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DIY Kydex Machete Sheath
I got a 16" Fiddleback Machete and the quality is great. I really like the micarta grips... but the only problem was... no sheath. So I figured I might as well take a few hours and build a Kydex sheath for it.
The second problem was, because of the blade length, it wouldn't fit in my normal Kydex press, so I had to improvise. I grabbed some wood, an old closed cell military foam sleeping mat and made a quick press. However, I would not be able to set it up with a "press handle" so I figured my wife and I would become the press by standing on it.
I used .093 thick Kydex (about 3/32" because the blade was large and I wanted a thick material for protection) I cut the Kydex to the appropriate size and shape, leaving room to set up the holes for grommets, and the remainder would be cut off after completion. The Kydex was next placed on a cookie sheet and placed into the oven at 350 degrees for about ten minutes.
For this sheath, I was going to use, what I call, the modified fold-over method. I used the modified fold-over method because it is easier to make the fold-over larger than needed, and this keeps both the top and bottom in line when it comes time to grommet. I cut the "fold-over" portion off after placing grommets completely around the sheath.
It should be noted that this also makes the sheath wider. If you don't want a wide sheath, you can use the "Fold-Over" as one side of the sheath and only grommet the bottom and one side. I personally don't mind the width and like the looks of the grommets around the entire outside of the sheath. It also provides me with grommets on both sides for various attachment options.
When the Kydex was soft it was removed from the oven and I quickly placed the machete blade, and the part of the handle I wanted included, inside the Kydex, folding the Kydex over the blade (Caution: make sure you use some thick gloves to handle the hot Kydex material or you will get burned). I left extra room between the fold-over and the blade so, as indicated above, I could grommet completely around the blade and then cut the "Fold-Over" portion off.
The folded over Kydex was then placed in the homemade press which was placed on the floor. Once inside the press, my wife, Denise, and I stood on the top board right in the kitchen until it cooled (It should be noted I only had the blade portion of the machete, not the handle, in the press because the foam is thin). I figured once it cooled, I could heat up the handle end and press that in my normal Kydex press which has much thicker foam.
A view of the initial pressing with the homemade press.
Once I got to the workshop, I thought I might get some grommets in each side so nothing would shift. After measurements and marks were made, I drilled holes and started putting some grommets in place (this can be seen in the photo below). After having several grommets in place, and making sure that the blade would slide out, the handle end of the sheath was heated with a heat gun and placed in my normal Kydex press which has much thicker foam to accommodate the thickness of the handle. The handle portion was molded and the sheath was ready for completion.
Placing initial grommets in sheath to keep it in line before pressing the handle portion.
After having several grommets in place, and making sure that the blade would slide out, the handle end of the sheath was heated with a heat gun and placed in my normal Kydex press which has much thicker foam to accommodate the thickness of the handle (The press can be seen in the photo below). The handle portion was molded and the sheath was ready for completion.
The handle end of the sheath was placed in the smaller Kydex press for molding after heating.
I next completed the grommets, and marked around them with a flexi-ruler, for the final shape I wanted the sheath to be. I then cut around the markings to finish off the sheath.
Cutting around the markings for the final shaped sheath.
The finished product was adequate for my needs. Although the sheath will probably be used strapped to the side of a pack, I threw a couple of strap attachments on it so it could be worn over a shoulder.
This is a view of the finished sheath from the bottom.
This is a view of the finished sheath from the top.
Not a bad project for a Sunday morning and at least I now have a sheath to store, and carry, the Fiddleback Machete in.
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Copyright © 2017 by John D. McCann