Continued from previous post
Heating the kydex is very simple, but if you do it wrong you'll have ripples and shine spots. at 250 degrees, in my oven I only needed to leave it there 1.5 minutes to get it nice and floppy. When you first heat up a piece, open it frequently to check if its getting all messed up. It shouldn't be, but just to be safe.
Do the bottom piece first. Put the floppy piece on the bottom mold, and place the handgun right where you want it. Put books or something on the edges so you don't cause it to flare up. Then just press down on your handgun. Press hard, and rely on the thickness of the mold to control the depth of the kydex. Hold it for a good 30 seconds, then leave it to cool.
After the bottom piece is cooled, place it again on the bottom mold. This time place your handgun there. After that, place a piece of flat something on both sides, left and right (by that I mean front and back when you have the holster to your hip.) I used those flat crafts wood sticks; 2 layers of it. This will give you enough room for tension adjustability.
Then take the heated outer kydex sheet and line it up, then carefully put the top mold on there and press down hard. If the bottom kydex is fully cooled, it won't budge. I put my whole weight on the hardcover book.
4. Place the gun on top of the thin leather piece. Then place both of them into the molded kydex, and trace an outline. Use siscors to cut it to that shape, try not to have any sharp corners or frayed ends.
Then apply a good amount of PVC contact cement on the kydex, and press your leather piece into it by hand. Make sure you don't have areas where the leather is floating. Wipe off most of the excess goop, but use a flat wood stick, plastic spoon, whatever to apply some of the cement to the edges, then use the same tool to further press down onto the edges. Really take care to make sure the leather will stay on and not start lifting up after repeated holster use. It takes like 20-30 mins for it to set properly.
5. Then join the two pieces together with the gun in the middle. On one side (front or back), place the two pieces completely together and drill two holes, far top and far bottom. You need space in the middle later for your belt clips. On the other side (back for mine), place a flat piece of something in between the two molded sheets and once again, and drill through the two kydex layer, flat piece, and everything. Refer to my picture if you have trouble figuring out where to drill.
Use the chicago screws or automotive bolts to secure the pieces together. On the side where you left space using the flat pieces, put the appropriate amount of washers between the kydex sheets.
6. Test your holster. Even with the extra space you probably can't draw your weapon. This is because of various pins and levers on your handgun. Take a heat gun, put it in its low settings and slowly heat up the appropriate local area, and all the way up to the holster mouth; don't stay in one spot too long or else you'll shine the kydex. then move your handgun in and out of the holster, like you're sodomozing it, but do it slowly. Do it for all of the areas necessary. If you did it too much and your holster won't hold the gun in, then you can always remove some washers so don't worry.
What you want to end up with is nice retension so that even if you hold the holster upside down and shake up and down it a little bit, the gun (+ loaded magazine weight) doesn't fall out.
6. We're not done yet. Now, try to grip your handgun. You probably will not be able to get all three fingers onto the grip. So what you are going to do is cut out the back (opposite of forward when you wear the holster) side appropriately. Use a jigsaw or hand saw to make this cut. Its okay if the bottom of the trigger guard is exposed. You may end up having to cut out one of the holes, if so don't worry about it.
6.5. I needed to take this step. You may not need to. Now that I cut out a piece of kydex with the hole and bolt in, I only had 1 screw on that side holding the sheets together. Before you go off drilling another hole, line up the holster to your belt, and place your belt clips on the holster. Mark where you need to drill the holes.
I just used the belt clip screw mounting hole as my second mounting hole for that side. Don't mount the clips yet.
7. One more step! Finishing touches.
Place the kydex on your hip and notice how blocky it is. While all of the screws are on there, take your heat gun and heat up both sides (inside outside) of the holster, along the edge of where the gun sits and the flat place where all of your screws are mounted. I only had to do this on the front side, but you may need to do it on both of the sides.
After that, place it on top of your clothes right at your hip where it will mount. Bend and form the heated side to your body.
8. Make sure everything is nice and tiiight. Don't strip your screws but get it very tight so nothing falls out. I recommend a small dab of weak strength loctite (remember, we aren't talking about structural or automotive forces here) on all of your screws.
Take a dremel, hacksaw, file and jigsaw and cut sharp corners and then sand down the cut edges. You are finished, sir, I hope you enjoy your holster!
When I make my wife's leaher/kydex hybrid holster, I will post another how-to and hopefully this time with pictures.
Its a cougar 8040
Originally Posted by kenny_free
When I fall on it or something I'll let you know how durable the holster is. I'm not worried about the kydex itself, but worried about the belt clips.
Oh and also, this one I kinda screwed up cosmetically but it works well.
No leather lining, I really don't care if I scuff up my magazines.
Last edited by dwkfym; 4/27/2011 9:08pm at .
Wow 250 is a really low plastic point. I'm surprised we don't see more kydex failure in hot desert conditions and inside vehicles.
I heard that the kydex in thinner gauge gets all pliable when left in hot vehicles.
I wonder if my oven runs hotter? I don't think so because people have used boiling water to great effect.
Pictured right is the holster I made for the 92fs. I'll add more pics of it when I get to taking pictures. This one has a built in slight cant of about 5-10 degrees which I found to be very nice.
This one hugs the body much better, much more concealible and comfortable. I built in a 15 degree cant. I didn't find that it did much to aid or hurt the drawstroke, but it is certainly a bit more comfortable as the grip hugs my body.
I also made this holster to be more snag-free and with less drag. Its much more low-profile. I've made it so that its contoured much better for my body as well.
Once again, lined with leather. I think this leather is chrome tanned though, and its slowly eating away at my gun's finish, although I'm sure its eating away at it much slower than if I had bare plastic touching the gun.
Its made with the same process as my cougar holster. The only thing you need to do different is to add the cant and make the cutouts. Feel free to copy it, but if you do, I may send you a sticker or something to put on ther ein the future and you have to put it on!
One note: when you make the cutout, make sure you cut enough so that your middle finger can grasp the grip fully, however, you must cover the entire trigger guard!
Very nicely done. Looks like good craftsmanship, and your design is a solid one.
Just out of curiousity, did IDPA change its rules regarding holsters? It used to be that your holster had to be on the "approved" list, before you could use it in a sanctioned event.
Yeah, they got rid of the approved holster list. Now they just guidelines it has to meet.