Monday, September 12, 2011

Lookin' Snappy!

I got a snap press pliers from Kam Snaps!  I was using pliers and press interchangeably; they do the same thing, but one is a heavier deal than the other. The big difference is, presses can do metal snaps while pliers aren't rugged enough.

Even better, I scored it on eBay with all proceeds going to charity because the hinge was slightly rusted.  They included a new hinge, which I replaced immediately.  Wasn't hard to do either.

I'm an oily kinda girl (I oil things, and I live in the most corrosive environment in all of North America, if not the world; go figure), so I oiled all the moving parts while I was at it.  I used my regular sewing machine oil and just a smidge of oil. 

You can find a much better tutorial on the Kam Snaps website here.  

The kit came with four dies of different sizes.  It was preloaded with a size 16 die, but I had size 20 snap sets, so I had to change that out. 

Here they are grouped by size: 16, 20 (with the cap inside it), 24, and uh...some other size I was unable to identify?  Maybe I got two 20s?  Anyway. When you're snapping, the die has to match the cap exactly; if you use a size 24 die on a size 20 cap, it can slide around and you could end up mashing the points wrong.  It's a simple enough change; twist a flathead screwdriver into the edge to loosen it, and swap them out.

The kit I ordered had your choice of three colors of size 20 snaps.  I didn't know what to pick, so I ended up selecting blending colors: ivory, light tan, and light gray. 

Because practice makes perfect, I took some scraps of twill, folded it in half (because the manufacturer recommends two layers) and used that to test my skillz.

I used the included awl to stab a hole in the material.  I pushed it towards the base of the awl to make the hole large enough for the prongs, as the awl starts out as a sharp point and gets thicker.  I kinda wish they'd have included a cover for the tip, as it's pretty sharp.

For best results, get the material as close to the base of the prong as possible.

Here's what's in a snap set:


On a related tangent, I used to really hate it when I worked in engineering and the terms "male and female" were used for connectors.  Kinda gross when you think about it.  But anyway....

First try at the socket side went fine.

Then when I went to do the stud side, I must have mashed it to the side because this was the result:

 It still snapped fine, but it looked ugly.

Here's a correctly executed stud on the left.  The stud on the right is way wrong!  Then again, I've met a lot of way wrong studs, so this is nothing new to me.

(Remember that TV game show "Studs"?  I used to watch that late summer nights when I was in high school.  All the girls were like 18 and skanky, it was so bad.)

Neat how the prongs mash into little circles.  Reminds me of those Russian dolls that you stack inside one another. 

And there you have it!  I have a feeling I'm going to find a million uses for this sucker!  (RUN, KIDS!  MAMA'S GOT A SNAPPER!!)  LOVE IT!

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