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Tech Article #2 - Which Panel Fastener Is Right For You?

by Kevin Smith

Choosing the right size panel fastener and spring combination can be confusing. Well, we are going to try our best to help you understand how to determine which buttons and springs are right for you by establishing thickness range for different springs and buttons.

As you can see from the illustrations below, grip range varies with different buttons. Notice the grip range is measured from under the head on the oval head button to the bottom of where the spring locks in place. However, on the flush button you would measure from the Top of the button to the bottom of where the spring locks in place.

With the table below we will demonstrate how to determine the recommended thickness range for different springs and buttons. First, you must determine the thickness of the material you are fastening. Let’s say for example that your material measures .175" thick. Take a 6500B 7/16" diameter button, notice on the table the button length only has 400,450,500, etc., that’s because the last three digits of the part number indicate the length of the button. The first number, either a 5 or 6, determines the diameter of the button. So you can use this table for buttons of any diameter by focusing only on the length. Now that we have a button, let’s determine the spring we need. Remember our material thickness was .175" and our button length is __500. In the button length column find __500. Then go to the right until you find a range where .175" would be included, which is .156-.199. By looking at the very top of that particular column for a _500 length button going through material thickness .175", you would need to order a 6375SP spring. It sounds a little confusing but once you’ve done it a few times it becomes second nature.

Button Length

5275SP

5325SP

6275SP

6375SP

6425SP

___400

.149-.184

.099-.134

.156-.199

.056-.099

.049-.066

___450

.199-.234

.149-.184

.206-.249

.106-.149

.056-.099

___500

.249-.284

.199-.234

.256-.299

.156-.199

.106-.149

___550

.299-.332

.249-.282

.306-.349

.206-.249

.156-.199

___600

.349-.384

.299-.334

.356-.399

.256-.299

.206-.249

___650

.399-.432

.349-.382

.406-.449

.306-.349

.256-.299


 

General Tips

 

  • If you have buttons already, then keep the same button length and change your springs for different thicknesses because they are less expensive to change.
  • If you are buying for the first time, try to buy the _500 length buttons because they are in the middle of the sizes and you can use the springs to get different grip ranges.
  • If you use a plate to attach your spring, you must add .100" to your material thickness before determining your spring length.
  • If your button and spring combination is just a tad too short or long, you can "tweak" the spring a little by bending it up or down to tighten or loosen the grip.

Send any questions to Kevin at the Help Forum.

This article was published on Tuesday 20 March, 2007.
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