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Metcalf
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Posted: 9/26/2009 9:55:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2009 11:05:20 PM EST by Metcalf]
I thought I would try my hand at making a holster for my little 1911. The cost of some of the 'good' holsters on the market is pretty steep. I was able to buy everything I need to make the holster for about $30 give or take. I only used a 12x7.5 rectangle of material out of the 12x24 sheet I bought. I did buy the clips from Comp-tac.

Nothing like learning another skill and saving a ton of money. I plan on making more widgets out of the leftovers.





Tips and tricks.

-You can build a press from a walmart foam mat. I had a used one in the closet. I cut 4-12x12 pieces out of the mat. I used two plywood pieces 12x12 for the top and the bottom. I used four 20" long 2x4's and some chute cord to make a clamp. I stood on the press for pressure and then tied it down to 'rest' for about 10 minutes to mold the Kydex.

-I used the oven to heat up the Kydex for molding. The best temp seemed to be about 275 degrees. It takes about 10 minutes to heat the stuff up. I used an upside down teflon cookie sheet to hold the kydex. It didn't stick at all and the by using the pan upside down I was able to slide the kydex off very easily into the press while hot.

- You can adjust where you want the middle of the holster by adding foam to the top and bottom. I had 2 thicknesses of foam on each side to make the 'seam' in the middle.

-Once you get the holster formed you can drill the eye holes with a pilot drill then to size. Once you get the holes drilled, 1/4" in my case, you can use a short 1/4" bolts and wing nuts to hold everything together while you cut and sand to a final shape.

-I used 60 grit sandpaper for rough shaping the edges after I cut the shape pretty close with the tin snips. Then I used 100 grit followed by a red scothbrite pad for the final edge prep.

-Prep the halves separately. Its much easier to get in some areas with the halves apart. You can always check where you are at by re-assembling with the wing nut/bolts.

-You can use boiling water to heat up areas of the plastic if you need to. I had to do this to form the bends in the mounting 'ears' of the holster. These bends made the holster tuck a lot closer into my body.

I will take more pictures on the next projects. I didn't expect this to turn out this good on the first try! Its always good to learn a new skill!

Anyone else have any Kydex tips, projects, or ideas they want to share?
LadyMacBeth
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Posted: 9/26/2009 10:55:33 PM EST
i've never use kydex but have molded pvc with boiling water or torch (leaves burn markes), good skill to have.
luvmyglock
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Posted: 9/26/2009 11:04:26 PM EST
Where did you buy the kydex from ?
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Metcalf
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Posted: 9/26/2009 11:06:50 PM EST
I bought everything from Knifekits.com

They shipped very fast. I had everything in less than a week. Fair prices I thought.

JS_280
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Posted: 9/26/2009 11:23:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By Metcalf:
I bought everything from Knifekits.com

They shipped very fast. I had everything in less than a week. Fair prices I thought.


+1 For knifekits.com. I've ordered several sheath kits from them and they have great prices and shipping times.
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banana-clip
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Posted: 9/26/2009 11:30:32 PM EST
Those are some great tips.

I have been wanting to make some kydex sheaths for my knives and I think I might get some and try out some of those tips...thanks.
banana-clip
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Posted: 9/26/2009 11:34:17 PM EST
Can you take some pics of your kydex press?

I'd like to get an idea of what it looks like...thx.
Preppernation
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Posted: 9/26/2009 11:41:08 PM EST
Crazy timing, I was just thinking about this project today. I had an old uncle Mikes holster laying around and was thinking about doing something homebrew if I could find some material... Thanks for posting!

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Markypie
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Posted: 9/27/2009 2:22:31 AM EST
Great work Metcalf! Please post picture of the press and walk us through the actual "how-to." I have a .45 with an aftermarket rail and TLR1 that I need a good holster for. This would be just the ticket. Thank you, Mark
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Kar15
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Posted: 9/27/2009 2:26:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2009 2:31:51 AM EST by Kar15]
^^^^^
crazy timing is correct...

i just recieved 1 x Rivets - (Black) - #8-8 (1/4) - (For .080 KYDEX™/Concealex) (KYSR8-100) = $12.00 and 4x KYDEX™ Sheet - (.08 Olive Drab) (KYSHOD08) = $24.96 i ordered from knife kits dot com in the mail this morning(saturday)...

planning on making a sheath for this beast i made for a friend of mine a while back...


while i have it back in my possession from him, i think i may try to grind in an edge on the reverse side.

this machete will end up having a kukri /bolo style blade on one side and a short extra stout scimatar design on the other side...

i may try to add a small pouch for a sharpener and a few small survival supplies affixed to the sheath...

K.
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Metcalf
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Posted: 9/27/2009 1:35:05 PM EST
This next week I will make a holster for my camp knife and document everything.....

Other tips-

-If the molding doesn't go to plan or you don't get enough definition you can 'remold' the kydex by heating it up in the oven again. It will go back to perfectly flat and you can start over. You can also save larger scraps and remold them into new projects.

-You need a pretty good amount of pressure to mold a clean shape. I am about 180lbs and that was just enough.

-Don't use a sharpie to mark on the kydex. That stuff doesn't come off! :) Maybe white out or something?

-Go easy with the manual rivet tool. You don't need a lot of force. Light hits with a ball peen hammer will set the rivet without splitting it.

