Instructables

Mini Molding Press for "Kydex" Plastic Sheets

Picture of Mini Molding Press for "Kydex" Plastic Sheets
Hi, this is my first instructable,English is not my native language so I hope you'll understand what I'm trying to say,if anything is unclear please inform me to fix it or to explain it throughly.
Couple weeks back I was messing with making some small scale blade for my "better half"
birthday present,(what can I do, I'm cheap ba****d, no diamonds for my wife ;P) ,which turn rather good,well....for the first try.She wanted something like this Bear claw.I made it as a necklace pendant ,but after some thinking I realize that it's not very practical to have it on your neck ,unable to use the blade unless you unstrap the necklace and it wasn't so safe without guard.So we opted to make small sheath which could be placed on her key chain.So i looked for some Ideas on the web and find this "Atwood Knife and tool". Mr.Atwood using "Kydex" molded sheaths and have some great videos on how to make them.

For those who doesn't have a clue what Kydex is, here is some info about it. It's a thermoplastic sheet which means after you heat it , sheet became pliable so you can change it's shape ,after cooling down it's going to remain in new shape,it has very good reputation for rigidity,impact damage,chemical resistance and fire retardancy .After some searching I located local dealer here in Japan, price was right so i order some sheets(At this point I'm still waiting for the sheets) meanwhile I needed right tool to do the job properly,in other words cheap and effective.First i need some source of heat Some people say that heat gun is better option than oven,I personally don't have a clue because i haven't use one and i don't have money to buy heat gun which was pretty pricey around 70 bucks,beside i already had oven I usually use with my "super sculpey" clay figures.So much for the heat source.Next thing is Press,I saw some videos where old blanket or bath towel plus body weight were used,but i had enough tools, some parts and time to make proper one for about 10$.Here is the list of parts and tools I used to make this small press.
Parts:
3pcs 10cm x 10cm x 5mm steel plate (I already had these , reason for small press $1.00 each)
2pcs 10cm x 10cm x 1 cm rubber foam sheet ( approx.$0.50 each)
1pc 5 cm steel door hinge ( $1.00,note, hinge was more square shaped one,see photos)
1pc M6 x 7cm U shape bolt and nuts ($1.00)
2pc M6 x 7
cm bolt and nut and nut grip ($1.50)
3 small steel plates for the locks ($2.00 for meter)

tools:
grinder
belt sander
home arc welder 110v very cheap and very good
dremel tool plus burrs
drill
ruler and measure tape
stabillo pencil
polyester putty
Black spray paint
hammer
wire brush
clamps
vice grip

Disclaimer
This instructable contains high temperature welding process as well as some other possibly risky actions and the Author is not professional in this field ,so before even begin with project I Assume you know what you're doing, so if anything goes wrong DON'T bother to hold me responsible.If you do it you do it on your own.thank you.
 
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soul_eater2 years ago
Real nice method i was using termoformig for the foam PVC but your method loog mutch easier especislly when we made just 1 or 2 pieces
sas2233 years ago
how do you actually mold it to take the shape of the knife? do you heat it up after sand witching the knife between the layer,s?
shwa (author)  sas2233 years ago
Rubber foam pads inside the press will do the all the work once the press is closed, there is no need to reapply heat after process unless you need to loosen some parts for easier blade pull out,and in that case i recommend heat gun as source since it can be controlled better,hope this help
snowpenguin5 years ago
Your English is very good. This looks interesting... Can you use it with Sintra?
shwa (author)  snowpenguin5 years ago
Thank you ,I assume if it's a thermal plastic you can use it with no problems,I'm no expert in this and I have never worked with Sintra,but from what i saw on their web site it seams to be very similar to Kydex,so i don't see reason for it not to work.Good luck... BTW i really need to update this since i made it, I've been using it for about 20 times now and i notice some thing that could be improved I'm pretty busy right now to edit this Instructable but if you have any question I'll gladly help you