Making a kydex holster with flashlight inside.

AndyT

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Feb 14, 2005
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I am thinking about trying my hand at making a custom kydex holster for my L2.
Is it safe to keep the flashlight inside the hot kydex - after the kydex has been removed from the oven, obvriously - while making the mold?
Is it also safe to use a heatgun on kydex that surrounds a flashlight?

Thanks,

Andrew.
 

gadget_lover

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So much depends on the parts you leave in the light.

Remove the battery, of course. I understand the electronics are in the L2 tailcap, so that's probably a good thing to remove too. Substitute a piece of rolled cardboard or a piece of dowel if it will make a difference.

How hot is the Kydex right out of the oven?

Daniel
 

MoonRise

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The electronics in an L2 are in the body, not the tailcap.

If you are working the Kydex FAST, then maybe you can use a real L2 to mold around. Otherwise, use a substitute object such as a dowel like Daniel suggests.
 

chrisse242

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I've made some kydex flashlight holsters and I always try to remove anything that is removable. On the other hand I've never had a light fail after wrapping it in hot kydex with the electronics inside. I try not to heat the light with my heatgun, if I have to do finetuning, I remove the light from the holster before re-heating it. So as long as you're carefull you should be fine.

Chrisse
 

mrsinbad

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I have a few questions for you if you are planning to use your L2 to wrap the kydex around. Are you going to just wrap the body and have the head up? Are you gonna to have the head inside the holster? Are you gonna to be planning to have one side un-riveted for a front or rear break? This I ask because there are many "undercuts" that would end up "locking" your L2 inside the holster if you riveted the sides.
 

chrisse242

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That's why I hate the surefire led-heads. All those funny undercuts make it very hard to design a good kydex holster that will hold the light bezel-down. I once tried it for an L4 using thin concealex. It was quite ugly and didn't work at all.
I think the best way would be to use a perfectly round metal or wooden rod to form the kydex. You'd have to find the biggest diameter on the head to know what size the rod needs to have. In this case you may find out that there are very few points where the kydex can actually hold the light - an unsecure fit might result but it might still work.
The safest way for surefire holsters should be to make them bezel-up, just holding the battery tube and maybe using the clip for extra security. Then of course you're limited to the original surefire tailcaps that have the same diameter as the tube. As I heard even the trim, bald, and flattop tailcaps from Mcgizmo can be slightly bigger in diameter and this may be enough to cause trouble.
I'm currently thinking about a flashlight-sheath design that will completely rely on the tension of the kydex and will not need any fixture. My only fear is, for this design to work the kydex will have to be thicker than the sizes that are usually available for non-professional sheathmaking.

Chrisse
 

mrsinbad

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Chrisse, I agree with everything you said. Kydex does come in a large variety of colors and a various thicknesses. If you didn't want to pay the price of thicker Kydex and went with some fixtures, you could use the nut and screw combo (the ones that look like really flat round head screws with a matching female part... this senility stuff really sucks /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif) and slide it back and forth along a slot you cut at the bottom of the holster to vary the tension.

A variation on what you suggested would be to use a round bar/tube to form the holster with the bare head facing down. Along the flat portion of the battery tube, maybe glue 3-4 round rare earth magnets. This would face up against some round rare earth magnets you embed into the holster (during the forming process). When you need it, give it a good yank. Should hold it in unless you are a parachutist. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

chrisse242

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[ QUOTE ]
mrsinbad said:
Chrisse, I agree with everything you said. Kydex does come in a large variety of colors and a various thicknesses. If you didn't want to pay the price of thicker Kydex and went with some fixtures, you could use the nut and screw combo (the ones that look like really flat round head screws with a matching female part... this senility stuff really sucks /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif) and slide it back and forth along a slot you cut at the bottom of the holster to vary the tension.

[/ QUOTE ]

Chicago screws, been there, done that. It works but is not that nice, and it adds more bulk to the holster than I like.
The problem with kydex is getting the more unusual thicknesses in small pieces to make it worthwhile for a non-professional.
Nice idea about those magnets, but I'm not sure it will be doable that easy...

Chrisse
 
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