Kydex Help


August 19, 2011, 11:23 PM
I wasn't sure where to post this, so if this is the wrong area, sorry.

My friend came to me about two days ago and told me that he had ordered some kydex and needed my help. He told me what he needed and explained to me his sudden intrest with kydex.
Him being the one person, other than my wife, I can call if i really need someone, I took on the project.
I have a toaster oven, dremal tools, and almost everything else needed except a press setup.
Looking at the homemade and bought press setups online, I figure I can make one no problem.
The only question I really have is, other than the pads that can be bought online, what alternatives are there as far as press mold padding I can pick up locally?

If you enjoyed reading about "Kydex Help" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 20, 2011, 12:24 AM
That's a good question, I originially did not know how hard the foam had to be, so I used the mattress foam padding and that didn't work well at all. Make sure it's a good stiff pad. Other than checking with an upholstry strore, I'm not sure where you could get it, maybe Hobby Lobby.

Good luck, I think you'll really enjoy kydex.

August 20, 2011, 01:06 AM
Had a friend that made a vacuum press out of a shop vac and some plywood... google time! :)

August 20, 2011, 02:49 AM
I do have a small shop vac that serves me no purpose at the moment.... I was going to use it on my forge but found out the hard way that it puts out way too much psi via the tornado of hot embers and ashes that attempted to attack me.... Needless to say, Ive had better ideas.
I will definately check this out though.
I have a shooting mat. I wonder if that will work... It might not like the heat too much.

August 20, 2011, 08:45 AM
I don't see a vacuum press as really viable, though I don't know I've seen anyone try.

You need to set your press up so you can get it set and pressure on very quickly before the Kydex cools.

Plywood and cut-up sections of foam camp sleeping mat (roll-up mattress) work pretty well for the press, with a big pile of heavy "C" clamps or hand-screw clamps.

Good luck!

August 20, 2011, 09:28 AM
I have built a bunch of holsters and magazine carriers out of Kydex. Kleerdex gave me a 4’X4’ X.125” sample that I build quite a few out of 1800 325 3133.

First thing you have to do is make a pattern I used thin cardboard. Next you have to cut the shape out of Kydex. I have found a scroll saw ideal for this job. Note: Kydex has a grain side and smooth side if you lay it out and cut it backwards you’ll have a left handed “blank“ instead of a right. I used 250 degree oven temp an a non browning cookie sheet with foil on top of it and never left it in there for more than 2 minutes at a time. Balsa wood helps for some forms like the, Glock 34 with light, holster I built to take up dead space so the pistol draws smoothly. I also used ” aluminum bar stock that I milled to go over the front sight and into the rear this along with a aluminum channel were used to form the channel for the front sight (first step and it remained in place until the end so the channel is not destorted and it helps line up the two sides). Wood T nuts hold everything together and I used fuel line between the flaps for adjustment rubbers. I also built little fixtures to make the Z bends in the holders so they don’t slip off the belt. A heat gun is invaluable for the final touch up work. I leave the “blank” a bit over sized until finished and sand both sides at the same time with a belt sander when finished so everything looks even.

Leather gloves are a good plan and have fun if you mess up forming just chunk it back in the oven until it’s flat again.

I don't use any foam/press but here are a few I have built.

The sight channel comes out looking like this.

I bent up an aluminum jig to make the "Z's" for mag holders like this one.

August 20, 2011, 02:24 PM
When I was working with Kydex I used a homemade press using foam yoga pads. Worked great for what I was using it for. Just make sure to clamp it down pretty good to get the correct pressure on the Kydex.

make sure to use gloves and when working with Kydex make sure NOT TO over heat or you will end up with shiny spots. Once you have it warmed up you can use a heat gun to touch up on spots that may need more attention - just make sure to go in small doses.

Be safe,

August 28, 2011, 10:30 PM
Well, my buddys press is done ( for about a week now). I ended up using an old shooting mat I had laying around for the padding. The design I used wasn't what I would have gone with but he's happy...
That being said, I'm hopefully going to build my press tomorrow morning when I get off of work. The differences between mine and his are going to be pad thickness and "hinging" method. I'll actually be using knotted paracord for my front and rear hinges/pressure application. Of course the knots in the p cord will be spaced for pressure adjustment. I'm going with the k.i.s.s. method on mine.
I have also purchased a heat gun and my kydex sheets and rivets should be here Monday or Tuesday. I already have an old toaster oven.
I have a couple of test pilot projects that won't take much material to play with. I've got 5 12in x 12in sheets ordered along with a 100 count of eyelets for the thickness of kydex I'll be using. I'm going to have less than $50 in the project so if by chance it doesn't work out I'm taking a pricy hit. The heat gun has already been used for other projects so I'm not counting it.
Either way, I should be posting pictures when I get it rolling.
I would like to thank everyone for their help. It sparked the ideas I needed to build one of the most important things I needed for this project.

August 28, 2011, 10:31 PM
Btw, nice work jmorris. I'm gonna have to make a couple of jigs to make things a lot easier.

August 29, 2011, 02:10 PM
Another option for the foam ... the kneeling pads often sold in gardening departments.

I'll echo the "don't overheat" advice and add that Kydex releases toxic vapors at temps in excess of about 400 F. I keep my toaster oven set at 350.

For clamps, I use QuickGrip-style bar clamps like the one pictured below.

August 30, 2011, 07:19 AM
Well, I didn't get my press built yesterday. Apparently I needed sleep. That's ok though. It's game on now.
My kydex delivery should be here today and I'm starting on my press. Hopefully I everything will go smoothly.....

If you enjoyed reading about "Kydex Help" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!