A Kydex Thread

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archangel
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby archangel » Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:46 am

Question: to bring the kydex into the shape I want, is heating = softening it and then cutting it with regular scissors an option? Have you tried this? Or does fitting it while it's cold and stiff bring any benefits?
Michael
40 Spydies, 39 different models, 37 different steels

"What do we say to the God of Death? NOT TODAY" *** KEEP FIGHTING ***

Skidoosh
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Skidoosh » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:27 am

archangel wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:46 am
Question: to bring the kydex into the shape I want, is heating = softening it and then cutting it with regular scissors an option? Have you tried this? Or does fitting it while it's cold and stiff bring any benefits?
Yes, heating=softening=shaping. You need to press it to form it. If you form it prior to heating it could be distorted.

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archangel
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby archangel » Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:38 pm

Skidoosh wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:27 am
archangel wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:46 am
Question: to bring the kydex into the shape I want, is heating = softening it and then cutting it with regular scissors an option? Have you tried this? Or does fitting it while it's cold and stiff bring any benefits?
Yes, heating=softening=shaping. You need to press it to form it. If you form it prior to heating it could be distorted.

I know you need to heat it in order to be able to form it.. Question was if the kydex can be cut with scissors when it's hot. I think the tutorial explains how to shape it when it's cold and stiff.
Michael
40 Spydies, 39 different models, 37 different steels

"What do we say to the God of Death? NOT TODAY" *** KEEP FIGHTING ***

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Xplorer
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Xplorer » Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:36 pm

Yes. It's buttery soft when hot and will cut with scissors. Bigger meat shears like you find in the kitchen (often in knife blocks) is a good way to go. Remember it cools fast though.

Speaking of temp, in order to get clean lines and good formation I heat mine in a toaster oven set to 400 F. It heats for about 120 - 180 seconds and when I take it out it's hot enough to be difficult to handle with bare hands and completely limp. I then do my best to get everything positioned and get the pressure on it as fast as possible. If I don't pressure down within 30 seconds I don't get as good of a result because the kydex is cooling so quickly.
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
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Xplorer
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Xplorer » Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:02 pm

I trim the outer shape after it cools so that I don't interrupt the cooling and distort any of the contours I've formed. I usually rough cut it out on a band saw and then finish shaping it on my knife grinder.
However, instead of the band saw you can use a utility razor/knife (carefully as you start the lines) and it only takes a few cut strokes to cut deeply enough to be able to bend the kydex back and forth and break it along the cut line.
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

Skidoosh
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Skidoosh » Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:41 pm

Sorry Archangel, I didn't fully understand the question.

Xplorer- any hints on flaring rivets?

yablanowitz
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby yablanowitz » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:48 pm

I've flared them with a center punch and a ball pein hammer, but the proper tools aren't terribly expensive and make the job much easier.

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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Xplorer » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:53 pm

I put up a link earlier in this thread for the inexpensive tool that will do the job. It's $11.99. If you have it already and are still struggling to get clean flares, put a drop of oil (lube) in the lower dish of the tool to help the brass slip as it stretches.
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

sbdude
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby sbdude » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:58 am

Appreciate all the good info here. I'm hoping to get a Mule on Thursday and if so, will be making scales and a sheath for it. Actually will probably make a couple sheaths, bought a bunch of leather REALLY cheap at an auction a couple weeks ago and will also try a kydex one.

I do have one question, what do you use for the foam on your kydex press?

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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Xplorer » Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:49 am

sbdude wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:58 am

..I do have one question, what do you use for the foam on your kydex press?
Molding foam.

