HOW TO MAKE A SHEATH USING KYDEX SHEATH MATERIAL
- Make a pattern for your sheath and test to make sure it will fit properly. You can make a 1 or 2 piece sheath. You will need to leave a ¼ to 3/8” seam allowance for the glued or riveted edge.
- Using your pattern, cut the Kydex using a scroll saw or jewelers saw.
- Kydex becomes pliable at 300 degrees F. Heat with a heat gun or a 1500 watt hair dryer will work nicely. When hot, mold to shape wearing heat resistant gloves. Work quickly as it cools quickly. If you are not satisfied, reheat and try again.
- Glue seams with any good contact cement according to manufacturers instructions. If desired, drill holes and insert any type leather rivets to further hold seams.
- Sand and smooth cut edges as desired.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION: CEMENTING KYDEX TO KYDEX
Due to its excellent chemical resistance, Kydex can be more difficult to cement than other plastics. Strong bonds can be obtained for most applications using the following methods:
- The best joints can be obtained using a viscous solvent cement consisting of about 10% Kydex shavings or sawdust dissolved in a 50-50 mixture of tetrahydrofuran (THF) and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), the Kydex shavings should be dissolved in the straight THF first before adding the appropriate amount of MEK. Both of these solvents are available from lab supply companies such as Fisher Scientific, Aldrich Chemicals, or other chemical distributors.
- Without the Kydex shavings, a relatively fast acting capillary adhesive can be made by using only the 50-50 THF and MEK mixture. THF works well at 100%, but it tends to flash off too quickly resulting in a poor joint. Addition of MEK slows down the evaporation rate and affords more time to work with the joint.
- A premixed thickened, THF gel cement can be obtained from IPS Weld On. The phone number is 1-800-421-2677.