Kydex

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Ruud

Full Member
Jun 29, 2012
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Belgium
www.rudecheers.wordpress.com
With an upcoming canoe trip in Sweden coming up in September I decided to make a kydex sheath for my knife today. We'll encounter some rapids so there is a chance that we'll capsize. Kydex is easier to dry out than leather.

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Selfmade kydex-press, black foam is special kydex-foam, the green one is a recuperated sleeping mat (foam).

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Kydex heated to around 175 degrees Celsius.

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Now I'm on the hunt for some webbing/nylon to make the belt loop with.
 
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C_Claycomb

Mod
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Oct 6, 2003
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Yup, Kydex is good for sheaths going canoeing. With the number of eyelets there you could set up carry options ranging from horizontal belt mount, dangler, baldric on a cord and over-head neck carry. Lots of options. I am very fond of TekLoks, but you have to have drilled the eyelet holes on 0.5" centres for the small one, and 0.75" on the large one. Good for horizontal, bot so good for vertical, where the knife tends to be a bit high and tight to the body.

Have you thought of using Biothane, or similar plastic coated webbing for the belt loop? The Pull-the-dot type snap fasteners used on IWB loops are hard to find, and expensive, but regular 15mm snaps could work well enough


There are caveats to using Kydex.

Kydex will hold droplets of water against the blade more than leather will, getting a fully riveted sheath dry on the inside can be a little fiddly, even when you have drilled or moulded a drain feature at the knife's tip to let water out.

Kydex also holds grit, which will scratch the blade and handle where it enters the sheath. Not much that can be done for the handle, but one can increase clearance with the blade by using thicker packing. I used to use three or four layers of masking tape, and still got scratches. Latest sheath, for a Benchmade Puukko, I used a layer of cereal box cardboard on each side of the blade, in addition to three layers of masking tape. Looks a little odd, but no rattle and should be less prone to scratching the blade.

I took out a membership to kydexpro.com, a forum all about Kydex work. Probably the best place on the internet to pick up tips and techniques. As a result, I have improved my press (still not perfect) which has improved definition and reduced the number of re-do mouldings I need to do to get the shape right. (there really isn't a substitute for Irwin Quick Grip XP Heavy Duty 12" that works as well) This in turn has meant I can use smaller pieces of Kydex, now a 4" blade is done with a piece just 5x6" or just a little bigger, for a taco style sheath. I have also seen some good things about blocking and packing the part being moulded around.

Thanks for sharing, good luck with the belt loop.:bigok:

Chris
 
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Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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That’s a tidy job you’ve made there. For your needs, TekLoks are the biz, but if that were mine I’d be knitting the Blaze Orange paracord through all those holes to “sheath the sheath”. Useful and visual.