We’re constantly doing kydex projects and have tried many methods of molding the plastic sheets. This press has actually become the one that gets used the most. It’s simple and fast to build and costs under $15.00.
This press will mold ABS or Kydex and gives you two molding options: foam-on-foam for two sided molding or foam-on-wood if you want one side of your sheath to be perfectly flat.
- Two pieces of lumber approximately 12″ long by 7.5″ wide. A good 3/4″ hardwood or 3/4″ fiberboard works best. Hickory is shown in the photo.
- Two 3″ Spring Clamps (Harbor Freight).
- Two pieces of 3/4″ thick foam, approximately 12″ x6″. We’ve tried several types of foam and found that polyurethane foam works the best. The foam needs to be heat resistant and a bit stiffer than the type of foam found in rifle cases, stiff enough to show detail in the plastic. It should be soft enough to shape around the item being molded and spring back after the mold is released.
- Foam Glue.
Glue the foam to the wood and the press is done!
About the foam:
We’ve had some decent results with the thin craft foam found at the hobby shops but it is only available in 1/8″ or 1/4″ thicknesses so it needs to be stacked in several layers. This would be good foam to use if you want to just make one or two items.
If you’d rather not build your own press you can now find kydex presses and foam at Bow and Blade.com. There are presses available in several sizes and press prices start at less than $8.00by