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Bonding Leather and Kydex, and Thickness of Leather


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#1 dmr400

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:49 AM

Hello All, looking at making a leather lined Kydex Holster, and I have two questions:

1.) How are the pro's bonding the kydex and the leather? Gluing? I've tried searching and am not having much luck, other than finding out it can be a difficult proposition that to my knowledge only one major holster maker (Tucker) has solved completely, and that he is very proprietary with his method (Can't blame him for that!). I just have a hard time believing no one else has figured this out. Also, will running a stitch through kydex eventually cut/wear out the thread? I've seen a post from Steve at COBRA that his machines will sew through Kydex, but is it even advisable? I could just see the Kydex being very hard on the thread.

2.) What thickness of leather are you using for your liners? I've read several places that the majority of a leathers strength is in the first 1/10th of an inch, and with a stiff backing like kydex how thin is it possible to go? One of the things I'd like to do is develop a way of making lined kydex holsters detailed nearly as well as the unlined ones by doing some boning/molding of the liner before it's attached to the kydex, and I'm thinking using as thin a liner as possible will make this easier, as well as keeping the overall thickness of the holster as thin as possible for obvious reasons.

Thanks for your input!
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#2 dbusarow

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:34 PM

Take a look at Wilson Combat. I have 2 of their Practical models I bought many years ago for IDPA. They are great range/competition holsters and are built similar to your description but also have leather on the outside. Kydex between two layers of leather. Wilson's Tactical Assault is built per your description and I have a few mag holders from them built that way.

To your question on leather weight. This is just a guess but I have some 2.5-3 oz kip that I held up next to one of my holsters and the lining on the holster is thinner. I'd guess 1.5/2 oz. The outer llayer of leather on my Practical is about the same weight. Outer layer is smooth, inner layer is suede. I think a smooth liner would be nicer, the suede does grab but these holsters do rely on the tension screw for retention so that can be adjusted to som extent.

As for bonding I have no idea and kind of doubt Wilson will tell you :) But it's held up well. And the seams are sewn as well.

Dan

#3 pete

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 04:40 PM

check out Crossbreed Holsters. Besides being the very best that you can buy, they are light( 5/6, 6/7 ?) leather with the kydex riveted to it.
Phenomenal holsters- can't break them, can't feel them(IWB)
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#4 Spence

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 07:46 PM

Great holsters. But, what process is used to 'laminate' the leather to the kydex??
I've got everything I need but that.
tks
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#5 TwinOaks

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 10:52 PM

I've had a little success using gel superglue
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#6 katsass

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 10:21 AM

1.) How are the pro's bonding the kydex and the leather? Gluing? I've tried searching and am not having much luck, other than finding out it can be a difficult proposition that to my knowledge only one major holster maker (Tucker) has solved completely, and that he is very proprietary with his method (Can't blame him for that!). I just have a hard time believing no one else has figured this out. Also, will running a stitch through kydex eventually cut/wear out the thread? I've seen a post from Steve at COBRA that his machines will sew through Kydex, but is it even advisable? I could just see the Kydex being very hard on the thread.



Hi DMR, re: the above. Years ago I did a total of 7 leather covered rifle stocks. Most were for M-70 Winchesters although there were two odd ones, the first was a little Marlin .22 (just to try things out) and a Lee-Enfield later on. I spoke to a cabinet shop and used what they used to attach (bond) Formica (now 'plastic laminate') to the wood underlay. At that time it was a 'contact' type, green goo called "GRIP". Was great. You might check with a local cabinet maker or shop for what they use now 'cause GRIP went the way of the Dodo bird because of the solvent base it used. Hope this helps a little. Here are a couple of pics of two of the stocks. The M-70 stock is not completed, this was taken just after the bonding of leather to wood was completed. The Lee-Enfield is still going strong, no separation after 30+ yrs. The pics are digital....taken of old 35mm prints so I appologise for the quality.Mike

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Edited by katsass, 12 December 2009 - 10:58 AM.

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#7 Ron61

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:57 AM

1.) How are the pro's bonding the kydex and the leather? Gluing? I've tried searching and am not having much luck, other than finding out it can be a difficult proposition that to my knowledge only one major holster maker (Tucker) has solved completely, and that he is very proprietary with his method (Can't blame him for that!). I just have a hard time believing no one else has figured this out. Also, will running a stitch through kydex eventually cut/wear out the thread? I've seen a post from Steve at COBRA that his machines will sew through Kydex, but is it even advisable? I could just see the Kydex being very hard on the thread.



Hi DMR, re: the above. Years ago I did a total of 7 leather covered rifle stocks. Most were for M-70 Winchesters although there were two odd ones, the first was a little Marlin .22 (just to try things out) and a Lee-Enfield later on. I spoke to a cabinet shop and used what they used to attach (bond) Formica (now 'plastic laminate') to the wood underlay. At that time it was a 'contact' type, green goo called "GRIP". Was great. You might check with a local cabinet maker or shop for what they use now 'cause GRIP went the way of the Dodo bird because of the solvent base it used. Hope this helps a little. Here are a couple of pics of two of the stocks. The M-70 stock is not completed, this was taken just after the bonding of leather to wood was completed. The Lee-Enfield is still going strong, no separation after 30+ yrs. The pics are digital....taken of old 35mm prints so I appologise for the quality.Mike

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#8 Ron61

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:02 AM

Just want to clear something up regarding bonding leather to Kydex. Tucker did not accomplish this, Garrett Industries did. Tucker Gunleather sells the Garrett Industries Silent Thunder Line. www.silentthunderholsters.com or www.gimagclip.com

#9 Lucky1

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:32 AM

Hi: This is kinda late but thought I would throw in my 2cents worth. On just about everything that you coat something with whether it be paint, glue or what ever, and expect it to stick, you need to rough up the surface; generally stuff don't stick too well to a smooth slick shiny surface. Paint a car without first roughing up the surface and some of the new paint will eventually peel off.

I just sandblast the inner part of the kydex before applying the contact cement and leather liner. So far, I've had good luck and nothing has come unbonded yet. When I first started lining the kydex, I used 9000 glue (can't remember the name, just the number), it was very hard to apply this stuff, so I started using regular contact cement and it has been working ok.
The same thing applies to my bonded gun belts (I use a thin piece of plastic material between 2 belts). I sandblast the plastic, and sometimes just use my orbital sander to rough up the surface before bonding. All this works for me and it may just be a coincidence but every little thing u do helps, I'm sure.

#10 K-Man

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 01:37 PM

Just want to clear something up regarding bonding leather to Kydex. Tucker did not accomplish this, Garrett Industries did. Tucker Gunleather sells the Garrett Industries Silent Thunder Line. www.silentthunderholsters.com or www.gimagclip.com


Actually there is another company in the Houston area (main site is in Europe) which developed this long before Garrett Industries did. They did it back in 2003: http://www.gunblast....SHOT_2003_2.htm (scroll down the page).

It was my understanding that the glue being used by Garrett is the same glue used by plumbers on the pvc pipes.

Edited by K-Man, 17 December 2010 - 03:23 PM.


#11 lonerider

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 02:40 PM

I've made holsters with Kydex inside. Rough up the Kydex and use contact cement,works! Haven't had any complaints of separation!

#12 matt128

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:29 PM

I've made one of these type of holsters. Instead of riviting, or gluing the kydex to the leather I used small screws so that I could make another kydex "shell" for a different gun. That way the kydex shell would be interchangable with the same holster. I modled mine from the crossbreed super tuck. Hope this helps. The pic was before I drilled the holes in the kydex.

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