Buttons, Badges & Pins - People Power Blog

Making buttons is easy with this simple, solid metal, multi size button maker. A new multi die or multiple size button maker that works!

Interchangeable Die Button Maker

The new multiple size die button maker kits

Whilst this machine is not as fast as a pro button maker if you need buttons in smaller quantities but in different sizes this is an option. The difference in cost is substantial. The multi machine at $400 is equivalent to 3 pro button makers at $1200 – $1600. Pro machines are faster but if you are not running a button business or producing bulk buttons this could be a low cost solution.

Multiple Dies available

Interchangeable dies for button making. Picture shows 1″, 2-1/4″ and 3″ dies.

Currently this machine is available with dies in 1″, 2-1/4″ and 3″. 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″ and 1-3/4″ dies will be available by the end of the year. Additional die sets with a matching circle cutter are around $100 to $150 depending on size. To swap dies simply pull the pin out and remove the die carrier. Once you have replaced the die carrier with the size you need you slot it in place, slip in the pin and you’re away. With this style of button maker there are no upper dies which are harder to replace and often consequently do not line up correctly causing poor quality buttons. With this multi machine you should have no trouble.

interchangeable die button maker

interchangeable die button maker

As I have said before the method of using the dies is slower but it does seem to be reliable. The method is a little bit like Badge-A-Minit except these are inexpensive standard button parts and the dies are solid metal and not plastic. To make a button you flip the dies and press the button in sequence. Here’s a detailed instruction on making a 2-1/4″ pin-back button using a multi size button maker:

Before you begin check that you have everything you need!
Your machine parts:

multiple die button press base

The basic press. This machine will press dies from 1″ to 3″.

Die table with 2 dies for button making.

Die table with 2 dies for button making. Pickup die on the left and crimp die on the right. The first press uses the left hand pickup die. The second press uses the right hand crimp die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The positioning ring

Positioning ring

The positioning ring (bottom view) Do not use this way up.

The positioning ring

The correct side of the positioning ring – Always use this way up in both the left and right hand dies.

The pressing die

Pressing die

The pressing die. Use this way up for the first press.

Flip side of the pressing die

The pressing die (View of the flip side) Use this way up for the 2nd press.

White plastic spacer rings for 2-1/4″ only

Spacer Rings

Spacer rings – Only necessary for making 2-1/4″ buttons. Not supplied for other sizes.

Spacer ring for 2-1/4" pin-backs

Adding the plastic ring when using the 2-1/4″ die is just a question of laying the ring down before inserting the pin-back

 

Button parts – Remember each die set will make a specific size button.
Match your buttons to the die set you are using.

button parts

And you will also need your button parts

And you will need your button image or artwork cut and ready to go.

Artwork ready to cut

Artwork ready to cut first before pressing

Remember that you can also make magnets, key-chains, mirrors as well as all kinds of items. They usually involve changing the back button part, the front remains the same. Just follow these instructions but for example for a fridge magnet use a magnet back instead of the pin-back.

Once you’ve checked you’ve got everything you need you can begin making buttons.

 Place the button maker on the solid surface and turn the die table so you can access both dies.

Place the button maker in front of you with the dies easily accessible on a solid table so you can begin button making.

 

Place shell in pickup die

Place a shell in the left hand or pickup die. The edge of the shell slots into the circular slit in the pickup die. The shell fits exactly into the slot.

 

Add paper circle to die in a multi die machine

Add your pre prepared artwork or image over the shell. It should fit snugly in the available space. Now cover your art or image with a circular sheet of clear mylar.

 Note! Adding the white plastic spacer ring is only necessary for the 2-1/4″ die set.

Spacer ring for 2-1/4" pin-backs

Adding the plastic ring when using the 2-1/4″ die is just a question of laying the ring down before inserting the pin-back.

Multi die button maker

Place your pin-back, pin facing down and make sure your pin-back and the direction of your art match as per the photo. You want the pin to end up at the top of your art. So you now have your button maker loaded with shell, image and mylar in the left die and pin-back in the right die.

Place the positioning ring over your image

Place the positioning ring over your image so that the centre of your image shows through. Make sure the positioning ring has slotted into the lower die and is firm or it may be upside down.

 

Placement of the pressing die

Place the pressing die on top of the positioning ring. Note how most of the pressing die is sticking out of the positioning ring making it higher.

positioning ring and pressing die

So remember, in this order: shell, image then mylar. Positioning ring and then pressing die. To see which way up they go see above.

 

Pick up die first press

Now swivel the die table so that the left hand die moves to a position under the press and press your button. You will note with the first press that you feel the handle give as it presses your button. No force is necessary just pull the handle down.

 

First press on multi button maker

Make sure you go all the way down but force is not necessary.

You should have now successfully completed the first press. Now we will transfer the button over to the crimp die to make the second and final press. You know you did it correctly if you got that give in the handle as it shaped your button.

 

Flip the pressing die

Once the first press is complete remove the pressing die and flip it as you put it down ready for the second press. Remove the positioning ring from the left die and you will see your image pressed into the ring ready to move to the right hand die and to match up with the pin-back.

Positioning ring

This illustrates your positioning ring from the underneath. Your shell is pressed into the ring with your image and mylar. Note the edge of your art and the mylar around the edge ready for the pin-back.  Move carefully to retain the correct position.

 

Move the positioning ring to the crimp die

So carefully remove the positioning ring with your art from the left hand die and place it over the pin-back in the right hand die. Match the top of the back to the top of your image.

right hand multi-size die

Remember: The position of the art to the pin-back makes a difference to your final button.

 

pressing die into positioning ring.

You already flipped your pressing die so place it on top of your art. It should slide into the positioning ring. Make sure the curved or button shape surface is face down.

swing the die table

Now you’re ready for the second press. Swing your die table under the press to complete the second press.

 

Swing the die table

This is not far enough. Swing the die table all the way to the stop. Watch it doesn’t bounce back a little.

Make sure you're in the center of the die

Make sure you’re in the center of the die.

 

Second and final press

Pull the black handle down all the way in the centre of the die. There is no give on the second press. No force necessary. Just a steady pull all the way down.

 

button press complete

Once you have completed the second press you can remove the pressing die and the positioning ring and your button will be revealed. Check the pin lines up at the top of the art so the button is straight. If not watch for this on the next button. Make sure you line up the art and the pin. Happy button making!

 

Multisize button makers sounds great.  A button maker that makes different sized buttons because it has interchangeable dies - sweet idea!

But the reality is not so sweet...........

Problems with multi-size button makers are many.  The advantages of multi-size button makers are few, in fact I can't think of any but if you have bought one and see an advantage let me know.  I would love to hear about it.


1) Most multi-size button makers including the badge-a-minit use a plastic base for the dies.  This is problematic, as the plastic wears quickly and the button makers no longer line up.  This also applies to some of the made in China machines.

badge-a-minit 3-in-1 Badge-A-Matic Combo interchangeable die, multisize button maker
Badge-A-Minit: 3-in-1 Badge-A-Matic Combo  $1099 on sale!
$1699 on sale with cutters & parts.

 

2) Price!  The badge-a-minit machine is the same price as 3 standard button makers!!

3) Button parts -  Badge-A-Minit takes non-standard button parts up to 300% more expensive than standard button parts.and also certain chinese machines use button sizes with European mm dies.  Also non-standard.

4) And for me the biggest point is that button making is labour intensive.  One machine with multi dies means only 1 person can work at a time and you have to keep messing with the dies.  

Give me 3 different machines any day!


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