My homemade kydex holster


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Fumbler
June 15, 2009, 10:37 AM
I finally took pics of my homemade holster.
A few months ago I got my concealed handgun permit and got a J frame (S&W 637).
I couldn't stomach the thought of paying $60-70 for $4 worth of materials in a good kydex holster, so I made my own.
I bought $60 worth of kydex supplies from knifekits.com. That gave me enough material for my holster, two I made for friends, and enough left over for two more. I gave the leftovers to a friend who is going to Iraq. Apparently it's hard to get good holsters so when he gets there he'll make his own.

Here are links to the pics. The photos are large and will take up too much space in this thread.
pic 1 (http://www.thewolfweb.com/photos/00508048.jpg)
pic 2 (http://www.thewolfweb.com/photos/00508049.jpg)
pic 3 (http://www.thewolfweb.com/photos/00508050.jpg)
in my pants (http://www.thewolfweb.com/photos/00508051.jpg)

The holster is an IWB and tuckable design.
I put the clip over the trigger guard to help keep the width down. Putting the clip there also helps pull the butt of the gun inward.

I've made a kydex press and will start making these to sell. Right now I can make them for non scandium J frames and also for the Taurus model 85. I might make some for Sig 228 and plan on getting an LCp and making holsters for those too.
I sold one with a lefthanded clip to a friend for $35 but will probably bump the price up to $45. That covers cost of materials plus a moderate amount for my time.

So, whatcha think?

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metallic
June 15, 2009, 11:39 AM
Pretty slick work. How much time was involved here?

Geneseo1911
June 15, 2009, 01:22 PM
Very cool, Fumbler; it looks very professional. I didn't know Kydex was available, or that it was that easy to work with. Now I want to try it.

DammitBoy
June 15, 2009, 01:27 PM
Fumbler - how about doing a how-to guide for those of us interested in trying to make our own?

Where did you get the material?

Fumbler
June 15, 2009, 01:43 PM
I get my kydex from www.knifekits.com

The first one took about 5-6 hours total. A lot of that time was spent scratching my head trying to figure out how to make the clip and where to place it. The second most time consuming part was sanding the edges to the final shape and final sanding the edges to a smooth finish.
Subsequent holsters take about 3 hours. If I get a table sander then i'm sure i can cut that time down to two hours.
If I turn down the finish quality I could probably do 1 hr, but I'm not going to do that.

I may get around to doing a tutorial, but there are already many on the net. I learned how to make them with the help of google :)

The basic steps are:
-order kydex and appropriate chicago screws or rivets. It comes in a few different thicknesses, but I think 0.08" is great for IWb. 0.093 would be good for heavier guns and OWB. The clips are nice/thick/sturdy 0.125".

-get a cheap 1/2 inch thick camping mat from walmart and cut it into around 1 ft square pieces. you'll need 4 pieces, two on each side when molding.

-decide how you're going to press the kydex. either get two thick pieces of wood that are at least as big as the foam squares and clamps or get one piece of wood or something sturdy and just stand on it to apply pressure.

-Use pieces of wood to fill in behind the trigger or any other place you don't want the kydex to hang up on. Also use a wood dowel taped to the top strap to be sure the front sight can come out while drawing the gun

-heat up the kydex in an oven for a couple minutes

-quickly wrap kydex around gun, put gun between foam, put foam between wood, clamp it (or stand on it)

-wait 5-10 minutes

-Take out kydex and gun, remove gun, trim off excess kydex. I use tin snips to cut the kydex, but a bandsaw would be great.

-Check the retention. if it grabs too much then start over or heat up the problem spots to loosen them. if it grabs too little then you can heat up behind the trigger guard and apply more pressure.

-sand down edges of kydex to final dimensions

-make the clip. I use a mini propane torch to heat the clip where I want to bend it. Then I bend the clip over pieces of wood to give it a nice flat shape with nice clean bends. This is where I think other holster makers do a poor job (for instance, JS Holsters). The bends and flat parts of their clips look sloppy.

-attach clip with chicago screws or rivets.

