How to "Tune-up" your button machine
While our button machines have proven to be extremely reliable, doing a little preventive maintenance from time to time will keep your machine operating smoothly and making top quality buttons.
The following information will show you how to "tune-up" your machine and how to un-jam your machine should you happen to get a button part stuck in it.
If for any reason you are uncomfortable following these instructions, give us a call and we will make arrangements for you to return your machine and have us do the tune-up / un-jam your machine for you.
Under no circumstances should you use any object to try and pry apart the dies if you have it jammed, as you will likely damage the dies.
Also, DO NOT attempt to dis-assemble your machine, as you won't be able to re-assemble it and have it work properly and may well damage it in the process.
Doing a Tune-up
To do a tune-up, you will first need to gather a few items.
You will need:
a 7/16" wrench, a can of silicone spray lubricant, a 3/16" allen wrench, and paper towels.
Step 1: Spray a small amount of silicone spray at each location marked by an arrow, in the photo below. (If you use too much silicone spray, it will end up on your button designs, which won't be good).
Step 2: Now, take the handle and work it up and down 5 or 6 times. You want to work the silicone spray down into the upper crossbar that the two bolts go through (shown in the photo above) Also spray a little silicone where the handle attaches to your button machine. Do so on the other side of the handle, as well (not shown).
Step 3: Rotate the pick up die and crimp die so they are positioned as shown in the photo above. Take the paper towel you sprayed with a small amount of silicone spray and rub it around the beveled edge of the Crimp Die. Doing so helps prevent an issue where the mylar disc doesn't crimp tightly and has a bit of a "bubbled" look at the edge of your button. The silicone spray will allow the mylar to slide smoothly.
You may repeat this last step anytime your mylars don't seem to be as tight as they should be..
Step 4: Now rotate the pick up die so that the upper die is located directly above it. Then push the handle down all the way so the upper die slides into the center of the pick up die (not shown).
Step 5: Take the 7/16" wrench and tighten the two top bolts (shown below) until they are both snug. DO NOT over tighten these bolts, as doing so will damage your machine.
Step 6: Spray a small amount of silicone spray onto a paper towel and spread it around the outside of the inner plug on the upper die (shown below). Doing so will make it easier for the outer ring to slide up and down during the button-making process.
And spray a little silicone spray on the base plate on which the dies rotate (shown below). Doing so will make it easier for you to rotate the dies as you are making buttons. Again, not too much or you will get it on your hands and on your buttons.
Step 7: Now turn your machine over and use the 7/16" wrench to tighten both brass colored bolts (in the photo below). Make them tight, but DO NOT over tighten them, as doing so will damage your machine.
Step 8: And finally, find an allen wrench that fits inside the "Flat Head Bolts". First slightly loosen the Flat Head Bolts and then snug them down. DO NOT over tighten them, as doing so will damage your machine.
That's all there is to it. Your button machine should now work as good as new!
If it doesn't, or if you are uncomfortable following these instructions, give us a call and we will make arrangements to have you return your machine to us and we can do the tune-up for you.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to dis-assemble your machine. This will void your warranty.
How to "Un-Jam" your button machine
Before we get started with the instructions on how to un-jam your machine, take a look at the photos below and familiarize yourself with the names of the various parts of your button machine. Doing so will make it easier to follow the step by step instructions.
TOP VIEW #1
TOP VIEW #2
SIDE VIEW #1
If your button machine has jammed, the information below will show you how to free it up.
In attempting to unjam your machine, DO NOT use a hammer or screwdriver to pound or pry the metal parts of your machine. Doing so WILL damage your your dies and ruin your machine!!
If you are unable to unjam your machine, or are uncomfortable following the steps listed below, you can return your machine to our office and have us un-jam it for you at no charge (other than shipping).
Before returning your machine, you first need to obtain an RMA # by calling our office. The telephone number to obtain an RMA # is (623) 869-8233.
The three most common reasons that cause a machine to jam are:
A. Placing more than one shell (the button front) into your machine.
B. Placing more than one mylar disc (the plastic) into your machine.
C. Completing step one of the process in making a button (pressing the shell, artwork and mylar disc) getting distracted, and then placing another shell, artwork and mylar disc into the lower die and pressing it again, jamming both in the upper die.
You can sometimes "un-jam" a machine simply by moving the handle up and down several times in rapid succession.
If you are able to do so, try rotating the dies (without using force) so the upper die is above the crimp die (the die that holds the button back). Then move the handle up and down 5 or 6 times. If that action is going to free up your machine, 5 or 6 times should do the trick.
If it doesn't, or if you are unable to rotate the dies without using force, proceed to the next step.
If the previous step didn't work, the upper die is unable to return to it's normal position because something has gotten stuck in the upper die. And because the upper die is "stuck in the up position" you are unable to rotate the dies.
So what we need to do is to free the upper die assembly.
I recommend using the following strategy to accomplish this.
Take a piece of wood, such as a 1" x 2", 2" x 2" or 2" x 4", or a thick wooden dowel) and with your button machine sitting on a table or counter, position the piece of wood so it sits on top of the "Outer Ring" but doesn't cross over to the "Inner Plug". Hold the piece of wood length-wise and use a hammer to tap edge of the wood (NOT the machine itself). What we are attempting to do is separate the outer ring from the inner plug. Doing this should loosen the stuck button part from the upper die.
Under no circumstances should you use any object to pry apart the dies, as this will damage them.
Hopefully, this will have freed the jam and allow you to use your machine again.
If you are able to un-jam your machine, I highly recommend following the tune-up procedure described above to return your machine to smooth working order.
If the steps listed above don't work and your machine is still jammed, you can return your machine and have us take a look at it.
But before doing so, you MUST call and obtain an RMA # number.
When you call to get an RMA number, we will provide you with important information about where and how to return your machine. It also helps us know what to do when we receive your machine.