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Old 10-13-2018, 04:09 PM   #1
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Canvas snap replacement

Need to replace a few button snaps, maybe some pull the dots as well. I see $9.95 hammer punch and base, generic $40 snap tools with dies all the way up to a $150 "system" from Sailrite. Have replaced a handful with the hammer/punch in the past and they were ok I guess. What do you folks use, anything in particular? We have a Sailrite sewing machine and are beginning to make some pieces so I think that ability to do a good job on the snaps will become even more important. Cheap is (almost) never good and I am sure that if what I buy works well it will be used more than I now think it will.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:28 PM   #2
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The generic pliers types work well. At one time I had some special fittings that went on vice grips to make them into snap tools. They worked but disappeared. The hammer and anvil type needs a base to hit against, not always available.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:34 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. fb. The problem I've always had with the punch and base system you bash with a hammer is "squish" force and alignment. Hit the punch too hard and the crimp deforms. Too lightly and the thing falls apart after the first couple of pulls. Couple that with an off center or crooked crimp and failure results.


What I have found is if I chuck the punch in a drill press and place the die on the drill press base/table, one can accurately align and apply the proper crimping force to the fitting. Last summer I resized a polypropylene tarp and added grommets by using this method. Perfectly pressed grommets hardly distinguishable from factory grommets. Crimping for snaps is pretty well the same as for grommets. You need to get an even turn over of the stud.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:40 PM   #4
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I've used a lot of both snaps and grommets in various projects, from clothing to tarps to canvas. I used several methods and agree that the "squeeze" type of system is more versatile and reliable than the "bash" type of hammer/anvil device. The weight of the fabric and of the snaps themselves may vary, but the squeeze type allows the use of just the right amount of force. The pleasure of using the quality tool makes one quickly forget the expense.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:42 PM   #5
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We spent the money 11 years ago and have no regrets. No more blood blisters and when you’re done they look good.
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Old 10-13-2018, 05:00 PM   #6
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Thanks, about what I figured. RTF, you forgot "Keep hitting it for good measure and then you cut into the fabric." That seemed to be my favorite. Think I will splurge for the $40 variety as shown in Larry's picture or use the perfectly good drill press I have in the garage. RTF, didn't think about that one. The Sailrite system look very nice as is most of their stuff but...read the fine print...it ties you into buying their snaps. And it's $140 or so.
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Old 10-13-2018, 05:01 PM   #7
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The quality flags / bugees I've seen are nylon overlays zigzag stitched to the background. They are mirror image (as in Janet so stitching is around the overlay on both sides.
You might check price at Rochfordsupply.com they are usuall less than Sailrite but don't always have the same selection. I know they have the snap tool.
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Old 10-13-2018, 05:07 PM   #8
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The quality flags / bugees I've seen are nylon overlays zigzag stitched to the background. They are mirror image (as in Janet so stitching is around the overlay on both sides.
You might check price at Rochfordsupply.com they are usuall less than Sailrite but don't always have the same selection. I know they have the snap tool.
Thanks Bacchus. Funny you mention it because I was searching last night and found Rochford significantly cheaper than others on several things including the snap tool stuff.
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:12 PM   #9
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I have the vice grip tool with the adapters. It’s fine for replacing old snaps that pop off. If I was going to make new canvas projects I would certainly buy the tool Larry showed. The punch tool is worthless. I’ve never gotten a good crimp.

For others reading this thread, be aware, snaps come in many flavors. There are directional and non directional styles. There are different alloys available and different colors. I find this an area where giving up quality to save money is a big mistake.
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
The generic pliers types work well. At one time I had some special fittings that went on vice grips to make them into snap tools. They worked but disappeared. The hammer and anvil type needs a base to hit against, not always available.



When I was in the upholstery business, we used those exclusively. It's not a good thing to get lined up to set a snap by hammer and die, then have something shift and make a mess that is time consuming to repair.
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:43 PM   #11
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I have a press n snap and itís a world better than the plier type I had before.
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
We spent the money 11 years ago and have no regrets. No more blood blisters and when youíre done they look good.
This is what I use. I have the dies for almost any type of snap. If you do much canvas work it saves you from having to take the canvas up and down instead of hammering the snaps, just do it with the canvas in place. I use the rotary hole punch tool so I can punch the hole and the fasten the snap without taking the canvas down. Huge time saver not to mention the quality of the snap installation.
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:22 PM   #13
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This is what I use. I have the dies for almost any type of snap. If you do much canvas work it saves you from having to take the canvas up and down instead of hammering the snaps, just do it with the canvas in place. I use the rotary hole punch tool so I can punch the hole and the fasten the snap without taking the canvas down. Huge time saver not to mention the quality of the snap installation.
Dave
Have you tried the Press-N-Snap tool w/o punching the hole first?
I hardly ever need to punch holes unless I'm installing through many layers or very thick materials. The snap barrel punches the hole in almost all situations I have encountered.
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:46 PM   #14
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I am usually going through multiple layers and it is just easier to punch the hole first. I know they will punch through on their own, maybe I am just a creature of habit??!
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:15 PM   #15
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...Have you tried the Press-N-Snap tool w/o punching the hole first?
I hardly ever need to punch holes unless I'm installing through many layers or very thick materials. The snap barrel punches the hole in almost all situations I have encountered.
Havenít tried that yet but I will. Thanks.

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I am usually going through multiple layers and it is just easier to punch the hole first. I know they will punch through on their own, maybe I am just a creature of habit??!
What punch are you using? The corner snaps are the worst. The one I have is a POS imho and I usally ended up drilling through the many layers. Maybe Iím expecting more than I should from it?
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:37 PM   #16
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I have a Professional Revolving Hole Punch from Sailrite. It looks very much like the one in your post. You can replace the individual hole punches, maybe your is worn? I tend to only use one ot two of the hole sizes so they do get worn and need occasional replacement. I have had really good success with mine.
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:01 PM   #17
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Dave: You sometimes get what you pay for and I payed not very much. We have Sailrite’s basic hole punch listed for $16.95. The one you have looks great. More money but it looks like it’s worth it to me at $85. I think we’ll be buying a new one. Thanks.

https://www.sailrite.com/Basic-Revolving-Hole-Punch

https://www.sailrite.com/Revolving-Punch-Six-Sizes
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:19 PM   #18
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I use my canvas tools a lot so I try to buy good ones as they do work and last longer. I never knew how much I needed the hole punch until I had it and realized how much time and effort it saved me.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:23 PM   #19
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I’ve had very good luck with the Sailrite snaps with just a hammer and die. Made new front canvas window covers and side screen covers three years ago and they are like new.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:26 PM   #20
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Rufus, the drill press trick sounds good. Iíll try it next time I need to install snaps or grommets.

I recently installed some grommets with a cheap tool set. The hole punch was just a steel tube with a sharp edge ground on it. I had a hard time getting a clean cut hammering it through the fabric. I chucked it in a hand drill and it made a quick clean cut.
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