A knife sheath is an important tool any knife enthusiast must have. Not only does it help you handle and transport your knife safely, but it can also help you in transporting your knife around much easier. As a bonus, when done the right way, they can be an attractive complementary piece to your prized weapon. There are different materials used in crafting a knife sheath. One of the most common ones used is a material called kydex. There are a lot of kydex sheaths in the market, but did you know that you can make your own? This article is a guide to kydex sheath making.
The first step is to get all the tools you’ll need to create your sheath. Of course, you’ll need to acquire some kydex sheets. You can get these in hardware stores as well as other specialty shops and online. The cheapest price would be found online and you can buy it direct from Kydex here. You’ll also need an oven because you’ll need it to apply heat on your sheath (more on this later). You’ll also need a press or a vice clamp to form your sheath into shape. You’ll also need a knife or saw to cut off excess kydex sheets. Sandpaper is also needed for smoothening out the final product. And eyelets would help in securing the structure of your sheath. Eyelets can be found very cheap here.
With the tools and parts needed to commence kydex sheath making already mentioned, it’s time to detail the step-by-step process.
- Heating the kydex sheets- It’s very important to heat kydex sheets during the crafting process as heat makes these sheets very pliable, necessary to create that perfect fit any good-quality knife sheath must have. To do this, place your Kydex sheet at an oven pre-heated to 275 degrees Farenheit. You should monitor the heating process. You’ll want your sheet to be soft but never melted.
- Molding the sheath- Once the sheet is pliable, you have to take it out of the oven. It is recommended that you wear protective gloves as the kydex is red-hot during this time. Place the knife’s blade above the sheet. Fold the sheet on top of the blade. Use the vice clamp to stick the kydex sheet into the blade. Remove the clamp once the sheet has completely cooled.
- Cutting out the sheath- This step in the kydex sheath making process entails cutting out the sheet to form the framework of the sheath. How the sheet molded into the knife’s shape would be your rough guide on how and where you should cut. As a rule, a 1cm gap along the edges and tip of the blade is enough to ensure a snug fit.
- Sanding- By sanding the surface and edges of the sheath, not only are you making it look more attractive, but it also makes the edges smoother, making it look like it’s quality made. As a bonus, it makes the sheath more paint-ready, if you’ll want it to be painted.
- Installing eyelets-Eyelets help in solidly fastening the sheath together. To install, one must drill holes where the eyelets would reside. The holes must be perfectly sized for the eyelet, so measurements are necessary before drilling. After drilling, place the eyelets with the help of an arbor press. Once all eyelets are placed, your sheath is ready for use.
As this step-by-step process would show, making your own knife sheath out of kydex is actually simpler than initially thought. In fact, with the right amount of effort and skill, one can create his/her own sheath with quality that can rival those found in stores. Now that you know the steps in kydex sheath making, it’s time to start constructing yours. Check out our guide to machetes, hunting knives, and dive knives.