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Old 07-10-2015, 02:18 AM
5kwkdw3 5kwkdw3 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Central Valley of California
Posts: 3
A cheap but effective Kydex press

Well folks I'm getting there I think? If you missed it. This iron (maybe steel would be more accurate) pile with nuts and bolts was originally intended to laminate blocks of wood with a finished banjo rim to be the end result. Never got that far and when my wife and I moved, my son thought he might get some use out of the parts so it was left with him. Well my son as he in known to do, forgot about it and left it in the backyard and in the dirt. You see quality tools and simple projects like this are better if they're left to rust in the dirt (don't laugh he's done it to me a time or two). After our last visit with him, it was time for him to move and in reverse I was given the very same pile of nuts, bolts, and steel. Figuring I'd just restore it and ???? I'd figure out what I'd do with it later.

That's when I thought "KYDEX PRESS?". Yep that's it. Off I went and this is the result. I have two pieces of 1/2" steel that are 12 X 12. Two pieces of 16 gauge sheet metal the same 12 X 12 and some homemade 3/4" acme bolts which were made from a 3' piece of allthread. I also took a leftover cutting board and cut from one end to fill in the gaps on the other direction to end up with a 12 X 12 piece to also fit the press. For normal taco fold holsters I'd have the steel and sheet metal (covers a central hole so the foam won't enter and deform) and the Kydex foam (still on order and not received). Bolts loosened and kids fixed blocks would hold the top half of the press above the bottom half. Heated Kydex sheet gets wrapped around the gun and inserted into the press and the rings on the kid block sets gets pulled, one from each side. This allows the top half to drop down on the work and the bottom half. A fair amount of pressure is applied just from the steel weight alone, but once there the unique single size ratchet gets put into use to tighten it all up and apply an enormous amount of pressure if so desired. Cool down and holster removal for final finishing is all that's left.

Now the butcher block piece is when I want to do a half holster piece as in a hybrid holster. This time the bottom half would only consist of the butcher block itself. The top half would be the same steel, sheet metal and kydex foam. Again the kids blocks would keep the press open and be removed once the heated kydex is in place.

Overall the project was a fun one and the end result will work quite well indeed. I have a 12 X 12 working area with the exception of the corners (due to the acme bolts). Fixed presses only have one mounting attachment (usually a chain) and that only applies pressure from that one spot. I can however, differ the amount of each corner being tightened so if the back portion is thicker than the rest, I can lighten up on the back two bolts while tightening more the front two bolts for the thinner holster area. It of course has to stay on the same plane, but with this I can angle to one side or the other as needed. I also don't have to worry about the chain coming loose or a wood clamp popping off and pressure being released and the kydex coming undone. It's kind of overkill, but this guy isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Like the infomercials, "Just set it and forget it".

Just with the experimenting I've done so far: I realize that I'll be able to form multiple folds with the same piece of Kydex. I made a kydex ice pick sheath (the kind of "Killer" type of ice pick you may have seen?), by rolling a heated piece of Kydex and rolling it up on the ice pick. It gave full protection and was eminently stronger than a single or double fold piece of Kydex. With a single layer it might have been possible to sit on the holster/pick and end up picking an area that one would not like to pick. With a roll of three to four layers tightly wrapped around the pick and lessened down to a single layer around the handle and belt loop, it was one strong holster that protected the person carrying the pick and protected the pick from bending or poking something it should not have. A bit heavy? Yep, but after all it was free (except for the foam) and it kept me busy for a few days. I'm happy. Onto the next project. Smithy.

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Old 07-10-2015, 10:59 AM
KNAdmin's Avatar
KNAdmin KNAdmin is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,119
Hi Smithy,

That thing looks stout!

$100 in parts, $300 in labor?


Alex Whetsell

Atlanta NOC
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abs, angle, apply, bee, boltaron, chain, concealex, fixed, forge, handle, holster, holsters, holstex, homemade, iron, kydex, plastic, press, sheath, simple, steel, tools, wood

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