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Kydex sheath scratch prevention

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by milkyeye, May 7, 2018.

  1. milkyeye


    Apr 14, 2010
    Hello again folks, as the title suggests, I am looking for your techniques in preventing scratches from forming on the blade from insertion and removal. I have been applying 3 layers of painters tape to the exposed blade prior to pressing the kydex. After sanding the edges, I have been blowing out the sheath with compressed air. Am I getting these scratches from grit from the sanding belt, has to be some kind of foreign material, it's not from any plastic debris right?
  2. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    I've never worked with kydex but it is a known problem with kydex.
    Some people line theyre kydex with leather, or just make leather sheaths
  3. Maineiac1


    May 3, 2017
    while making the sheath you need to keep a single layer of tape on the blade until finished. 3 layers is great for forming. Once the sheath in near completed for the shape and edges ill wash out the sheath with soap and water and let dry. Then I will work the retention with a heat gun and with a layer of tape on the blade. You'll need to figure out where on the knife you can get the retention but also be aware that while the knife unlocks from the sheath that the retention area isn't going to "ride" the blade to the tip on removal/insertion.

    Kydex is difficult with knives not getting scratches. scratches will happen but limiting them during the creating is a big plus because that can ruin a blades look. But again, depending how well the sheath came out you may get scuffs pretty quick or eventually. Some knives are very difficult to not get them and others are not so bad. Good Luck.
  4. ponykid


    Sep 14, 2015
    I now wait to rivet the two halves of the sheath until I am done sanding and shaping. then I wash them thoroughly and then rivet.

    even then the "retention" points of a kydex sheath will drag on a blade when drawing and re sheathing. even my acid wash stonwash blades eventually show "polished" or scratch lines . not to mention if dirt or debris goes into the opening when you edc the knife and it will for sure. just the nature of the beast . it is an issue that still makes me wonder though. Kydex is relatively soft when compared to a blade steel which is 58-62 Rockwell yet it happens eventually .
  5. evlDan

    evlDan Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 5, 2016
    Some makers like to use screws instead of eyelets just to give themselves easier access for cleaning. I personally use temp rivets to hold the piece together while doing the shaping. I used to do this all the way until my finished sheath, but have found I like the nice clean edges produced from a fine buffing. Like the others pointed out it is very difficult if not impossible to avoid ever scuffing/scratching the knife. My personal view is that Kydex is for users and scratches are just part of using a blade.
  6. jll346

    jll346 Knife maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2006
    It's not the kydex but the sandpaper dust and any other grit. After I press, cut, drill, and sand my sheaths. I thoroughly wash with soap and water. Never had an issue AFTER I learned to clean them well
  7. Busto

    Busto KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 26, 2011
    Keep your work area Clean...something as simple as laying the Taped blade down on a dirty surface will pick up particles on the tape which can get pressed into the kydex.
    jll346 likes this.
  8. Maelstrom78


    Sep 21, 2013

    I did my first kydex sheath just yesterday. On mine the kydex kind of stuck to itself at first. Is that enough during the pre-rivet shaping to hold the two pieces together? How do you keep them together?

  9. ponykid


    Sep 14, 2015
    It can be enough yes but if care isn't taken they will separate. I start with small pilot holes. If you try to use the actual size bit for the rivet hole they will split apart . I don't have a drill press but its the way to go . thinking of getting the cheap little one at harbor freight .
  10. ponykid


    Sep 14, 2015

    Yes contaminants during the making of the sheath will scratch the blade. but I clean the sheath half thouroughly before riveting. still get scratches so either something is getting in there or the Kydex is scratching . even plastic will start to polish acid wash or coatings off over time.
  11. ponykid


    Sep 14, 2015
    Also any point of "retention" which if you don't have the blade will just fall out of the sheath is a contact point with the knife. anything that contacts the knife will wear or scratch it eventually. It simply has to its inevitable.
  12. jll346

    jll346 Knife maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2006
    Yes something is getting in/on to create those scratches.
  13. Maineiac1


    May 3, 2017
    I use 2 layers of painters tape on the blade on each side when I mold the kydex, one inch from the tip of the blade will only have 1 layer per side. Leaves a very good gap so the blade doesn't drag on removal/insertion. The tight fit of the tip keeps it from rattling and I leave a tight fit on the start of the handle also. after molding I will leave the knife in the mold, mark my holes and drill them, then I will remove the knife, throw in some eyelets without setting them (temporaryily keeps the kydex in line), shape the sheath to my liking, remove the eyelets and seperatre the sheath, lightly sand the inside edges that right the knife into the sheath, clean the inside and out with soapy water, rivet the halfs together, buff the edges, heatgun the retention behind the ricasso if necessary, add tek lok and ship it.
    Hale Storm likes this.
  14. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013

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