-Put the pre-formed side of the rivet on the side that you will see. This will make a better final product.

-If you wear some of the 'black' off the rivets a black sharpie can fix that.


I'll have some pics of my press up in the next day or two. Something as simple as standing on two 12x12, 3/4" thick plywood pieces with some 12x12 foam camping mat squares will work just fine. You just have to stand in the same place for 10 minutes or so :) I plan on modifying mine with some eye bolts and wing nuts to make it more adjustable with more constant tension.

Best of luck guys. Have fun with it.



ODS9091
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Posted: 9/27/2009 2:44:03 PM EST
What about making it like a shop press by using a small bottle jack?
Metcalf
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Posted: 9/27/2009 3:01:02 PM EST
That could work just fine, but I don't know if you need THAT much pressure. I think something as simple as having 4 corner bolts with large wing nuts would be enough.

I'm not stopping you though.....

ODS9091
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Posted: 9/27/2009 4:25:45 PM EST
Well I was just thinking if that was something you already had...appreciate the forthcoming pictures
macman37
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Posted: 9/28/2009 11:24:24 AM EST
Good timing on this thread. I have the stuff I need for making Kydex stuff, just need the time to do it now.

Question, do you think that the clamp on a Black & Decker Workmate table would provide enough pressure to mold the Kydex once heated?

For the foam I have 1" foam I got from KnifeKits.com backed up by 3/4" plywood backers. I was thinking I could drop that halfway (for even pressure) into the Workmate table jaws and clamp that way...
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nickmimi
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Posted: 9/28/2009 11:33:44 AM EST
thanks for sharing. I am interested in seeing the pics.
Metcalf
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Posted: 9/28/2009 11:49:51 AM EST
If the that table doesn't provide enough force you can always reheat the kydex and just stand on the boards for 10 minutes....as long as you weigh about 180lbs :)

That's what I did the first time.

Note: if your making a 'folded' part I don't know if you could reheat it.



MCR
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Posted: 9/28/2009 12:02:09 PM EST
Thanks for the Wingnut tip, I gotta try that next time!!


Other tips that are useful:

If using a manual rivet set, i.e. punch and anvil type, try using a large C clamp or bench vise to provide the pressure to get a much more uniform roll on the rivet. A little bit of grease on the rivet punch helps too. I've got the arbor press with the dies now, but did it this way for many sheaths. If you decide to go that route, just buy the arbor press from harbor freight and you can mod the press yourself with a drill press.

When drilling for rivets, if you have a 1/4" Forstner bit, it works much better than a standard bit.

Once it's all put together, use a bench grinder with a dry cloth buffing wheel to finish the edges. It will melt the edges slightly and bond them together. Also good for rounding corners. Just do it lightly so you don't eat too much plastic away.

A heat gun or hair dryer on high will also help soften the kydex if you need to make small adjustments.

Make sure your work area is CLEAN. Nothing is worse than picking up a piece of debris in your hot kydex, molding it around a blade, and scratching the blade/gun when you pull it out. Along with that, clean your kydex up before assembly, buffing and cutting it often produces lots of nasty little plastic bits.
macman37
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Posted: 9/28/2009 12:07:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By Metcalf:
If the that table doesn't provide enough force you can always reheat the kydex and just stand on the boards for 10 minutes....as long as you weigh about 180lbs :)

That's what I did the first time.

Note: if your making a 'folded' part I don't know if you could reheat it.





I haven't weighed 180lbs since I was about 14 years old. I'd be afraid of breaking a gun if I stood on it!
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Metcalf
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Posted: 9/28/2009 1:07:39 PM EST
Only stand with one foot :)
rooster4bravo
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Posted: 9/29/2009 5:13:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By Metcalf:
If the that table doesn't provide enough force you can always reheat the kydex and just stand on the boards for 10 minutes....as long as you weigh about 180lbs :)

That's what I did the first time.

Note: if your making a 'folded' part I don't know if you could reheat it.





After coming across this topic, I did some youtube research. One guy reheated a folded kydex sheath 3 times no problem.

Im planning on making a folded XD9 holster over the weekend. I am planning to use 2x8 as the press (cuz I don't have any 3/4 ply right now), and a couple of clamps. I weigh a lot, I'm afraid if i stand on it I might break the frame. I will let yall know how it comes out.

Anyone see any problems with this? (I'm not referring to problems you may have with my weight!)
garyd
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Posted: 9/29/2009 5:18:28 AM EST
I made a holster for my PA-63, using the basic technique the OP described, even made a spare mag carrier.



Markypie
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Posted: 10/6/2009 1:54:41 AM EST
Do not let this die. I have received the parts, now I'm waiting on Metcalf's tutorial.
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Metcalf
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Posted: 10/6/2009 10:39:28 AM EST
Sorry for the delay guys. I will try and get something up soon. Winter snapped in on us so I have been busy with chores around the house.

banana-clip
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Posted: 10/6/2009 12:08:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By Markypie:
Do not let this die. I have received the parts, now I'm waiting on Metcalf's tutorial.


I want to start making some kydex sheaths too.

Looking forward to the tutorial as well.

Slug64
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Posted: 10/6/2009 2:13:21 PM EST
Im in for more info on this one as well I want to make some knife sheaths...
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