Creating badges isn't a difficult process, but building your own badge maker takes a bit more effort. Part of this difficulty lies in the fact that the moulded dies used to combine the separate badge parts are specially designed for the task and difficult to fabricate without expensive equipment. However, you can purchase assembly rings inexpensively and use them in a badge maker that you have constructed. To be effective a badge maker must be able to compress all of the button parts together so that they lock into place.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Badge assembly rings
- 2-by-4 lumber
- Hand saw
- Drywall screws
- 1/2 inch dowel
Measure and cut a piece of 2-by-4 lumber into two sections measuring 6 inches in length and one section measuring 4 inches.
Draw an outline of the lower assembly ring 1/2 inch from the edge of one of the 6-inch boards. Use a gouge to remove enough of the wood from that outlined area so that the assembly ring will fit comfortably in it and not move around. Measure the distance from the edge of the board to the centre of the gouged hole. Mark off the same distance on the other 6-inch board and drill a 1/2-inch hole entirely through the board at that point.
Attach the pieces of wood together in a C-shape using drywall screws. Make sure that the gouged out section on the one board is on the outer edge of the C facing the board above it. The drilled hole should align with the assembly ring section. Sand everything down.
Cut a pair of 1/2-inch dowels into 6-inch lengths. Use a drywall screw to attach them together in a T-shape. Check that the dowels fit together tightly and securely as they will be used to create the pressure necessary to snap the button or badge pieces together. The dowels will travel through the drilled hole.
Test your badge maker. Since this device isn't automated it may take a few tries before you figure out the right amount of pressure necessary to force the assembly rings to lock the components into place.
Tips and warnings
- Friction may cause the press (dowel) and the hole it feeds through to become worn down. If this happens, replace the press, because it needs to remain completely vertical in order to be effective.
- If you're using heavy-duty dies or assembly rings, you may need to replace the wooden press with one made from metal rods.
- Check for proper alignment when you are pressing the pieces together. The pressure needs to be aimed directly at the centre of the assembly rings so that it's evenly distributed throughout the entire mechanism.
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