using a heat gun to make a large sheath?

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Aug 23, 2003
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I've read here that a heat gun is a good option for heating kydex. But what about heating it for large applications, like making a sheath for a 21" machete? Can a heat gun do the job? if not, what do you guys recommend?
 
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I'd not like to try a large sheath with just a heat gun. There's no good way of getting all of the material up to proper heat evenly so you can mold it. I guess you could do it in sections. I had trouble getting an even heat with a gun for a small sheath, so I just switched to an oven.

I would recommend just laying the material in your household oven set at 200 or so. Watch it closely and remove it just as it starts to curve up at the edge. For smaller sheaths, the toaster oven is the perfect heating appliance. The heat gun has its uses, for sure, especially in final fitting.

--nathan
 
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But make sure your wife is okay with it first! OR you'll see this face from your wife! LOL :grumpy:
 
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hmmm I'll have to ask my wife is its ok to abuse her stove LOL

does kydex release any fumes or toxins as it heats up? is the stove safe to use for food after using it for kydex?
 

jll346

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I use a toaster oven for all my kydex heating and a heat gun for final fit only. I purchased a big toaster oven from Walmart. It holds a full 12"x12" sheet if needed. I think I paid $28.
 
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Yes ,fumes that smell.Wives don't like fumes that smell !!! They probably dissipate.But it would be hard for you to know after you've been banned from the house ! BTW kydex softens at 300-350 F.
 

jll346

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Yes ,fumes that smell.Wives don't like fumes that smell !!! They probably dissipate.But it would be hard for you to know after you've been banned from the house ! BTW kydex softens at 300-350 F.

I keep my toaster oven set at 370. Most important thing is DO NOT WALK AWAY! Keep an eye on it. One second it is barely soft the next it is shrunk and ruined.
 
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Sorry...that's right. 300, not 200. The fumes do smell a bit, and it will linger in the house for a while. As long as you've got some circulation, you should be fine, and I would think that after you air out the oven, it would be fine.

-nathan
 
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I'd say figure out something to use other than the kitchen oven. It's some form of plastic and when it heats up, it stinks and i'm guessing isn't all that good for you to be breathing the house. Probably not good for small children either to be breathing or sniffing. Try and find the largest toaster oven you can find at maybe a goodwill store or something, i'm sure you can purchase one rather cheap. Keep the kydex OUT of the house oven and leave it to baking and whatever else it was meant for.

I'd also say for the thinner stuff .06 kydex to set the toaster over between 250 and 300. That stuff will go from rather stiff to seriously warped in a matter of two seconds to melting and burned if the temperature is too high. Use a lower temperature and it will still work. There's no reason to rush the job by turning the oven past what is really needed.
 
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