rates, which are not cheap...

Anonymous said...

@stormdrane @anyone

love the cross great work. Can anyone tell me what type of stitch/pattern this is in the pic? I think its a solomon bar but im not really sure?
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-Factory-Direct-Wholesale-Camping-Paracord-Bracelet-Handmade-Survival-adjustable-Stainless-Steel-Shackles/683323763.html

Stormdrane said...

@Anonymous, The bracelet pattern in the link you posted is JD's(TyingItAllTogether/TIAT) Shark Jaw Bone. ;)

Anonymous said...

@stormdrane Thank you so much sir i've been looking everywhere for two weeks. Now I just have to figure out how to put an adjustable clasp on it.

hrafn said...

I really like the Thor's Hammer one. I left Christianity and the cross thing gets old to me.

Brigid said...

I sincerely want one of those. Now, where's my horse. . .

Dustyn Lifgren said...

Would you be inclined to sell one of those Crosses?

Stormdrane said...

@Dustyn, I stay away from selling to keep from getting burned out on my hobby, instead encouraging folks to give knot work a try themselves. ;)

For those that just want to buy handmade items, there are folks that do custom work on ebay, etsy, artfire, and the buy/sell/trade sections of some online forums...

Anonymous said...

Hello Stormdrane,

Hello from Stockholm, Sweden. Love your work, bravo. Do you take comissions? I would be interested in your services for a small job. If yes, could you perhaps share an email address where I can reach you?

Regards,

M

benthiccracker said...

I bought some of the horseshoe nail earrings for my mom for Xmas. Thanks for the link! BTW: Fellow CPF guy here... benthiccracker

Brigid said...

Merry Christmas Stormdrane!!

your friend,
Brigid

Stormdrane said...

Merry Christmas, Brigid! :)

Christopher Lau said...

I have been looking at many of the designs that are here. I'm looking for a money clip and lanyard design but I can't seem to fine it. Do you know where it is and how I can learn to do it? Thanks, Chris

Stormdrane said...

@Christopher, I have a couple of blog posts with knot work and money clips. Descriptions of the knot work used are in the posts. ;)

Steve Graham said...

@Stormdrane

I love your blog. I've been following you for years, on here and Instructables. My GF collects cross necklaces, and I think this would be an awesome piece for her collection. I don't know if it's been suggested yet, because I haven't read through all the comments yet, but I would love to see this as an Instructable.

Please.

clayton mazuch said...

Stormdrane: would you consider on making a clip on how to wrap the cross cause I've tried and having a trouble with the steps??? I would really appreciate it!!! Thanks and god bless :)

Stormdrane said...

@clayton, If trying to tie the knots with one continuous length of cord is too difficult, you can certainly just tie each individual knot with a separate strand of cord.

With the tail end of the last knot's cord, wrap it around the center of the cross in the 'X' pattern, then tuck the end.

With the knots all pushed in towards the center of the cross, you probably won't even be able to tell the difference between one tied with one length of string and another done with separated pieces... ;)

Juan Rodriguez said...

@ Stormdrane, love your work!! I just got into making stuff with paracords and your videos started it all. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Do you know of any tutorials for the chain mail weave?
Here is an example if the link works...http://img1.etsystatic.com/001/0/6556896/il_570xN.400886185_m1p1.jpg

Stormdrane said...

@Anonymous, The 'Chainmailed Endless Falls' pattern is shown in JD's book, 'Paracord Fusion Ties: Vol 1'.

Victor said...

I have checked out your blog for quite some time now, and I have seen a lot of crosses you've done. But that's the only symbol I've ever seen on your blog - so, out of curiosity if you ever were to do a different symbol, any kind, what would it be?

Stormdrane said...

@Victor, I have done a Thor's Hammer pendant, and there are pineapple knot patterns that have a 6-pointed star in them(Star of David), and some flat patterns also show a 6-pointed star and 5-pointed stars for a Pentacle pattern for those that wish to tie them.

Here's an example link.

Tom Weizoerick said...

I am new to paracording and find it relaxing. Now that I have seen your amazing work, I am stressed because I can't do any of it! : )

You have inspired me to keep trying. Please keep the videos and pictures coming, I am learning a great deal.

Thank you for sharing you talent!!

Wojo

NLL1002 said...

I love your work. Do you sell your creations? I am very interested in purchasing some of the crosses for me and my friends.

Stormdrane said...

@NLL1002, I try to stay away from selling to keep from getting burned out on my hobby, and encourage folks to give knot tying a try themselves. ;)

Anonymous said...

Stormdrane,

Found your work inspiring. I have bought some 0.9mm and horseshoe nails to attempt this work. What did you use to thread the 0.9mm cord? It is so small that the needle I have for my 550 paracord will not work.

Regards,
Rob

Stormdrane said...

@Rob, I used my small #1193-01 Perma-Lok lacing needle with the 0.9mm cord and 1.4mm cord.

Tandy Leather also makes a 2-prong needle, that clamps onto cord/leather for lacing/knot work. ;)

guy4jesuschrist said...

I really want to learn how to make one of these! Great work!

Todd Hawkins said...

Hi Stormdrane,

You previously mentioned you try not to sell your creations. Would you "trade" one if I made a donation to your fav charity? I'm former Army Officer and love anything cool made with parachute cord.

Thanks.

T

Tommy Molina said...

Hello stormdrane.
I have a couple questions about this.
Is it 1 piece of nylon?
Is this weave like the one you posted in YouTube the double bight turk head?
Where do you start on the cross?
Please answer. Thank you in advance.
Tomas

Stormdrane said...

@Tomas, I used a long single strand of cord to do all the knot work on the cross.

I started at the bottom/foot end of the cross and worked up from there, as described in the blog post.

The long 4 bight knot starts off as a 2 bight knot, and there's a video link for the 4 bight version in the blog post too. ;)

Kevin said...

You Sir, are an artist. Your work inspires me. I wish I had the mind's eye to see these things. I really like the cross. I notice you refer to the small cord as 0.09 mm or 1.4 mm I am guessing that is from a specific retailer? Also, with the smaller cord, do you know of a place to get it in silver?

Stormdrane said...

@Kevin, I've bought the smaller cord from ebay, fixmyblinds.com, and RW Rope, but it's also available from GPJ Rope and Nibrol.com.

Most of those sources are in my blog's links list. A quick search did not turn up silver as a color option, but some had 'gray'...