I’m not real fond of the snap-setting step in diaper making, but it’s a necessary evil. The other night I was applying some snapstitle=” after threatening myself with no chocolate until they were done and everything was going along smoothly when suddenly I heard a faint CRACK.
My stomach dropped and I bit back a few choice four-letter words. I knew what that CRACK meant; that snap had to come out.
Sometimes snaps crack because there’s too much pressure on the snap press handle, but sometimes it’s just a faulty snap. Either way you can’t just leave it there.
I’ve heard that you can remove a snap by using an ice pick and hammer to push the post back, or drilling the center out with a small drill bit, but I’m not big into power tools and don’t have an ice pick hanging around. I like to use
my Teacher’s trusty wire cutters.
It’s a slow process but usually does the job with minimal damage to the fabric.
I usually start on the cap side to protect the front of the fabric as much as possible. Place the wire cutters with the cutting edge against the fabric; try not get any fabric caught in the cutters.
That scrap fabric between the snap cap and the PUL was intended to reinforce the snap but will also help protect the PUL as I’m working on this snap.
With the wire cutters, try to crack the cap, or at least do some damage to it. By the way – make sure your fingers are out of the way before you try to crack the cap. Again, the voice of experience talking…
Turn the fabric over and have a go at the socket side. Sometimes it’s easier to get under the socket and snip through the post.
Sometimes not so much.
What you do NOT want to do is cut off all of the socket except for the back layer which is against the fabric. In the photo you can see how the bottom part is starting do to just that – and it’s not a good thing.
Back to the cap… Since pieces are obviously too tightly set for me to get to the post I have to try another option.
Grabbing one edge of the cap in the wire cutters and making sure not to catch any fabric I started chipping away at the cap.
we’re getting there…
As you’re chipping away at the cap don’t get too close to the post. If you cut off the whole cap except a bit attached to the post you’ll have no way to get it out without leaving huge hole in your fabric. This is the voice of experience talking.
What you’re trying to do is get rid of enough cap and/or socket so you can reach the post with the wire cutters.
Back to the socket side… push up on the cap to pop the socket up and away from the fabric.
Carefully place the wire cutter blades underneath the socket, without catching the fabric.
I’m lucky to have the tag there; it’s protecting the fabric and if it gets wrecked it’s easier to replace than the whole diaper cut. If I didn’t have the tag I’d do this from the cap side, but I know the tag will protect the PUL better than the scrap fabric – plus the socket is smaller so it’ll be easier to get to the post.
Slowly, bear down to cut through the post, and…
Voilà, the snap is out!
The hole left by the snap isn’t too big so I’ll just grab a new tag and piece of scrap paper, then replace the snap.
That wasn’t so hard now, was it? Hopefully the snaps you need to remove will be few and far between!