Procedure For Forming Kydex

Discussion in 'Holsters' started by luvmy40, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. luvmy40

    luvmy40 New Member

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    I thought there might be some interest in the process of making things with Kydex , so I took some (Ok I took a lot!) pics of the steps in making a holster. This same basic procedure can be used to make just about anything from kydex.

    First up my work bench/reloading area.
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    This is where I do all my kydex work, gun smithing, reloading and weapons maintenance.

    This is the press that I made for holsters and such.
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    The process begins by measuring, scoring and snapping piece of .063" Kydex to the proper size for the project.
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    Next the Kydex is heated in a toaster oven @350deg for 1-1/2 minutes.
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    Then wrapped around the form, sandwiched between two pieces of heat resistant foam and clamped in the press.
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    After allowing 20 minutes or so to cool, the press can be opened and the formed Kydex removed from the form.
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    The desired shape is then laid out on the formed blank and cut with snips or a band saw.
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    The piece is shaped further with a file or sand paper and the edges polished. I use a Dremel and a fine abrasive buff.
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    The Kydex molds so tightly to the form that it would be impossible to remove the gun from the holster if some of the details, such as the depression made by the ejection port, are not softened, or loosened. I use a pencil torch for the very small areas and a heat gun for larger areas.
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    And the almost finished product...
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    I form the belt clips from a 1"wide piece of .090" kydex. They are formed by hand on a wood form. I use a heat gun to heat only the area being formed at the time, Usually there are 2-3 steps. Wrapping around the form and forming the beveled flare.
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    The holes are drilled with standard twist bits and cleaned up with a hand countersink burr.
    In this case I slip short spacers made from windshield washer tubing over the barrel of the chicago screws. This helps keep the screws secure and provides the spring action for adjustable retention.
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    With this design you can attach the the belt clip to either side now and have an ambidextrous rig. Or you can re heat and bend the attachment point for either right or left hand use exclusively. Bending the tab makes for a more comfortable fit and feel.

    The finished product with sweat shield.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Moderator

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    This thread is ridiculously informative and probably the best that a "new user" has ever thrown up! Very, very nice work!!! Your finished product looks scary-similar to the Blade-Tech UCH I payed $70 and waited 4 weeks for. :shock: I am thoroughly impressed. 8) Thank you for your work!
     

  3. RiceCakes

    RiceCakes New Member

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    Very nice luvmyM40! Im diggin the harbor freight heat gun, one hangs on my pegboard :wink:

    I think people are starting to get the idea that holsters are not very hard to make :lol: :lol: :lol:

    I may have to try a press form for my next one, instead of free forming it :)
     
  4. MrApathy

    MrApathy New Member

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    OMG :shock:

    That imo is the post of the year though the original post on making kydex holster is a distant second.

    thanks for posting :D
     
  5. luvmy40

    luvmy40 New Member

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    Syntax360,
    As I stated when I first posted pictures of one of these holsters, I knew that I had seen this design somewhere. I am a very handy person but not so creative!

    RiceCakes,
    Gotta luv disposable tools! I drop my heat gun so many times that I go through 2 or 3 a year .:lol:
    $9.99 @ Harbor Freight makes this a little less painful!

    MrApathy,
    Thank You Sir!
     
  6. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Dayam, luv* :shock:

    ATTABOY luvmy40 !!!

    Xcellent post, Bro! :p That was truly excellent. :) Thanx for takin' the time and effort to make this post a classic Steyrclub contribution. 8)

    Wulf <-- thinkin' " YEAH, BABY ... DASS WHAT I'M TALKIN' BOUT!!! :p
     
  7. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    incredible tutorial!!!

    perhaps a sticky for the holsters forum?

    i love harbor freight. they're so cheap you can just buy a tool if you think you might need it. if you drop it... who cares?!!!

    my rule is to buy a real version if i wear two out in a year. surprisingly, unless you're going to run a tool all day, everyday... they last a good long while.


    so many people have had such success working with kydex that i may have to get off my duff and build that competition rig i have in mind. hmmm...
     
  8. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    So clear it makes me think I could do it (well maybe I shouldn't go that far).
    Professional looking job.
     
  9. snort

    snort New Member

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    Kydex sheets

    I've looked all over and all I come up with is 4' by 8' sheets. I'd like to try one myself, but a hundred plus shipping puts it outa reach, any ideas??
     
  10. luvmy40

    luvmy40 New Member

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    Re: Kydex sheets

    Check out http://www.knifekits.com look in the Sheath Making Supplies section. They have absolutely everything that you need to get started. The tools and press can be found cheaper elsewhere or homemade, but they are available here.
    The silver pliers in my first picture are actually a combination punch/eyelet setting tool that works perfectly for the kydex rivets. I found it a Pat Cattan's it is marketed as a scrap booking tool and comes with pink rubber grip covers.
    Dive in and good luck. Remember you MUST post pics of your projects (how else am I supposed to get new ideas?)
    [​IMG]
     
  11. RiceCakes

    RiceCakes New Member

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    http://www.texasknife.com/

    Those guys also have a lot of supplies.I went with them because they carry leather, knifekits does not.
     
  12. snort

    snort New Member

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    Thanks RiceCakes, it's just what I was looking for and what a great tutorial.
    What a great site and a nice group of people. Smart to, but then anyone who would own a Steyr would be smarter that the average bear :wink:
     
  13. MrApathy

    MrApathy New Member

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    if anyone desides to try this buy the smaller .06 material I got the .09 material and its bit tougher to work but it sure makes a nice holster will post pic when I am done. making a no thrills holster of duty type.

    fun hobby I might be hooked.
     
  14. Polymer Proselyte

    Polymer Proselyte New Member

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  15. madecov

    madecov New Member

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    I received my holster (the one illustrated above) from Luvny40.
    It is very comfortable and conceals well. Retention is excellent.

    I wore it today on an undercover plain clothes assignment.
     
  16. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    good job Lumy40. I've been wanting to try some of this stuff for some time and make my own mag holders and holsters............... :D
     
  17. clemsonsteyger

    clemsonsteyger New Member

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    Luvny40, if you would be interested in duplicating this again I would be more than happy to pay you for your materials and time.
     
  18. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    Re: Kydex sheets


    luvmy40,
    What or where is Pat Cattan's...?? this is for doing the rivets right??? their press is rather expensive for a small batch. Do you need hands of steel to use the plyers properly....????
     
  19. matt13

    matt13 Premium Member

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    Those pliers are a Crop-a-dile. After you stop laughing at me for knowing that, just google it. I'm pretty sure Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's carry them.
     
  20. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    I think we have a JoAnn's here in town...........thanks matt13...... :)