-Use a knife and sandpaper to chamfer all the edges

-do your final sanding of the edges with progressively finer sandpaper

-make a few more and sell them to your friends to pay for the supplies and time you spent on all the holsters.
;)

David E
June 15, 2009, 02:16 PM
I suggest raising the body side of the holster enough so you don't pinch yourself between the cylinder and the top holster edge. It will hurt. A lot. It also adds to the comfort.

Good luck in your kydex holster venture.

Oh, and I'd also suggest retaking the "in the pants" pic with you wearing a t-shirt under the outter shirt....you'd probably sell more if you did! :D

Fumbler
June 15, 2009, 02:37 PM
I haven't had any issues with pinching.
I have thought about making a fabric and foam flap attached to the holster as a comfort barrier between me and the gun.

About that last pic...yeah, no one wants to see my fat hairy gut :barf:
hehe.
You can see three tick bites I sustained while working too.

Jim Watson
June 15, 2009, 02:50 PM
It really looks pretty good. A friend in the business can turn out a standard model holster for a gun he already has taped up in an hour or a bit more. But he has years of experience and all the equipment lined up.

DammitBoy
June 16, 2009, 12:10 AM
About that last pic...yeah, no one wants to see my fat hairy gut

Don't worry about it - luckily I still had 2 gallons of brain bleach in the closet, so I was able to erase that horrid image from the inside of my skull... :scrutiny:

sig228
July 1, 2009, 12:01 AM
Fumbler, nice job. Thanks for sharing your technique.

earplug
July 1, 2009, 12:21 AM
You might consider using more Kydex and covering the hammer. Less chance of hanging up on the draw, easier on the tummy and hides more of the gun to onlookers.

ScareyH22A
July 1, 2009, 12:33 AM
Good job! You need to make Glocks and PM9's and LCP's to make the big bucks.

Fumbler
July 1, 2009, 01:34 AM
I picked up a Kel-Tec P3AT recently and will make holsters for it.
I'm also on a waiting list to get a Ruger LCP.

I may get a Glock too. I need to see if some of my buddies will let me borrow their guns.

Dex Sinister
July 2, 2009, 01:35 AM
Nice job! Thanks for posting the pictures.

thomaas404
July 23, 2009, 07:19 AM
Hey Fumbler,
I have some Kydex on the way and looking to make something for a Kel-tec P32. I plan on using my actual pistol for the mold ... I'm guessing that's what all the non-pro's do, right? Anyway, is the kydex hot enough for me to wory about damage to the Kel-tec's grips (they are a polymer ... but, hopefully, have a higher melting point than Kydex)???
--Thomas

Dave P
July 23, 2009, 08:20 AM
Nice work!

A couple of ideas that I have successfully used:
Devcon Plastic Welder epoxy can be used to replace rivets. Great stuff.
I use metal knife belt clips glued on with Plastic welder.
I position the butt to hit the belt, providing more overall support for the weight.

I am still screwing around with a no-scratch liner. Felt is OK, not great.

Fumbler
July 23, 2009, 04:02 PM
I plan on using my actual pistol for the mold ... I'm guessing that's what all the non-pro's do, right? Anyway, is the kydex hot enough for me to wory about damage to the Kel-tec's grips (they are a polymer ... but, hopefully, have a higher melting point than Kydex)???
Yes, use your pistol, but here are some tips:
-Get some balsa wood and cut it out to fit behind the trigger. Make sure the wood is thicker than the trigger. That way the kydex won't touch the trigger as you put the gun in the holster.
-Plug up anything that will catch onto the kydex when you draw. The biggest part on a semiauto is the ejection port. If you don't plug it up then the kydex will grip it so hard you won't be able to pull the gun out.
-Examine your gun closely and try to imagine anything that will grab at the kydex as you holster and draw the gun. An example could be the takedown pin. If the kydex molds flat behind the takedown pin, then the takedown pin could make drawing the gun difficult. You could add a bunch of tape behind the takedown pin to fix that problem.

The kydex won't be hot enough to hurt the gun. Kydex is shaped when it's around 270-300
The Kel-Tec plastic can handle much more than that. I made a pocket holster for my P3AT with no problems.

Devcon Plastic Welder epoxy can be used to replace rivets. Great stuff.
It is good stuff, but I don't trust any adhesive enough to just use adhesive. I'd still use rivets or chicago screws when attaching parts.
I also used only chicago screws so the kydex can be pried apart for cleaning.

