Exploring HDPE Sheath Material Colors Other Than Black -- Preference?

What color would you be *most* interested in?

  • Natural Translucent ("Milk Jug")

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Bright Orange

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Moss Green

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • Other (Specify Below)

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
    6

FortyTwoBlades

Baryonyx walkeri
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
24,558
I'm toying with the idea of adding an additional color of HDPE to our sheath material options as we work on expanding our offerings in it. Because this would require a custom extrusion we'd need to order a decent amount of it, and it's cost us about 1.6x the current price, but it would still be quite economical per square foot compared to other materials while giving unique performance properties. If we were to invest in a single new color, what do you think would be most interesting to see sheaths made in? The black we currently use is colored by the carbon black added for UV resistance but we'd be getting any colored option UV stabilized.
 

duramax

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
4,915
I’d second orange
and maybe O.D. Green
 

FortyTwoBlades

Baryonyx walkeri
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
24,558
Do you have any pics of the natural.... Is it literally milk jug looking?
No pics because we'd have to get it made first! But yes, literally milk jug-looking because milk jugs are natural translucent HDPE. It'd just be of a more consistent thickness, as well as heavier duty, so slightly less transparent. 60 mil thickness is roughly about 1.5mm or 1/16" thick. VERY durable material at that thickness, with the flexibility of stiff leather. Visually it would resemble these HDPE bottles, as it would have a smooth finish.

F79645~p.eps-650.jpg
 

Crag the Brewer

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
1,586
No pics because we'd have to get it made first! But yes, literally milk jug-looking because milk jugs are natural translucent HDPE. It'd just be of a more consistent thickness, as well as heavier duty, so slightly less transparent. 60 mil thickness is roughly about 1.5mm or 1/16" thick. VERY durable material at that thickness, with the flexibility of stiff leather. Visually it would resemble these HDPE bottles, as it would have a smooth finish.

F79645~p.eps-650.jpg
I'll have to research how to use it.
I make kydex sheaths, I'm not sure if it's the same?
looks kinda cool though
 

FortyTwoBlades

Baryonyx walkeri
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
24,558
I'll have to research how to use it.
I make kydex sheaths, I'm not sure if it's the same?
looks kinda cool though
To the best of my knowledge (and it's VERY possible that I'm wrong!) I was the first to try using HDPE sheeting as a stand-alone bulk sheath material (as opposed to as molded sheaths, liners, and so on) so you won't find a ton out there about working it, but I'm happy to share tips and tricks I've found in my own use of the material. In most cases you can think of it as being like a hybrid of leather and Kydex. It's about as flexible as stiff leather, and extremely tough and cut-resistant. It can thermoform, but I don't have a full set of equipment for that like folks with Kydex gear have, so I haven't played around with it too much. Also, because HDPE is a simple hydrocarbon polymer it doesn't risk emitting any significant fumes, and is related to paraffin wax, which is why it smells like crayons when heated up to working temperature (I heat up my scraps and compress them in a mold to make mallet heads) but it's technically safe to burn, as well, and theoretically only releases CO2 and water when full combustion is reached. Partial combustion doesn't release anything more dangerous than what's naturally found in wood smoke. It will punch and stitch just like leather, though more force is generally needed to do so. Because of its high cut resistance, no welt is needed if rivet fasteners are used, much like with Kydex. It also remains tough down into extreme sub-zero temperatures. Adhesives of most kinds won't work on it, due to its low surface energy, and it's chemical-resistant and food-safe, which is why it's so commonly used for food, adhesive, and chemical containers.
 

Crag the Brewer

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
1,586
To the best of my knowledge (and it's VERY possible that I'm wrong!) I was the first to try using HDPE sheeting as a stand-alone bulk sheath material (as opposed to as molded sheaths, liners, and so on) so you won't find a ton out there about working it, but I'm happy to share tips and tricks I've found in my own use of the material. In most cases you can think of it as being like a hybrid of leather and Kydex. It's about as flexible as stiff leather, and extremely tough and cut-resistant. It can thermoform, but I don't have a full set of equipment for that like folks with Kydex gear have, so I haven't played around with it too much. Also, because HDPE is a simple hydrocarbon polymer it doesn't risk emitting any significant fumes, and is related to paraffin wax, which is why it smells like crayons when heated up to working temperature (I heat up my scraps and compress them in a mold to make mallet heads) but it's technically safe to burn, as well, and theoretically only releases CO2 and water when full combustion is reached. Partial combustion doesn't release anything more dangerous than what's naturally found in wood smoke. It will punch and stitch just like leather, though more force is generally needed to do so. Because of its high cut resistance, no welt is needed if rivet fasteners are used, much like with Kydex. It also remains tough down into extreme sub-zero temperatures. Adhesives of most kinds won't work on it, due to its low surface energy, and it's chemical-resistant and food-safe, which is why it's so commonly used for food, adhesive, and chemical containers.
Ok.....I'm gonna buy some.....
I've wanted to get an order with You soon anyhow.

About When would you get the new color in, approximately?
 

FortyTwoBlades

Baryonyx walkeri
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
24,558
Oh I have no way of knowing exactly when we'd have it available at this stage in the game. This is just gauging interest for what color we might want to prioritize if/when we move forward on it. But it's something I've been thinking about for a while and I'd like to offer all of these and other colors in future. It's just when you have to commit thousands of dollars to a run of a single color you want to make sure you pick the color that would be most in demand!
 

EngrSorenson

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
2,593
I’d like deep earth brown, personally, or Olive Drab as a second choice. i like the idea of a more durable leather-like material that resembles brown leather. Olive Drab has its own appeal.

great idea, Benjamin!

also, love the idea of being able to use the scraps to make mallet heads!!! Did you make the mold?
 

FortyTwoBlades

Baryonyx walkeri
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
24,558
Brown would more resemble brown kydex or injection molded polypropylene sheaths than they would leather. It's a smooth plastic. As far as the mold we use, it's heavy duty mold normally used for making concrete test cylinders.
 
Top