Troubleshooting: The Prongs on Spring-Style Metal Snaps Are Breaking

January 11, 2019


The prongs on the cap pieces in the above picture have broken off during installation.  Why does this happen?

This usually happens when the prong of the cap is not properly aligned through the center hole of the female piece.  If the 2 pieces are misaligned, then the prong gets pushed off to the side, causing it to break. 

What are the reasons for misalignment?   There are a few possibilities that you can test out:

1. Create a hole first.
Be sure to pre-poke or punch a hole out of your fabric first so that you can slip the prong of the cap through the material before you set it on the die.  Like this:


2.  Check handle on table press.
Without any snaps in the table press, slowly press down on the handle.  The entire movement should be smooth.  If you feel any jerkiness or shifting in the handle, it may need to be adjusted or detached and re-attached.

3.  Check alignment.
Determine if the dies and/or adapter base is causing a misalignment.  Place the snap pieces in the dies without any fabric and begin to press down on the handle until the prong of the cap touches the female piece, and then hold in place.  As best as you can, look to see if the prong seems to be off-center against the center of the female. 

If you have a table press, try shifting the bottom die and the adapter base to see if a particular position causes an off-centering.

4. Remove hand. (This is the most common culprit.)
If you're not physically seeing anything off-center, the misalignment may be the result of how you are holding your fabric.  Sometimes without realizing it, you might be holding the fabric in such a way that it pulls a little to the side as you press down on the handle.

Partially press down on the handle until the dies themselves hold your fabric in place.  Remove your hand so that it no longer holds your fabric.  Then press down the rest of the way.

In the instructional video, you can see that the "fabric" (which is actually cardstock) is held in place with the user's hand only until the press is able to grip it.  Once the press grips it, the user releases the fabric and only then presses down on the handle.  Watch that here.

5. Pressing too hard or long.
Some people have a tendency to press down on the handle really hard and then hold it for longer than necessary.  The longer you hold down the handle, the more likely your other hand will pull at the fabric it's holding, causing the cap to shift.

Our spring metal snaps install fairly easily.  You can feel the give when the prong is being flattened.  There's no need to crush it to death.

If you need further assistance with your order, click on the Contact Us link at the footer of this page.


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