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Thread: Kydex sheath and holster making...

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    FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU Anonymous D's Avatar
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    Photos Kydex sheath and holster making...

    I recently started looking into making kydex holsters. I did alot of research, and it actually seemed pretty easy from everything I saw. Basically, you heat the kydex, then put it in a foam press with what ever youre making a holster or sheath for, then take it out, trime, put in the eylets, and finish the edge.

    I got all my stuff today, and I decided to start off with something quick and easy since I have to be at work later today. Since I use a bar blade for work, I decided to make a sheath for it.

    First I started by shaping a piece of wood so that it would leave a larger opening so that inserting the blade would be easier, I then taped it in place.




    Then I went ahead and cut out two pieces of kydex, and went ahead and put them in my toaster oven. I start out at 150*, then after a few minutes, bump it up to 200*, then after a few more, bump it up to 250*. Im still getting used to working with the kydex, so I still need to fine tune my heating process.

    After it has been in the oven long enough, it will be pretty flimsy. Almost like a sheet of putty. I used some mechanic gloves, and pulled it out, put the bottom piece in the press, then put bar blade, and then the top sheet and closed and clamped the press.

    After about 10-15 minutes to cool, I was left with this.




    I had to pry the two sheets apart. They were stuck pretty good. But I got them apart, drilled the holes, put the eylets in, and proceeded to cut, sand, and shape it.

    I started with this:


    And I finished with this:


    Heres a picture of the back. I put the belt loop like that so I can have it at a good angle for when I need to pull it out or sheath it.
    I need to get an arbor press for the eylets though. The hammer method Im using isnt fully pressing the eylets. They are snug, but look like crap.



    This took me about 2.5 hours to do from start to finish. Once I get the hang of it, I should be able to crank out holsters. Im going to go get an arbor press from Harbor Freight tomorrow, and then Ill start making holsters. Probably start with my Sig P228.
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    Now onto a gun. I started on my Sig P228 last night after work, and am almost finished. I may finish it after work today.

    Anyways, I started out by pressing the outside of the holster.



    Then with the cooled outside part in the press, I pressed the inside half. Its marked for trimming.



    Then I trimmed the front and back halves.





    Then I trimmed and sanded the front half and after that I drilled the holes for the eylets on the front half. And using the holes there, I was able to mark for them on the other half.



    And this is how it sits right now. I still need to trim up the back half, and then Ill take them to my polishing wheel to blend the seams.




    Oh and the gun is stuck in the holster. I need to take a heat gun to the area around the ejection port so it will loosen up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    That's pretty cool Anon. Looks like you need to work on your straight lines a bit though. I'd love to get into something like this but I don't have the space.

    Here is a Kydex Credit Card Holder that a guy on another forum made me. I like it but I wished I would have gotten the bigger size. I underestimated the number of cards I had to carry.


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    Yea, I need to get a belt sander. Im having trouble getting the sides perfectly straight with the sanding drum on my Dremel.

    Mind getting a few more pics of that thing so I can see how its made and possibly make one?

    And as far as space, well Ill have to show you my work area. Its seriously like a 6x6 room. I have like a 3x4 area to stand. But I can fit all my stuff. Gotta move it around all the time though. And I went get an arbor press and scroll saw at Harbor Freight yestersay. I can make my cuts so much better.

    I hung some pegboard on the wall to maximize my storage. I have two full sheets left too. So Ill probably put some more all around.





    And heres my new arbor press and scroll saw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    Maybe you could make up something to mount the dremel to your bench with cable clamps or something.

    Here is the thread where I first found the card wallet. Here is the album. I think he charged me 15 or 20 bucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic View Post
    Maybe you could make up something to mount the dremel to your bench with cable clamps or something.

    Here is the thread where I first found the card wallet. Here is the album. I think he charged me 15 or 20 bucks.
    I got the sturdiest Dremel in the land.


    Its just that the drum is too small to get a good edge without some waves in it. Im getting better, but a belt sander would be much quicker and easier.

    Anyway, Im almost done with my first holster. I still need to get my heat gun so I can contour the edges. And I need to clean up the fuzz from my buffing wheel left on it, and get the yellow marker off. I was able to get the gun out the holster, but it was a PITA. Im gonna have to get rid of the ejection port indentations completely. I put some cardboard in it before I molded so it wouldnt get too tight there, but the press just mushed the cardboard. Ill make it out of kydex next time.





