Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Working kydex.

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by elsullo, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    51
    Working with kydex is probably old news to a lot of people, but I just learned some things about it. I recently got a nice used kydex holster. It was not quite a perfect match for my particular pistol so I sought to improve it. Kydex is heat-formed, so I inverted the holster and dipped it into a bowl of boiling water for twenty seconds or so---AAAAAAAGH! Most of the previous fitting to the gun reverted to a smooth sheet bulge, and would not be pressed back to the gun's shape! My conclusion: DON'T DO THAT!

    The thing about hot water is that when you remove the kydex the clinging water evaporates, and essentially flash-cools the kydex so it cannot be worked. I realized that I had to use hot air, and got out an old hot air popcorn popper to try. I put the unloaded pistol in the holster on the bench, removed the plastic chute from the air popper and inverted it right over the kydex. It took about TEN SECONDS to soften the kydex so I could squeeze it tightly around the pistol and into the trigger guard. It took a couple of trys on some spots, but Voil-la! The kydex cooled and hardened exactly as I squeezed it. A perfect fit with a "snap-in" trigger guard hold!

    A hair dryer might work, but it is probably not hot enough for quick work. Every thrift store has cheap used popcorn air poppers if you don't already have one. This worked so well that I call it FUN!........................elsullo :D
     
  2. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider Tacoma, Wa Member

    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    4
    forget the hair dryer, use a heat gun! And work one area at a time, using something with a contoured shape, like a spoon, to bone the curves into it that you want. Much like a holstermaker uses boning to form leather. If its only the retention that is not good enough for you, adjust it by pressing the kydex slightly tighter around the trigger guard.

    disclaimer- I am not an expert in kydex, and have never worked with the material. I have owned several kydex products, and draw from my experience, and the manufacturers' suggestions regarding the material.... and I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! :D
     
  3. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Eugene OR, DUH! We're ALL in the NORTHWEST Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,367
    Likes Received:
    77
    I use a thrift store toaster oven to make holster bodies. You could probably use one of the heat guns they have at Harbor Freight (like $7.99. I think) with good results, to fine tune an already made holster.
     
  4. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider Tacoma, Wa Member

    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    4
    Again, I say heat gun, or some method by which you can apply heat to only one area at a time. If you heat the entire material it will all be soft, and will all be suseptable to deformation.