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: How Many Ways to install a covered Button?  ( 611 )
Sr. Member

Karma: +1/-0
: 311

« : January 27, 2018, 10:11:48 AM »

While completing an upholstery project, a somewhat different button requirement was encountered.

This small piece of furniture was a a bench used at the bed foot board.  A relatively formal piece of furniture; cabriole legs (4) mounted on a plywood frame with scroll type arms (1 at each end of each arm -
which required a center button at each scroll (total of 4 buttons).  This piece of furniture permitted the piece to be placed, with either side or end, where ever - middle of a room or against a wall or as stated, at a bed foot board.  Nice looking - formal (wood legs finished in some formal shade of maple/light clear coat). The framing, based on construction (plywood), doesn't suggest higher end furniture.

Back to the buttons (4 of them) - the factory installed a size 60 cap to a bottom nail that was literally
welded to the bottom side of the button hardware.

I saw this and thought this might requre some exploration;  an eyelet bottom half button, no - can't install it. 

The  next thought was make a size 60 the old fashion way with a large headed webbing tack inserted
into the bottom half of the button.  Did that with a #14 carpet tack,  no - didn't work because the plywood was too much for the button made.

Hmmm, thinking I would never need a button made the factory button way - ordering a box of these
was not a preferred option.  Then, next I analyzed the factory take - off button and noted they literally
welded a nail (about the same diameter or larger as a #8 wood screw) - very strong!  The screw head
welded to the lower button component permitted hammering the button onto the plywood.

Well!! Pressed to get things finished/going, the lower half of the factory button was salvaged and
I was lucky to make a size 60 covered button - just as STRONG as factory.  I did just that and
got the job down the road.

Obviously, I was relieved because where would I have picked up just the hardware to make just
4 covered buttons?  No supplier acted to know what I had removed.

With all that behind -- hence the title about the different types of buttons that are available even
though my requirement isn't or would be a different purchase requirement (volume, etc.).

There are eyelet buttons (very common in sizes).

There are the expansion lower bottoms that we can just expand the two pieces of metal of the lower
half of the bottom component.

Then, there are the lower half components with the wire type nail that a tension washer slips on and
is adjusted down to the desired tuft affect.  On and on, there are plastic pieces that the twine can
be run through and tied. 

This was one of the week's experience.

Buttons are part of the business is my bottom line - like them or not!

YaBB God

Karma: +2/-0
: 2267

Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.

« #1 : January 27, 2018, 03:30:19 PM »

I don't understand why  nail button wouldn't work Doyle. "Plywood was too much for the button made".

Minichillo's Upholstery
Sr. Member

Karma: +1/-0
: 311

« #2 : January 27, 2018, 10:45:13 PM »

I don't know either Paul.  I made the button using a large tack but during installation (light hammering)
it was loose to the finger.  Can't let that go out.

I will qualify that the area of the four scroll faces is/was plywood but I don't know what was behind it.

When that effort failed, and I got the four buttons, #60 made on the factory's lower half, the wood was
too hard for that button.  I wasn't taking any chances, so I went to the point of locating the old holes
(the factory installation left) and just installed the four, right where they came from. 

So, maybe plywood gets harder as it ages?

The good part of the job - done!  Looks good! and don't look forward to another button where the nail is connected to the bottom part of the button.  The factory nail was welded to the lower part of the button.  I felt lucky the new cap fit onto it and it was tight(using my button equipment.

I had that job and a marine engine cover at the time that had some intricacies related to the
large drink holders.  The holders had to be carefully installed.

Lucky me - all this experience in the same day.

I am so diversified, today I had to literally remove all (well most) upholstery on an almost new sofa,
rebuild/replace (saw replacement frame components), then replace the major part of the new upholstery that had been removed.

From my vantage point, so much of the newer furniture is made in Asia, the wood is not that good and
I think their manufacturing is driven by cost.  It has to sell and we all know that "cost", production cost
that is. is important.

Oh well, I am no different, I got it done to pay my bills.

People often asked how long it took to learn the trade, the reply usually is:  "I will let you know!"
You never stop learning.

Take care and thanks,

YaBB God

Karma: +3/-0
: 3222

North Central Florida

« #3 : January 28, 2018, 10:09:11 AM »

It gets frustrating at times but that's what keeps this job interesting. Figuring out things you have never seen before is a big part of this job. Sometimes it takes a lot of imagination and common sense. Glad you got it done Doyle.

I have never seen a nail welded to a button. I have drilled holes through plywood to poke a needle through. I'm guessing that was not an option.
« : January 28, 2018, 10:11:31 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.

Karma: +0/-0
: 2

« #4 : April 04, 2018, 06:11:35 AM »

Covered button which ones are better and durable..?

Plastic or Metal option..?

http://www.fabricuk.com - Free fabric Samples -

We stock a wide range of upholstery and vinyl fabrics
YaBB God

Karma: +3/-0
: 3222

North Central Florida

« #5 : April 09, 2018, 08:26:31 PM »

I'm not sure what you mean by plastic. I have heard of a plastic snap together button that you can cover with your choice of fabric. I've never used one and always wondered how they hold up.

Plastic sounds like the logical choice for outdoor furniture. We even had a supplier send us some plastic buttons in different colors for a job we were bidding. We never followed up.

I've always been happy with the metal tops that crimp on to the metal bottoms.

A while back I ordered a box of plastic bottoms (eyes, but its really more like a snap) and they work good. Sometimes I use them with the metal tops.


There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
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