How to Make a Vacuum Press for Kydex

Are you looking for how to make a vacuum press for Kydex? Well, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will give you a brief description of how to make a Kydex holster using a vacuum press. So check out this article for further details.

A vacuum press is a process of preparing ordinary flat plastic sheets in a three-dimensional shape. Typically, the heating technique is used to create a vacuum press. This is important for many industries. In particular, a Kydex helps in the process of creating a holster. So keep reading the following part of the article to know how to easily build a vacuum press.

What is Vacuum Press?

Before we learn how to build a vacuum press, let’s find out what it actually is. This is one of the oldest methods of processing plastic materials. It is widely used for a variety of work across gloves. The importance of vacuum pressing or formation is undeniable in our daily lives. This is called a modified version of thermoforming.

In this method, the plastic sheet is heated to reach a certain press or formation temperature. When they get hot, they expand into a surface mold. They then force against the mold using a vacuum. The vacuum press method is mainly used to give plastic a permanent shape. As a protective cover, molded storage of electronics is created through a vacuum forming process.

How to Make a Vacuum Press for Kydex

A lot of people construct thermal presses for the express purpose of forming Kydex holsters for guns, knives, and various other components like RC cars. Its limitless possibilities but we are going to specifically work on the vacuum press. There’s a lot of manufacturers out there that make presses, you can get a press within 5 to six hundred dollars and they are more than adequate.

Required Equipment

  • Silicon rubber sheet
  • 1X3” board
  • 1X2” board
  • Plywood
  • Pegboard
  • Screws (you can choose drywall)
  • ¼” bolts, washers, and nuts
  • 11/4” hole saw
  • Weatherstrip
  • Big cardboard box
  • Plastic (according to your choice like ABS, Lexan, Polystyrene, etc.)


We will try to show you the complete details of creating a vacuum press here today. So let’s get started.

Step 1

The first thing to do is cut a 1X3 “board to make the frame. Pre-drill the ends of the plywood so that they do not split. Two screws are enough for each end of the wood. Now drill the bottom frame of the plywood and fasten the screws.

Step 2

Now make an 11/4″ hole in the front of the vacuum to attach it next. Cut a piece of pegboard and place it on the frame. Take the same size pegboard on the frame and mark for 3 holes. When marked, remove it, drill, and screw on the marked area.

Step 3

When you have finished making the base, take a 1×2 “size board and attach it around the pegboard. Be sure to flush with the pegboard and not cover the front of the vacuum hole. Use screws to attach the faces to the boards.

Then line the top of it with weather stripping. Use silicone rubber in this case as high temperature will be added. This strip will be especially useful for creating an attractive seal on a vacuum. In this regard, I would recommend you to use the adhesive back strip.

Step 4

At this stage, it is time to create the frame structure that will melt your material. You just frame the 1X2 “boards and attach them with screws. Make 2 such frames and fasten them both together. Then drill them into the four corners with 4 1/4” size nuts.

Step 5

Now take a heater and heater box of your choice. In this case, you can use a box of large pitch boards. Make sure the heater box is large enough to hold the temperature of your heater. Now set an aluminum fuel paper inside the box so that it does not burn due to heat. Cut a flap to hold the heater to the box.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the height of the box should be moderate. This is because if the altitude is low the temperature can move very close to the plastic.

Step 6

Next, it’s time to melt the plastic. In the case of plastic picking, you can give preference to any one of ABS, Lexan, and Polystyrene. The purpose of melting plastic is to make a Kydex holster. For this go to the next step.

Step 7

The work of making vacuum forming press is finished. Now it’s time to make a Kydex holster. To do this, first, turn on the heater and allow time to warm up. Then set your gun on the top frame of the box and measure it. Then press with a lid. However, make sure that this pressure is not too much.

Now, wait 15 to 20 minutes. Gradually the shape of Kydex will change to plastic round. Then take it out of the vacuum press. This time, do not touch it with your bare hands. This can burn your hands. Now give it some time to cool down. Or turn off the heater. When it gets cold you will get your desired Kydex. That’s all. This is the process of making Kydex through a vacuum press.

What kind of plastic does it take to make a vacuum press?

Different types of plastics are used for vacuum press forming. This does not mean that you can use any type of plastic in vacuum forming. There are some plastic models prescribed for vacuum forming. Most of them are thermoplastic. Because they can easily create the shape of any material.

Besides, it is easy to hit them repeatedly and convert them to any color. There are variations in these thermoplastics. Such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polystyrene, acrylic-PMMA, co-polyester, and so on.


As you see, you can make a holster of any material of your choice including making Kydex through a vacuum press. And for this, you will be able to make a vacuum press yourself by following some instructions. So follow the guidelines in this article to make a vacuum press. Protection Status
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