Custom Slot Buttons
We've been using Slot Buttons ever since we were first told about them by a customer. And years ago we devoted a page to them. HUGE THANKS to Shannon for tipping us to Slot Buttons. Also THANKS to Mose O'Griffin, owner of APROE, and Dutch Ressler, owner of DutchwareGear, for designs and/or manufacture!
The biggest problem with Slot Buttons is the extremely limited selection. And when American manufacture is required, the selection narrows to the one type of standard Slot we have been using.
But I do not feel the standard Slots are a good match for our Peacoat or our North Maine Double Coat because these garments call for buttons that are about twice the size of our standard Slot Buttons. It's not that the standard Slots wouldn't be functional ... they would work just fine. But Peacoats have BIG buttons and I don't see WeatherWool ever again using anything but Slots. So production of these two garments requires us to develop something new.
Below are the prototypes. The Titanium (silver-color) is almost exactly what we expect to use for production. The Bronze is an older shape, and is brighter than we expect to use. We had planned to work first with the Ti, but the bronze is much easier to machine. The bronze is the shape we are going to go with. We have not yet machined the Ti into that shape.
The Ti looks really good with our Lynx Pattern and Black Fabrics. Bronze seems the only choice for Duff. Either button color works with Drab.
If anyone is interested, this little project has been going in fits and starts since mid-2021. What follows describes some of the past development.
Here are a couple of sample Bronze Slot Buttons sent to us in January of 2022 by Mose O'Griffin of APROE, who has kindly provided both the buttons and the design. THANKS MOSE!
The shiny button is just as it comes from being machined. The duller button has been tumbled. We anticipate using a tumbled button with some kind of finish applied.
And here is a look at another prototype. This one is made from Titanium by Dutch Ressler and his team at Dutchware Gear. The surface of the button (not yet cut from a sheet of Ti) is actually flat. The "ice-cream-swirl" is an artifact of the photograph. THANKS DUTCH and FRIENDS!
Along the development path, we have had the assistance of several people. Efforts to embed our Lynx Pattern Fabric in thermoplastic resin did not really work out, although we did get some interesting-looking buttons from Advisor Chris Christian, shown below. ... THANKS TIM, MOSE, CHRIS and CHUCK!!
Advisor Chris Christian did some testing of our Lynx Pattern embedded in thermoplastic resin. Friend of WeatherWool "Tim L" also worked on this for a while, but the Lynx Pattern Fabric turns dark in the resin and the Pattern was lost. We may have to ask Chris how he did it, eventually, because Advisor Jerry Fisk may someday make a Bowie Knife Lynx Pattern Fabric embedded in the grips.
Mose O'Griffin, who owns and runs APROE, worked up some custom Slots for a project of his own, and he sent us a few. These are made of bronze.
I love the idea of the bronze buttons. The buttons above were made by Mose for a project of his own, and we'll use the larger size pictured above for the Peacoat and the NMDC. We have wondered whether touching an extremely cold (-40F/-40C) metal button would be a problem. We will probably apply a patina to these buttons. And Mark Trist, a customer from Australia, suggested a coating such as Cerakote would eliminate the danger of frozen skin.
In late 2023, the price we pay for the standard-manufacture Melamine Slot Buttons from US Button was increased 100%.
1 December 2023 --- Ralph