I recently had a number of people interested in my button making process. The following is the basic process I use:
Sterling silver cut to width for the button rings using large sheet metal sheers.
The silver strips are bent into a tear drop shape. Then bent so that the ends meet.
The rings are wrapped with binding wire, suspended, and soldered with a jewelers torch.
Using a mandrel and large V-block, the ring is formed to shape and size.
The ends of the rings are squared up in the lathe using a shop made expanding collet.
The ends are lightly lapped and a small chamfer is added to the interior edge of the rings with a knife. The interior of the rings are measured and properly identified.
An ebony dowel is selected and turn to fit the internal diameter of the front ring.
An end mill is used to create a recess for the nipple.
The hole for the screw is started with a center drill and followed with a twist drill that is slightly undersized.
The tailstock is used to align and press fit the screw.
The button is parted off, flipped, and turned to fit the back ring. The end is prepared for the pearl eye.
Glue is used to secure the screw and pearl eye in place.
A shop made collar guard is used and a rough octagon is filed.
Pins are installed and the octagon is cleaned up with a fine cut file.
The collar is cut in the jewelers lathe and finish with a hand graver.
Finished and Polished Button