Procedure For Forming Kydex
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.
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.
The process begins by measuring, scoring and snapping piece of .063" Kydex to the proper size for the project.
Next the Kydex is heated in a toaster oven @350deg for 1-1/2 minutes.
Then wrapped around the form, sandwiched between two pieces of heat resistant foam and clamped in the press.
After allowing 20 minutes or so to cool, the press can be opened and the formed Kydex removed from the form.
The desired shape is then laid out on the formed blank and cut with snips or a band saw.
The piece is shaped further with a file or sand paper and the edges polished. I use a Dremel and a fine abrasive buff.
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.
And the almost finished product...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
I may have to try a press form for my next one, instead of free forming it
That imo is the post of the year though the original post on making kydex holster is a distant second.
thanks for posting
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!
Gotta luv disposable tools! I drop my heat gun so many times that I go through 2 or 3 a year .
$9.99 @ Harbor Freight makes this a little less painful!
Thank You Sir!
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
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...
So clear it makes me think I could do it (well maybe I shouldn't go that far).
Professional looking job.
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??
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.
Originally Posted by snort
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?)