    And here it is compared to my $90 Raven Concealment holster. I copied their pattern for the eylets, that way I can use their belt attachments if I want. I made template of it out of kydex, so its easily repeatable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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    It looks real good man. You're going to be awesome at this.

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    Senior Member smith357's Avatar
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    Very good work, I have been learning how to stitch together and bone some leather holsters and have wondered about dabbling in Kydex.
    Green is the new Red.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smith357 View Post
    Very good work, I have been learning how to stitch together and bone some leather holsters and have wondered about dabbling in Kydex.
    Kydex is pretty simple. Im learning how to work with it and its getting easier. I went and got an infrared thermometer so I can tell exactly how hot the kydex is. Im getting MUCH better results. I DEFINITELY recommend that anyone attempting to make a kydex holster pick up an infrared thermometer. I got mine for like $40 at Lowes. But there is one for like $25 at Harbor Freight. The closest store is too far away though, and their shipping takes forever. I ordered my heat gun from them almost a week ago and it wont be here till Friday.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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    I had a dream

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    Ok, this post will be a small HOW-TO. Ill make a better one once I get it all figured out, but Im picking it up pretty quickly.

    This is for a light bearing holster. The one Im making is a Glock 19 and a TLR-1. This holster did NOT come out after two attempts, but I will post what I did anyway so anyone can learn from my mistakes.

    The thing you need to learn about hydex holsters before you even attempt to make them is that any indentations or bulges HAVE to have a clear path all the way to the back of the holster, so that you can draw and reholster the weapon easily. So in order to do that with a light on the front, I took my dremel to a small section of 1 1/4 PVC and made it fit over the trigger guard. I also completely filled in the ejection port. I found some cardboard thats perfect for that. Its basically a bunch of thin sheets of cardboard glued together, so its not going to compress at all like the crappy cardboard did on the first holster I made. And I can peel off layers to make it thinner.



    I also have the body of a pen put between the sights so it leaves room for the front sight. I need to get a wooden dowel though. The pen is warping from the heat. Worked good for a few runs though.

    Another thing with a light bearing holster is that it will bind up on the back of the light itself, and the screw on a TLR-1 is a monstrosity if youre making a holster for it. So you need to make sure both of them are taken care of. I cut a piece of kydex and taped it on like this.



    You will need to do both sides like this. Now here is one part I messed up on. The strips of kydex in this picture got too soft and were molded with everything else instead of keeping their shape and keeping the path clear. So tomorrow I have to go to Lowes and get a small dowel for the sight channel, a large one for the trigger guard (it to got too hot and pretty much melted and got smushed.), and some kind of wood strips for the sides.

    But anyways, if you have everything setup, you can go ahead and measure and cut your kydex. All you have to do to cut it is score it with a razor a few times, and then just snap it off. And I like to leave a little extra on the sides, that way I know I dont end up with too little. Then you will want to take the part that will be the back of the holster, and draw an outline of the gun with whatever cant you want on it. This way when youre in a ruch to get the hot kydex in the press, you dont have to wonder if you have everything right. I forgot to do this, and ended up putting the cant on the gun the wrong way. Luckily, kydex is very forgiving and I just reheated it.

    Now just throw it in the toaster oven. I start at 150*, then after a little bit, bump it up to 200*, and then 250* and possibly a little higher if needed. I check it constantly with my infrared thermometer. Its better to slowly heat up the kydex too. You dont want to get the oven up to 300* and then throw the kydex in because if it heats too fast, it will start to warp and shrink.



    Keep checking it until you get it to the proper temperature. Once it gets somewhat hot, it is like putty. If it werent so hot it would be fun to play with. lol



    Once you get it up to the proper temperature (Ive been stopping around 300*, but the manufacturer says that it can go up to around 350*) then pull it out, throw it in the press, put the gun on it, and then put the other sheet on top. You can also do one sheet at a time, but you have to put the cooled sheet in when you do the second sheet. That way the depth on the second one matches the first sheet.



    I decided to make a video of myself pressing it, so you can see exactly what you have to do. Its pretty simple though.



    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Oh, I also made this mag carrier for my .308 today. Still needs to be trimmed obviously.



