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Dr. Redden's 
Tip of the Month

How to Weld Aluminum Inserts


Foot Preparation
Trim the foot with a 4-point trim, push the heels back and rocker the toe whenever possible. The rail shoe is then rockered and fitted to the foot.

Frog Insert Placement
Aluminum Inserts The frog insert should be sized slightly wider than the distance between the heel branches of the shoe. It needs to fit snug inside the heels. After tapping the insert between the heel branches, lay the shoe on the foot and press the insert down onto the frog. This will raise the shoe off of the heel of the foot. Proper position of the shoe and insert will result in a 1/8” gap at the heel when the insert sits firmly on the posterior 2/3 of the frog.
When happy with the placement, remove the shoe carefully so the insert remains in place.

Welding
Preheat the shoe and insert that are being welded together. If the shoe smokes the apron, then it is very close to welding temperature.

Place the shoe and insert on a firebrick, instead of a metal surface, during the welding process (a metal surface will draw the heat from the shoe). Using a nice feathered flame, begin heating the large, thicker areas of the shoe until the surface becomes dull gray or milky.
Henrob 2000At this point, begin pushing the heat toward the weld site. Be sure to keep both the shoe and the insert at the same consistent temperature. Keep the rod close to the flame, but not in the flame, while you are heating the shoe and insert to welding heat. Once at the necessary temperature, place the rod between the flame and the shoe. This prevents the shoe from overheating and allows the rod to flow nicely. If the melted rod beads up and runs off the side of the shoe, then the weld area is not hot enough. In this case, simply let the weld area cool for a few minutes and repeat the process.


Benefits
Proper placement of the insert and shoe provides excellent positive frog pressure. Tack the shoe on using 2 nails,and set the foot on the ground. Inspect the foot to ensure the 1/8” gap is closed and that the horn tubules are fully loaded on the surface of the shoe. This technique is great for horses with low-heeled feet.

It is also critical to maintain a tough, dry frog if it is to be an efficient load-bearing surface. To foster
this environment, place a piece of industrial grade paper towel between the frog and the frog support insert.

Recommended Items

Henrob 2000
The Henrob 2000 is an excellent torch for welding aluminum. It runs on 4 pounds of gas and 4 pounds of air, and offers a very localized heat source for precise welding.

It also offers a tip that enables the user to cut aluminum up to 1/2 inch thick, while leaving a clean, finished edge.


Flux Cored Aluminum Welding Rods are perfect for general aluminum welding. More specifically, they are perfect for welding aluminum frog supports into any of our aluminum horseshoes. These rods are easy to use and contain an extremely active flux formulation that helps prevent oxidation at the weld areas.

Aluminum Welding Rods