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: Button Machine problems  ( 3060 )

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« : August 28, 2010, 11:53:36 AM »

I have several questions related to my old button machine that I got when starting up my business a year ago and buying out another upholstery business.
1.  My cutter does not cut completely through fabric.  Not even one thickness.  How do I sharpen the edge so it works again?
2.  I watched a video on using the button maker and it showed a cutting platform. I don't have one with my OLD machine.  Where can I get one? Right now I use a piece of wood and piece of cardboard.
3.  What is the secret to covering buttons with vinyl or very thick fabric?  I have had problems doing this and getting the shank part to completely tuck the fabric in.
4.  My button machine came with no directions.  Do I need to regularly oil the dies to get things to work correctly/smoothly?

Hope someone can help me.  Thanks.
Sr. Member

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« #1 : August 28, 2010, 01:09:33 PM »

1.  I use a very fine grit wheel on a  bench grinder. 

2.   Any one of your upholstery suppliers can sell you one, look in the catalog.

3.   Spray silicone on the  die every 2 or 3 buttons.

4.   No

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« #2 : August 28, 2010, 02:10:00 PM »

  Ive used resharpened cutters and have never found them to work as well. The cutters are not real expensive. You're supplier should have them. When cutting it does take quite a bit of pressure. I would basically raise my body off the floor to exert enough to cut a stack of fabric.
  As for the "platform" a piece of hardwood and cardboard under the fabric is fine.
  The dies should work smoothly. If they are rusted clean them up. I never needed to lubricate them. I kept them in a little cardboard box when not in use.
  There are what's called Hux dies. say size 22 will come in 22 and 22 HUX. The Hux size is slightly larger for thick fabrics. I had a size 22 and a 30 Hux. The 30s worked fine and so the 22s on thicker fabrics like vinyl. Just a bit harder to press the mold in.
  When making vinyl buttons it takes less pressure to crimp them without cutting into the vinyl. Practice using just enough pressure to crimp but now cut.

Minichillo's Upholstery
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« #3 : August 28, 2010, 11:12:23 PM »

The cutting base that came with my newest machine (I have two...one I bought new about 8 years ago and one I bought off someone closing down) has a 1/4" layer of self-healing plastic on it. It's like the cutting boards that are used in quilt making. I'd suggest buying one at wal mart and gluing a layer of that to the top of your cutting block. When I use that, it usually allows the die to cut down through the last layer of material, even vinyl.

If you're having problems getting that last layer to cut, just toss in a piece of scrap and let it be the base. Then the cutter will go down through the layers that you need. I never do more than about 8 layers at a time so that I don't muck up the machine that much (I dread the throught of my 290 pound frame leaning into the handle and SNAP).

yes, use silicone. The spray kind. I don't spray it heavy down into the die. Just fog across it, then lay in the vinyl.

My biggest problem the last couple years is the metal caps. The ones I used to have were a much heavier metal and I could romp into it and not destroy the vinyl. These new ones are flimsy thin little things, and if you push too hard in the least, it lelavs a ring around the edge of the button head.Just have to proactice and figure out how much pressure it can handle.

Sew what???
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« #4 : August 29, 2010, 09:38:28 PM »

Even when I'm only making 5 buttons, I cut through 20-25 layers of fabric. My cutters are as dull as they can possibly be, but with the extra layers of fabric, and about 225 lbs. of pressure (which I just so happen to have available), they will easily cut through at least 15-20 of the layers. For a block, I use any 3/8-1/2 inch scrap piece of plywood, or particle board that's handy.

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« #5 : August 30, 2010, 10:38:53 AM »

Thanks everyone for your help.  It's great to know there are lots of people out there who are willing to help us "newbies". 
Darren Henry
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« #6 : August 30, 2010, 09:06:50 PM »

The block; I like to use a chunk of 2X? and then put a piece of sole leather or heel lift if that all fits under your press. If not use 1X?.This allows the cutter to pass through all the layers and still get past any nicks/dead spots.

Sharpening: drive a piece of dowel into the cutter so that it just pokes out the business end. This will prevent the inside edge from burring. You have to be consistent with the amount of material you take off otherwise you are going to end up slanted. (i.e one edge is longer than the other so you have to push the long side well into the heel lift before the short side goes all the way through. ) If the cutter is out of square or badly nicked; don't be afraid to square it up first. Trust me it will all work out in the sharpening process.

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