    I was also able to get the retention just right on my Sig holster. I still havent gotten my heat gun, and I got impatient, so I actually held a lighter under it a few inches away and moved it around so it wasnt in one spot too long. Got it hot enough, and was able to get rid of the ejection port indentations. Then I took it to the back half around the trigger guard and loosened it up there some too. Works great now. Its even got that nice click that my Raven Concealment holster has. I also made the edges MUCH better. I rounded them and polished them up real nice. Now I wait for the heat gun so I can bend the edges so it contours to my side. Not gonna try that with a lighter. lol



    EDIT: And from this picture, I can tell I missed a spot. lmao
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    I had a dream

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    Finally made some money on a holster. My buddy gave me $20 to make a holster for his Glock 17.





    Im getting really good at this. This one took me about 3 hours from start to finish.
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    i'm gonna rape you

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

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    I just ordered some more stuff from www.knifekits.com (where I get ALL my stuff, they have everything you need). I got one of the clear sheets. Im probably going to make a holster for my Browning BuckMark with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

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    Threw this together today, and it came out really good. Im really starting to push how hot I can get the Kydex before it starts to melt and shrink, and so far, im doing pretty good. I got this sheet almost up to its melting point, and then pulled it out. I also had the foam in the press and the gun itself warmed up so that the Kydex wouldnt dump all its heat into the cold foam and gun as soon as it touched. Im getting GREAT definition like this.



    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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    i'm gonna rape you

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

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    Got bored and made a skeleton holster.





    When its in the holster, you cant pull it out by pulling straight down, but you have to torque the handle and get the muzzle to pop out. Its pretty easy like that.

    Now I wouldnt carry it around your neck because, well, you would have a loaded gun pointing at your chin.
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    I had a dream

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    Made this thing tonight. I decided to use some of the .06 Kydex I had, and It came out good. It still seems sturdy enough, but flexes more when the gun is out of the holster, so it doesnt dig into your side when the gun is unholstered. I put the OWB J hooks from my RC holster on it to see how it carries. I love it. I need to get a sub compact (probably an M&P Shield) because this thing is hardly smaller than my G19 and it is SO much more comfortable. Im going to carry it for a few days and see how it works out.





    Im going to take my heat gun tomorrow, and get rid of those waves at the end of the muzzle.
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    I had a dream

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    Ive been looking at it, and I think Im going to cut about an inch off the side with the top of the slide on it. Ill use the eyelet at the bottom as the last one on the row of them and then just add another.


    Also, anyone want to buy a holster?
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    I had a dream

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    Heres a list of the pistols I have that Ill make a holster for.

    Glock 19/23/32 (Gen 3)
    Springfield XD45 Tactical
    Springfield XD9 Sub Compact
    Glock 17/22/31 (Gen 3)
    S&W M&P9 (Available with or without threaded barrel)
    Sig Sauer P228
    Glock 20/21 (Gen 2)
    Browning BuckMark
    Taurus PT100 (May work with a Beretta 96, but not sure. I know the safety is different.)
    1911 (I have an old 1911A1, so nothing special)
    Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan .44 Mag (Havent done a revolver yet, but soon)


    Im down to try anything though. I want to experiment, so if you have an idea for anything, throw it my way.

    I wont be doing any light bearing holsters YET. I want to make sure I can do them good before I sell any.
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    I had a dream

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    Just made my first light bearing holster. It came out great. Took a while though. ALOT of the time was cutting the light channel jig and the strips on the side to leave a path for the screw and avoid snag points.

    Anyways, heres some pics.



    I decided to cut the sweat guard off at the last minute. I had already cleaned up all the edges and just had to put the belt loops on. But the sweat guard doesnt flow as good on a light bearing holster to me. Plus this one will never really be CC'd.









    Heres what it looked like with everything taped onto it.



    So far, Im getting pretty damn good at this. Once I make a few more light bearing holsters I may offer some up for sale.

    Anyone want to buy a holster for a S&W M&P9 with a threaded barrel? I dont really need it now. lol
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    I had a dream

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    Made another one tonight. Im getting very good at this. Ive pretty much perfected the seams, I just need a buffer and I can make them just as good as RC does. Anyways, I made a holster for my G19 and my newly acquired TLR-3. Im going to be carrying this daily to see how well it works with the extra bulk from the light, because light bearing holsters actually make the holster about an inch wider. I put some OWB J-Hooks I had on it, and tried it on. Initial impression is that it carries very well. But I do think Ill have to cut the front corner off and round it so it wont poke me when I sit or squat.

    Here are some pics. What do you think?







    And heres that awesome seam I was talking about. You have to do this on the belt sander. Sand it all smooth. Then roll the holster on it to make the edge round, and after that youll need to smooth it out by hand, or a buffer. I used a grey scotch brite pad (extra fine) and wet sanded it. Didnt take long at all to get it really nice and smooth.