I am still screwing around with a no-scratch liner. Felt is OK, not great.
I haven't figured out a good liner. Anything you use gets dirty and starts scratching the gun anyway or it just won't hold up to use.
if you figure it out then let us know:)

KSDeputy
July 30, 2009, 02:08 PM
Since I paid FIST about $ 100 for a kydex holster, and mag carrier for my CS45, wish I had met you first. Theirs was custom made for the pistol, as yours. Mine is worn inside the belt, and it is a bitch to pull it out. Some kind of special clip, the clips are blue. I used Safariland suade inside holsters & mag holders for more years than I want to say. They were cheap, comfortable, and the only problem was holding the holster open to replace the pistol once I pulled it out. The firm kydex eliminates that problem.

macro01
August 10, 2009, 09:56 AM
wow this is awesome..you can earn a lot with the skill :D

TDR911
August 11, 2009, 07:03 AM
I also make my own. Right now is getting Kydex in 1 or 2 sheets at a fair price. The distributors are wanting a 10 sheet minimum. each sheet is
36"x96" makes a few holsters.

http://i482.photobucket.com/albums/rr182/TDR911/102R5.jpg

http://i482.photobucket.com/albums/rr182/TDR911/102R4.jpg

Maia007
August 11, 2009, 11:36 PM
Very nice work. Has inspired me to do a repair on a kydex knife holster I have.

ZO6Vettever
August 19, 2009, 02:21 PM
Nice job!

KewToo
August 19, 2009, 10:15 PM
Well Done! Generic holsters have always been experimental at best.
I think you will have a number of customers willing to help you.

DFW1911
August 19, 2009, 10:28 PM
Nicely done. Any chance you want to make one for a Sig P250 w/ a light attached :) ?

If so, let me know. I may be one of your first customers.

Thanks,
DFW1911

highorder
August 20, 2009, 10:36 AM
I also buy my kydex from knifekits.com. The have a good selection and very reasonable prices.

Nice work, btw!

Fumbler
August 20, 2009, 02:24 PM
I recently got married and moved in with my wife. Unfortunately all my gun projects have been put on the backburner.
I'm not even sure where the stuff is stored in the house...:(
Needless to say, I won't be making any holsters for a little while.

When I finally do start making them I'll probably make them for:
-S&W J frame
-Taurus Mod 85
-Sig P225 and P228
-Ruger GP-100
-Ruger LCP
-Kel-Tec P3AT

That will be it because I don't have any other guns that people would be interested in.
I may make other models depending on what my buddies will let me borrow (possibly Glocks, XD, etc).

I'll definately update this thread and put them up for sale in the classifieds when the time comes.

Fumbler
December 9, 2010, 11:59 PM
It's been a while sine I've made some holsters. I just noticed Alabama Holster company has quit making their "Appendix" model and now offer the "Offside."
http://alabamaholster.com/index.php?p=2_4

:scrutiny:

Anyway...I'm going to make a batch for J frames this christmas break and will probably list them in the classifieds.

J.Boyette
December 10, 2010, 12:08 AM
Go buy some blue / red guns.

no need in using real pistols.

:)

TDR911
December 18, 2010, 09:16 AM
I also use plastic airsoft guns as molds. Just have to add Bondo is some areas.

gwillis6
January 3, 2011, 07:40 PM
Good job! You need to make Glocks and PM9's and LCP's to make the big bucks.

Well, it takes about an hour to make a $50.00 holster (if you take pride in your work anyway). Subtract $15.00 per holster for materials, insurance, advertising, etc........."Big Bucks"?....No....I guess I could hire Mexicans to do the work and buy materials from China to cut costs and increase profit margin as some do but as I said I take pride in my work and I enjoy what I do.

gwillis6
January 3, 2011, 07:47 PM
I just noticed Alabama Holster company has quit making their "Appendix" model and now offer the "Offside."
http://alabamaholster.com/index.php?p=2_4

I did not quit making the AAH it is just on a different page as I updated the website and moved some things around.

It is now here:
http://alabamaholster.com/index.php?p=2_27

Good luck with the holsters. The one you made looks like my Offside model which I have been making for three years or so. Several other companies have been making it for many years. It's a great holster for the J frame.

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