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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think the title says it all! I've decided I'd rather keep my Crimson Trace CMR-204 laser/light combo on my EDC/CCW Sig Sauer P320c 24/7 instead of putting it on while home then taking it off when I head out. The reason I have to do this, few if any holsters exist that accommodate my setup, I did purchase a holster from Bravo Concealment yesterday that will but it's an OWB that I must convert to IWB, my preferred method of carry. So I got to thinking -yes I admit, I have a thinking problem and I've been trying to cut back- why don't I make my own? I spent a good portion of the day researching and watching videos on how to do this even located a real, antique book press on Craigslist to well, press. The process certainly seems to be within my realm of abilities and I'd like to be able to shape it to my body and provide the forward cant that suits me too. So, has anyone here built one?

View attachment 38069 View attachment 38070
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Lemme guess, no one here has made one? :idea:
 

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I have made several holsters out of Kydex. I've learned a lot since I started doing it so if you have any questions ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Awesome Jeremy, thanks for the reply and offer. :?

There seems to be a great many types of Kydex ie: 100, 110, 152WG etc, etc, which would be the best for an IWB application? I'd prefer it to be impervious to just about everything especially heat. I chose the .06 thickness when I ordered from Bravo Concealment as I believe this will be thin enough to "give" so to speak yet thick enough to maintain its shape. For the press, I have located a real antique book press with a single wheel which I think should offer the most uniform pressure, is my thinking correct for this application? Also, what would you recommend for molding, high density foam or neoprene and in what thickness, it seems 1" is the most common? I don't care so much about texture since it'll be IWB and I'll likely put micro-suede on it.

Book press
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I have made several holsters out of Kydex. I've learned a lot since I started doing it so if you have any questions ask away.
 

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I use just two pieces of 2x12 that are about 3 FT long and I attached the wall mounted pipe fixtures to it then added 2 pole clamps. Your book press will work great if you have enough surface area. One thing that I noticed is that you need several inches on each side of the kydex for the foam to press down. As far as foam this is what I use Sheath/Holster Making Foam - Thermoform Molding - Maxx Form and it has lasted really long.

As far as thickness of the kydex you might want to just play with the different thicknesses I ordered several sheets of each and played with it to find the one I preferred which is the .08 for most things. The .06 is super easy to work with but deforms quick and the .093 is hard to mess with.

One big thing that I figured out is don't worry about wasting the Kydex and what I mean is make your cuts larger than what you think you need. I tried to make the sheets I was working with small and what I found was that it didn't mold well to the gun. It would leave gaps around the edges when I started finishing it up. Also buy the drill bits that are designed for the Kydex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Excellent info Jeremy, thanks again! :?

What type Kydex are you using, there's almost an entire page of types on the manufacturers website each with different properties? What about heating temperature of the sheets, all I've read and seen indicates this IS critical and to use a IR non-contact thermometer which I do have? What has been your perfect working temp? I'll look into the specific drill bits! :?
 

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I use the kydex from knifekits.com from the link I posted earlier. The IR thermometer is a must and it will be hard to get even temp so I try to have the coolest part about 330 but don't let the rest go over 350. I used a toaster oven for a time and it is ok for really small parts. For most things I just use the gas oven in the kitchen and a old cookie sheet. I haven't had any issues with it gassing or smelling bad I'm sure someone will say don't use your regular oven but for the quantity that I'm doing I'm really not worried either way. One other thing is that you have at most 1 minute before you need to have the press on it and forming on the thicker stuff. So have your press close to what ever heat source you are using. If it cools to fast then just start over.

Also buy a heat gun for helping after it is molded and you need to loosen some parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay great,

I was considering getting a small convection oven which should provide the most even heating of any oven besides the Li'l Lady would probably prefer I not cook plastic in HER oven. I already own a very good Milwaukee heat gun so I'm covered there and as I mentioned I also have a Fluke IR thermometer which is very accurate. The reason I searched for a book press was the single wheel to tighten and apply pressure evenly which as you state there isn't much time and it needs to be uniform. Okay then, this is very cool and gives me the confidence I need to round up some items and get to bakin' me some Kydex. Thanks man!!! :?

I use the kydex from knifekits.com from the link I posted earlier. The IR thermometer is a must and it will be hard to get even temp so I try to have the coolest part about 330 but don't let the rest go over 350. I used a toaster oven for a time and it is ok for really small parts. For most things I just use the gas oven in the kitchen and a old cookie sheet. I haven't had any issues with it gassing or smelling bad I'm sure someone will say don't use your regular oven but for the quantity that I'm doing I'm really not worried either way. One other thing is that you have at most 1 minute before you need to have the press on it and forming on the thicker stuff. So have your press close to what ever heat source you are using. If it cools to fast then just start over.

Also buy a heat gun for helping after it is molded and you need to loosen some parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That would be great, thanks Jeremy... :?

No problem. If I remember I take some pictures of some stuff I have done and show you.
 

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Hi SeaMac, I know this thread is a couple of weeks old but I just saw it and was wondering if you had success in holster making? I have made some leather/kydex hybrid holsters for many different guns, sold a few, people seem to like them. My one main concern in your picture of the press is that in my experience speed is more important that pressure when you get kydex out of the oven. (I flip a cookie sheet upside down and use the wife's oven, no issues at all). I have a piece of plywood (on the floor) that the gun (covered in aluminum foil) is laying on and then lay the kydex and foam molding cutout pieces (camping foam from walmart) and a second piece of plywood on top and jump on top of it all and stand there for 3-5 minutes. Done. Well except for sanding edges (dremel with buffer pad), drilling, conditioning leather, and assembly. Not a money maker at $45.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven't made any yet, haven't had the time. I am moving away from the press idea now leaning towards the vacuum former which is REAL fast.

Hi SeaMac, I know this thread is a couple of weeks old but I just saw it and was wondering if you had success in holster making? I have made some leather/kydex hybrid holsters for many different guns, sold a few, people seem to like them. My one main concern in your picture of the press is that in my experience speed is more important that pressure when you get kydex out of the oven. (I flip a cookie sheet upside down and use the wife's oven, no issues at all). I have a piece of plywood (on the floor) that the gun (covered in aluminum foil) is laying on and then lay the kydex and foam molding cutout pieces (camping foam from walmart) and a second piece of plywood on top and jump on top of it all and stand there for 3-5 minutes. Done. Well except for sanding edges (dremel with buffer pad), drilling, conditioning leather, and assembly. Not a money maker at $45.
 

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Lemme guess, no one here has made one? :idea:
N - but got a guy local tat does ALOT of custom stuff- free upgrade or re-do if your holster does not perform as needed - and I he improves something - and he gives MIL/LEO friend of friend discount...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Very good, but I want to make one myself for myself. I gots me an idear and I'm having enthusiasms abouts me idear. No one really seems to make what I'm seeking so I'm going to need to make my own.


N - but got a guy local tat does ALOT of custom stuff- free upgrade or re-do if your holster does not perform as needed - and I he improves something - and he gives MIL/LEO friend of friend discount...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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Very good, but I want to make one myself for myself. I gots me an idear and I'm having enthusiasms abouts me idear. No one really seems to make what I'm seeking so I'm going to need to make my own.
Now yer speakin my language, for yourself by yourself. The vacuum formers look awesome and I think you can do a lot more with them, shape wise. I just started out on an absolute low budget press wise to see if I could do it. I'd love to do an IWB for 5.7 with a light but I have a hard time carrying the 5.7 IWB the way it is.
 
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