Kydex is a moldable plastic that is used in making custom holsters. Custom holsters are necessary for guns that would be too small or large for standard sized holsters. Purchasing these custom holsters can be quite expensive. Making them yourself can lead to a rewarding hobby. Once you have made several holsters and feel confident in your creations, you can begin selling them to bring in a little extra income.
Unload the gun and place it on a cut sheet of heavy duty plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic wrap tightly around the gun so that the barrel, the chamber and trigger mechanism are well covered. If you don't have heavy duty plastic wrap you can use a food preserver vacuum sealer. Insert the gun into the plastic vacuum sealer bag and draw all the air out of it. On some models of vacuum sealers, this is done when you press the button, on others you press the front of the sealer downward to draw out the air. These food preservation bags are stronger than heavy duty plastic and help prevent ripping and tearing.
Press the gun into the clay mold until it is at least halfway deep into the clay. If you are making a double sided molded holster, you will have to flip the gun over into another clay mold to create the other side of the holster.
Remove the gun from the clay and unwrap the plastic. Check for clay in each crevice of the gun, if it is clear set it aside. If you spot clay, use some gun oil and an old toothbrush to remove it before it dries.
Mix the fast-acting plaster according to the directions on the package.
Fill the clay mold with the plaster and allow it to dry.
Drill 3/4-inch holes in evenly spaced rows and columns on the 11-by-17-inch plywood. Make 18 horizontal rows then 18 vertical columns of holes.
Attach a 2-inch PVC collar to the underside corner of this board using 1/2-inch screws and a screwdriver. Insert the 2-inch hose of a utility vacuum into the collar.
Molding the Kydex
Preheat your oven to 370 degrees Fahrenheit to prepare the Kydex. If you are using a piece of Kydex less than 1.5 mm thick preheat the oven to 340 degrees.
Place the four bricks in the oven 12 inches apart in a square pattern. Place the wood frame on top of the bricks. The piece of Kydex will rest on the bricks and the frame while it is heating and you want all four sides supported.
Put the Kydex sheet into the oven to heat up when the appropriate temperature is attained. While the Kydex sheet is in the oven warming, place the plaster mold of the gun in the center of the vacuum board.
Watch the Kydex bake. After ripples form and then begin to smooth out, it is ready. Remove the Kydex using the wood frame and set it down immediately over the plaster mold of the gun. If there are wrinkles or creases use the edge of a ruler to straighten them out.
Turn on the utility vacuum. The Kydex will bend around the form of the plaster mold. Let the Kydex cool while the utility vacuum is still running so it retains the shape of the gun.
Cut the mold from the Kydex sheet with a utility knife when the material has hardened. Leave a border of 1/2 inch around the edge for sewing the holster to the leather patch that will serve as the back of the holster.
Use a hammer and a small finishing nail to make the sewing holes in the Kydex. These holes should be evenly spaced and go around the entire edge of the holster.
Cut the piece of leather to fit the back of the holster and use a leather needle and heavy duty thread for denim to sew the patch onto the holster. Tie off the thread when the last stitch is sewn and spray water sealant on the leather. Let the sealant dry.
Items you will need
- Heavy duty plastic wrap or food preserver vacuum sealer
- Clay mold
- Gun oil
- Old toothbrush
- Fast acting plaster
- 1/2-inch sheet of 11-by-17-inch plywood
- 3/4-inch drill bit
- 1/2-inch screws
- 2-inch PVC collar
- Utility vacuum
- Four bricks
- Wood frame
- Kydex sheet 11-by-17-inch
- Utility knife
- Finishing nail
- Leather patch larger than gun
- Leather sewing needle
- Heavy duty thread
- Water sealant
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