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Kydex Press Foam.

Discussion in 'Materials & Technique' started by doublehelix1, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. doublehelix1

    doublehelix1 New Member

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    So i was walking around princess auto and came across a kneeling pad that was suspiciously similar to the neoprene foam used in my kydex press. Same thickness and its lasted just as long as the stuff i bought from knifemaker.ca, was also cheaper for almost twice as much foam.
     
  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    have two here, just waiting on a bunch of other things to get done before trying it out. worse part was buying it six months ago along with 20 or 30 sheets of kydex (sample packs)
     
  3. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    Where are you guys getting Kydex from? I've only been able to find it in the states with the requisite brutal shipping and unknown customs markup :)
     
  4. doublehelix1

    doublehelix1 New Member

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    Sometimes knifemaker.ca has black in a couple thicknesses but they dont carry rivets or chicago screws. Tandy leather has super expensive black. I most recently bought from index fasteners in the states. Shipping sucked but on a $300usd order of kydex frieght was $51usd.
     
  5. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    Ugh. I thought Kydex was supposed to be cheaper alternative to leather sheaths? Or have I just not priced out leather in a long time either? Heh.
    ;);)
     
  6. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I spent nearly six hundred and picked up the Journeyman Kydex kit and sample packs of 12x24 in assorted colors. For some reason no orange which was the second color I needed but that is one of lifes little mysteries
    http://www.holstersmith.com/vcom/product_info.php?products_id=5827&cPath=546_642
    http://www.holstersmith.com/vcom/product_info.php?products_id=5357&cPath=548_567

    http://www.holstersmith.com/vcom/index.php?cPath=546_642

    with two bundles charge was $526 and had to pay Fedex(GST) of $72
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  7. doublehelix1

    doublehelix1 New Member

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    Nothing about our hobby is cheap... you also dont need tobreak the bank. The price i mentioned was only for kydex sheets and eyelet rivets. You can make a press easily and use a toaster oven and ir thermometer for heating the kydex. You probably already have a grinder and drill press. The only other piece thats special for kydex is a rivet setter (bought mine from knife kits). Ive bought loops for customers when they specify something special but other than that i use 0.93 kydex for belt loops.

    Having said that I also have a vacuum press, bandsaw, arbor press, coffeebum style book press, buffer, scroll saw, and any number of jigs that make things easier for sheaths and holsters. I also have a full compliment of leather tools.
     
    dancom likes this.
  8. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Question about making a kydex press. I'm thinking about using heavy hinges on the back of the press. But do I set it up so that when it's closed, the foam is just touching at the back where the hinges are? Or do I set them so that when closed, the hinges compress the kydex some? If the second, how much should it compress? I'm not sure how the press is setup with hinges and there aren't too many details about it.

    Thanks in advance
     
  9. doublehelix1

    doublehelix1 New Member

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    Take a look at the coffeebum press.

    In general I compress the foam by 1/2"
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  10. Kevin Cox

    Kevin Cox KC knives

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    [​IMG]
    This is what I have made for my kydex press . Once you squeeze the lever it drops straight down mine you I let it easy then tighten it up .
     
  11. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    that's pretty cool. I like the straight down approach. It seems like it would be more even pressure. But, i like the simplicity of using a hinge. I think i'll go with the hinge purely because I have no time left but I'm still unclear on the spacing. If i have 2" of foam, do i space the top and bottom 2" apart or a little less? Doublehelix, you mentioned you compress your press 1/2". Does that mean you compress it that much while pressing or you have 1/2" less space between the top and bottom than the thickness of the foam. i.e. it's under compression while "at rest". The diy ones i see on youtube seem to be spaced so there's exactly enough room for the foam when it's closed (2" between boards for 2" of plywood) but it's never really stated.
     
  12. doublehelix1

    doublehelix1 New Member

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    If you cant adjust the spacing on the back its best to have your hinges compress your foam the same amount front to back. If your foam is just touching at the back you wont get even pressure when you clamp the front. If you find that the 1/2" is too much pressure you can just adjust your spacing using washers.

    Also keep in mind that the foam is a consumable and will degrade over time. If all you're doing is knives it should last 10-15ish pressings.
     
  13. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Wow, 10-15 only? that's a lot less than i was hoping for. I settled on somewhere around 1/4" of compression at the hinge side when at rest. When not using is, i left it open so as not to squish the life out of the foam. I did my first sheath yesterday and while the rivets looked good and the rentention was good (maybe too good), i didn't like the overall look of the sheath so i'm going to try it again tonight. I'm going to do a foldover sheath from one piece tonight. I think i like the look of them better. I may try to incorporate a belt loop too.

    Anyway, when i started the sheath my knife was paper cutting sharp. WHen i finished it was not. It either dulled because of all the pulling it in/out of the sheath or because when i taped off the blade, i may have used a craft knife to trace along the edge of the blade. I wouldn't have thought that'd dull an edge that much but, maybe? Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks DH1.
     
  14. doublehelix1

    doublehelix1 New Member

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    Usually I end up doing my final sharpening after the sheath is made. You mentioned doing a fold over sheath. Take your foam and fold it over then watch this video.



    I've found that I wasn't getting good definition along the spine on my first "sandwich" press. So I build a book press for wrap sheaths. For flat sheaths I use a vacuum press.
     
  15. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Just had a thought here that maybe the decomposing temperature of the foam pad and the forming temperature of the Kydex are very close to being the same.

    Maybe placing a sheet of aluminum foil between the Kydex and foam pad with shiny side towards the Kydex may slow transfer of heat just a little.
    That or air cool the press as soon as everything is clamped tight, this will reduce the time at a critical temperature.
     
  16. Kevin Cox

    Kevin Cox KC knives

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    I only make kydex cases and I've don't done will over two hundred cases on the same foam and it's still working just fine. 10 to 15 there's something wrong or the foam is not good quality.
     
  17. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    I've got things sorted with the sheath (I stuck with a two piece until I have more time to learn) and I'm ready to resharpen. But, I have one last nuisance. I get tiny scratches on one side of the blade when I slide it in and out. Can kydex do that or do I have something stuck in the plastic?

    Thanks for all the help guys. I appreciate it a lot.
     
  18. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    technically it should take a bit of dirt or something but going off a few Kydex sites you can use that stuff to grind steel
     

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