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Bravo November » Blog Archive » Shiny button fun.

Warning: mktime() [function.mktime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/web/blueneon/bn/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

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Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/web/blueneon/bn/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/web/blueneon/bn/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/web/blueneon/bn/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Warning: mktime() [function.mktime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/web/blueneon/bn/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/web/blueneon/bn/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/web/blueneon/bn/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/web/blueneon/bn/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/web/blueneon/bn/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Shiny button fun.

And now, a silly portrait of the engineer at home.

The button at the waist of one of my pairs of pants broke in the dryer. It was roughly a 5/8″ plastic button, kind of thick. Measuring it and the buttonhole with calipers showed 5/8″ to be about the right size.

Searching fabric stores for WEEKS never revealed that size of button to even remotely come close to being correct. The next size up would not fit through the provided buttonhole; 5/8″ would slip out, and anything smaller would do as before, but even worse. Yes, I could have modified the buttonhole, but I’m somewhat slightly lazy and ALWAYS in search of a crazier solution.

I was tempted to try machining a replacement from some scrap plastic before I came across these snap-on “bachelor buttons” in the sewing cabinet. They look a lot like a metal and plastic version of the metal buttons usually found on the waistbands of jeans. The back is a stud with an arrow-shaped end, which is driven into a hole in the plastic stem of the button (which has a metal decorative front on it).

The instructions on the package said to press the stud through the fabric first. Well then… let’s see. About 3/16″ of overlapped cotton twill just refused to be penetrated by any of the large upholstery needles I could find, and certainly not by the arrow tip of the backing stud!

I finally found the answer at my workbench, in the probes on the test leads hooked up to my Fluke 8520A benchtop digital multimeter of DOOM. I had previously cursed these things for being excessively sharp after some accidental pokes. Needless to say, they went right through the fabric.

However, the moment I pulled the multimeter probe tip out, the holes in the layers of fabric conveniently no longer lined up.

I managed to get the stud to follow the probe out of the hole after poking it from the other side, and went to stick it into the back of the button. Oops. The hole there was about half the area of the widest dimension of the arrow shaped bit of the stud. I realize the whole thing stays in place by means of physically jamming into the plastic, but isn’t that a bit excessive? There was no way in heck I was going to get this into place without some implements of destruction. The package, upon referring to it, said to use a mallet. Conveniently nearby was a 16 oz. California Framer hammer.

… With one rather LIGHT tap, the stud went into the hole in the button, bottomed out, shattered the plastic of the button, pierced through the decorative metal front, and ended up in the wood below. Yes, I had just NAILED MY PANTS TO THE WORKBENCH.

After prying all that loose, I tried again with another button from the package, pressing it into place with pliers, and it worked.

So here’s my overall procedure:

Measure once with calipers. Attempt replacement three times. Substitute strange replacement part. Stab twice. Completely, utterly, yet recoverably bollix everything once. Complete quite sucessful repair with inappropriate tools.

I think I have a GREAT new insight into my life based on this…

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