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The Sheath/Holster Makers Forum This is the place to discuss all forms of sheath and holster making.

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Old 11-22-2013, 03:50 PM
Bbs383ci Bbs383ci is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: South East Texas
Posts: 79
Thinking about kydex

Ok guys I am a newbie to knives I think I have made about 22 to date and I have been using leather for sheaths and leather is expensive time consuming, I used to like doing it now I dread having to make sheaths.

Do I have to have the arbor press to make quality sheaths with kydex?

Is it easier to deal with than leather?

And any other questions I didn't ask that y'all could fill I. Lol
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:38 AM
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ATalley ATalley is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greenwood IN
Posts: 325
Hi Ya Dustin,

My apologies for this being almost a year late!

I dont think there is a moderator for the thermoform forum. There doesn't seem to be a great interest in the material, or at least its fair to say Kydex is overlooked as an art form. I recently went to the knifemakers guild show in Louisville KY, and only a couple people who offered kydex sheaths even tried to make them look good. It seems like I hear a lot of guys who "hate" kydex...

To answer your question about the arbor press- NO, its not a requirement -you can set the roll rivets with a hand punch, similar to canvas eyelets, But the arbor press gives you far greater control when setting them, if you're planning on making a lot of sheaths and holster...its well worth the investment. More consistant pressure and you'll avoid smashing the bejabbers out of the little brass roll rivets.

I think Kydex is a great material, its more rigid than leather, cheaper, and doesn't harbor bacteria. Is it better then leather....apples to oranges....its has different applications. You dont get the 'feel' or the smell or the beauty. Some claim "kydex wear" which I contend stems from foreign debris stuck to/in the material. Kydex is function over form.

This stuff works well. You dont have to have an expensive vacuum press to mold it, foam works great. Like any craft you have to learn how to work the material to get the desired outcome.

Dustin, I hope you still check in from time to time and read this. Again my apologies on not catching this last year! Ha

My two cents on it anyways.



"We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends." Shel Silverstein
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:11 PM
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BCROB BCROB is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: BC
Posts: 884
is and looks cheap...........just my measily $.02 worth

B.C. Canada
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:29 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 2,822
First, that is rather stunning that it took a year to get a response to a pretty good question!

Cheap? Umm, I'd say it depends on the knife. Chris Daigle made several push knives for guys fighting in Afghanistan and used Kydex for the sheaths. They looked very nice and were very practical for the application.

Kydex is pretty cool stuff to work with for any number of applications, including using it as an interior or support in a sheath or holster. I've used it to make the belt hook for an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster and it was pretty easy to make exactly the shape I needed with a cheap heat gun. There are all sorts of rivets and eyelets and other accessories that can be used to customize a Kydex application. And - considering how easy it is to shape - the stuff is remarkably durable.

God bless Texas! Now let's secede!!
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