You can cut this 11.5 x 11.5 piece in half and use 2 pieces 11.5 x 5.75 to mold a sheath no problem.
https://usaknifemaker.com/mold-foam-for ... ene-1.html

I've been using the same piece of this specific foam for over 6 years (roughly 200 sheaths) now and still don't need to replace it. https://www.knifekits.com/vcom/sheathho ... -4292.html

Apparently this stuff is the new "latest, greatest" version. I haven't tried it, but I'm sure it's excellent stuff too. When I need to order more I'll probably order this one next time.
https://www.knifekits.com/vcom/sheathho ... 10056.html
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

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archangel
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby archangel » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:10 am

Wait - you made 200 sheaths?? :eek:

You do this for a living, right? :p
Michael
40 Spydies, 39 different models, 37 different steels

"What do we say to the God of Death? NOT TODAY" *** KEEP FIGHTING ***

sbdude
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby sbdude » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:00 pm

Xplorer wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:49 am
sbdude wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:58 am

..I do have one question, what do you use for the foam on your kydex press?
Molding foam.

You can cut this 11.5 x 11.5 piece in half and use 2 pieces 11.5 x 5.75 to mold a sheath no problem.
https://usaknifemaker.com/mold-foam-for ... ene-1.html

I've been using the same piece of this specific foam for over 6 years (roughly 200 sheaths) now and still don't need to replace it. https://www.knifekits.com/vcom/sheathho ... -4292.html

Apparently this stuff is the new "latest, greatest" version. I haven't tried it, but I'm sure it's excellent stuff too. When I need to order more I'll probably order this one next time.
https://www.knifekits.com/vcom/sheathho ... 10056.html

Awesome!!! Thanks for the info and links!!

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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby TkoK83Spy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:13 pm

I know this is the Kydex thread, but man those handles you come up with are incredible Chad!! Beautiful work!
23 :spyder:'s in 14 different steels
2 - Bradford Guardian 3's (Wharnie Vanadis 4E and 3V/Drop Point)
1- Zero Tolerance 0470
1 - Microtech Ultratech DE OTF
1 - Benchmade 940 (BHQ Exclusive/M4)
1 - CRK Small Sebenza 31/Macassar Ebony Inlays
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby TomAiello » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:01 pm

Xplorer wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:01 pm
Just tryin' to be helpful. ;)
If that's your goal, you are knocking it out of the park.

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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Xplorer » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:21 pm

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:13 pm
I know this is the Kydex thread, but man those handles you come up with are incredible Chad!! Beautiful work!
That's really nice of you :), I genuinely appreciate the compliment. My handles are a "labor of love" that take so much time I end up making about $1.50 per hour when I sell a knife (if I choose to sell them at all) :o. I just think a high quality custom knife should be as enjoyable to look at it is to use. I really just make them for myself and then reluctantly sell them if I need money to make the next one. :p
Last edited by Xplorer on Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Xplorer » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:22 pm

TomAiello wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:01 pm
Xplorer wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:01 pm
Just tryin' to be helpful. ;)
If that's your goal, you are knocking it out of the park.

Thanks Tom! I'm very happy you think so. I really do hope more people get inspired by these threads and we see more Mule handles and sheaths being made at home as a result. Sometimes, there are things we didn't know we could do until someone shows that it's within reach. I want people to see that it only takes a little "want to", a dash of "stick-to-it-tive-ness" and maybe answers to a few questions for anyone to get to feel the pride that comes from carrying their Mule with their own custom handle and sheath. :)
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

TomAiello
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby TomAiello » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:43 pm

Xplorer wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:21 pm
I really just make them for myself and then reluctantly sell them if I need money to make the next one. :p
Any time you feel that need... :)

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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Xplorer » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:46 pm

archangel wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:10 am
Wait - you made 200 sheaths?? :eek:

You do this for a living, right? :p
:p I just noticed this comment and realized you were talking to me :p

That was just a "ballpark" estimate. It's probably more than that. I stopped trying to keep track about 2 years ago. I don't do this for a living, but I might do it for an additional retirement income-boost one day ;) . I've been working at making knives 7 days a week for 5 of the past 6 years. I gave myself 15 years to get "good" at it. 9 years from now my apprentice time is up and, I'm either going to be a really good knife maker or I'll have to start learning how to make watches or coo coo clocks something :D :p
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

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Bolster
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Re: A Kydex Thread

Postby Bolster » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:46 am

Reminder of good tutorial here:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=81515


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