PAPER , PRINTERS AND CUTTERS – Oh My!
Part 3 in our ‘How to Start a Button Business’ series
I hope you're finding our "How to Start a Button Business" blogs educational and informative. Today we're focusing on the interaction between paper, printers and cutters. Each plays a vital role in the success of your button business. ABM offers 3 types of button makers with which to start a button business: Paper, Photo and Fabric Paper choice is integral to the successful outcome of button making. Use paper that is too thin and you may not get a tight crimp. Too thick and you’ll likely jam the button maker. ABM recommends 24# bond printer paper for your graphics. 8 mil photo paper should be used in our photo button makers.
Light to medium cotton material is best for our fabric button makers. If you’re interested in using satin, grosgrain ribbon, embroidered fabric, etc...give us a call. Those are all specialty materials and we’ll need to calibrate a button maker specifically to your fabric. You might consider the Green Machine if fabric buttons are your calling. It's sole purpose in this world is to make gorgeous fabric covered buttons.
Callers sometimes ask us to recommend a printer. While Laser Jet printers offer vibrant colors the toner can slip on the mylar when pressed. Bubbles will form under the mylar giving a less than perfect result. ABM offers the following advice to offset the bubble effect. Reducing the bleed edge by.125" often helps. As does applying a bit of silicon along the tapered edge of the crimp die. Using an Ink Jet printer will alleviate this issue altogether.
A cutting device is often overlooked or considered as a somewhat unnecessary add-on. But, graphics must be cut to a very specific size. The circle must be larger than the button so that it wraps around and is crimped inside. Except in specific instances the graphic should be the same size as the mylar. We strongly suggest you leave room in your budget for a cutting device.
Seasoned button makers will tell you that trying to cut circles by hand leads to frustration. Believe it or not, the type of paper used and the manner in which your graphic is cut will mean the difference between a professional looking finished product and a poorly crimped button. I point to a recent incident in which a customer was sure there was a problem with their button maker. We discussed all the typical issues which can affect button making. Lubrication was added and bolts tightened. No success – buttons were not turning out right. Upon inspection of samples the customer sent to us, we were able determine the graphics were being cut with scissors.
As it turns out, not only were the graphics too small they couldn’t really even be called round. More like octagonal. Unfortunately, craft store circle cutters generally are not up to the task. Not only are they too small for button making, they’re not as sturdy as those made for the button business.
ABM has size specific punches, adjustable cutters and a die cutting press. We offer something for every budget. And to suit various volume needs – low to high.
Econo Cutter – For those whose sole concern is budget; this cutter is adjustable with a cut size range of 2” – 7.25” Econo Cutter
Dynamo Punch - A good quality, hand-held punch for precise cuts that are size specific: 1”, 1.25” or 1.5” – sold with our Dynamo Button Kits Dynamo Punch Cutter
Adjustable Cutter - A better quality cutting mechanism, adjusts to cut a range of sizes (1” to 3.5”), can cut more than one graphic at a time, cuts paper and fabric, just turn the handle until it cuts through the material – sold with our Beginner Button Kits
Graphic Punch - Our best quality cutter & is extremely popular, 5-star website review, self-sharpening cutter so there are no blades to replace, centering hole for a clear field of vision when cutting, the entire circumference is punched at once, all metal construction, comes with the same lifetime warranty as the button maker (extended warranty also available) – sold with our Professional Button Kits
Graphic PunchHigh Vol Die Cut Press - The bestest of the best for those of you needing to cut thousands of graphics in a short period of time; structural steel and industrial grade aluminum construction; an ergonomic design & smooth action ensure operator comfort; convenient for right, left or two-hand operation; toggle-action of press gives enhanced leverage for cutting through a stack of material; pressure = 2,000 ft lbs at bottom of stroke; adjustable press ram for easy changes in height adjustments.
Come back next week for our last installment. I'll wrap things up and share some keys to success in the button business. Follow these links for quick refreshers in Part 1 & Part 2 of how to Start a Button Business.
Until next time – Happy Button Making!
By Brighid Brown, Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM
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