    And on on the inside part of the screw channel, I decided to mess around and try to get my initials pressed into the holster. They are there, but you cant see them unless you are looking for them.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

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    Ok guys, Im now taking orders. I doubt Ill get much from here, but Ill still go ahead and do it. I ordered a shitload of kydex that will be here in a few days, and Ill also make light bearing holsters now.
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    i'm gonna rape you

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    I had a dream

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    Well I got like 19 square feet of kydex in today. Should last me a while. lol


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

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    Just made my first pistol mag carrier. Got brave and decided to try a double ma carrier for my M&P. Couldn't be happier with it.



    Now I'm gonna make a tan holster for my buddies tan XD45.
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    I had a dream

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    Got that holster done. I figure out a few new ways to do stuff so it makes the final product cleaner and a little more consistent too. Mainly, I put all the eyelets in, but didn't flare them. Then I finished all the edges, and then opened it back up and cleaned it out. Then I flared the eyelets. I can officially say my holsters are looking professional now. And other good news. I did this one in a little less than an hour and a half. A new record. Lmao

    Now I just need my order of screws to come in so I can put the belt loops on it. I ran outta screws. :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
    roses are red,
    violets are blue,
    deathmaster numbers,
    i'm gonna rape you

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

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    Well tonight was a pretty productive night. Here are the products of my insomnia.



    The digital holster for my M&P has a TLR-2 in it. The detail is hard to make out with the camo pattern Kydex. Makes it harder to know where to cut too since you cant really tell where anything is.

    I changed the way I make my light channel too. Makes for a slightly thinner holster. Im very happy with it, but Ill probably try and make it thinner on my G19/TLR-3 holster since I carry that one IWB. Im too tired to show what I did, but if anyone whats to know, let me know and Ill explain it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
    roses are red,
    violets are blue,
    deathmaster numbers,
    i'm gonna rape you

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

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    Made this for my buddies XDm. 40 tonight. Came out great.





    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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    violets are blue,
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    i'm gonna rape you

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

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    Made something new today. This is the first single mag carrier that I actually put a decent amount of time into. I kinda screwed up and sanded too close to one of the bottom eyelets, but its still got plenty of material to hold tight. And I also ran out of eyelets, so there are 4 holes in this thing with no eyelets. I have some more that should be here in a day or two. I went through a 100 pack since I started doing this, so I went ahead and ordered 200 of them this time. lol







    I made this for myself. Im going to see how I like carrying an extra mag for my G19 when I CC. And I want to carry it IWB. I HATE having to take my belt off to put my gun on, and this would be even worse because Id have to take almsot the whole belt off, so I went ahead and made some mini IWB overhooks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
    roses are red,
    violets are blue,
    deathmaster numbers,
    i'm gonna rape you

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

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    Senior Member DAVIDSDIVAD's Avatar
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    Lookin' pretty good.

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    Thanks. I just went pick up my new S&W M&P Shield, so I plan on making a holster for it after class today.
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  29. #29
    FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU Anonymous D's Avatar
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    So I havent updated this thread in a while. Im still making them, and they are coming out awesome.

    Heres a few Ive made.

    IWB Skeleton holster for my M&P Shield.



    OWB Shield holster and a mag carrier.



    Holster for my friends P22.



    Holster for my S&W 1911PD



    Made this for my Glock 19 and TLR-3 light before I traded it for the 1911.



    Here is my OWB holster set up for IWB carry, but I found that the corners dug into me too much.



    I made this to fix the corners poking me, but ended up creating another problem. Not enough material around the gun to support it.



    Then I made this to fix both of those issues. This was one I sold to someone on another forum.




    In a few days when get my FNP 45 Tactical, Ill be making a few holsters for it.
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  30. #30
    FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU Anonymous D's Avatar
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    Also, I plan on taking that soft loop off of the skeleton holster for my Shield. The soft loop tends to let the holster pop out of your pants when you draw the gun. Im going to attach a loop similar to the ones on the other IWB holsters I posted. It will attach to the bottom two holes, then screw into the hole where the loop is attached.
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  31. #31
    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic View Post
    That looks like a pain in the ass to make. Id rather just pay the $100 to get a real keyport. lol
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    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    The leatherman one but made in kydex would probably be a better idea. Kind of like a set of allen wrenches but with keys.

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