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Thread: DIY Holster Form/Dummy Gun

  1. #1
    Site Supporter Rich@CCC's Avatar
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    DIY Holster Form/Dummy Gun

    I thought some here would be interested in this and since we don't have a DIY forum this seemed like the best place for it. I hope the title isn't too ambiguous!

    I just made my first DIY holster form. I've been toying with it and going over several different processes in my head for quite some time. I finally pulled the trigger and made something happen.

    I built a vacuum table while ago for forming holsters. It uses a silicone membrane to pull the Kydex onto the form. I made an adapter appliance that converts it into the type that uses a frame to hold the plastic and pulls everything tight to a perforated table.

    With the new vacuum system, I fabricated a 2 piece shell with .060" HIP Polystyrene sheet, then cast the form using Bondo filler thinned with fiberglass resin. The result looks and feels great. I will have to give it a couple days to cure and measure for shrinkage. The Bondo may not be the best medium, but was cheap and I had it on hand for the trial run. There are any number of high end Polyurethane casting resins available from many sources. Some are quite expensive but others are not so bad. Hopefully the Bondo works for the long haul.

    This is a Sig P229 Elite.





    This was made specifically for use on the vac table for molding Kydex holsters. If you cast the full pistol they would make excellent training guns. I'd be happy to go over the process in detail with anyone who would like to try this for themselves. I got the original idea from a youtuber so you can search there for the same inspiration.

    After 12 hrs+/- cure time, the shrinkage is unmeasurable with my digital vernier caliper. Well below what I expected. Durability is another matter and only time will tell on that front. One thing is certain, full castings of this type would be excellent for training dummies. Maybe a bit hard for CQC but perfect for disarming drills and for practicing your draw from concealment.
    Last edited by Rich@CCC; 11-27-2015 at 07:22 AM.
    TANSTAAFL

    Managing Partner, Custom Carry Concepts, LLC

  2. #2
    Site Supporter Rich@CCC's Avatar
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    continued

    Here are some pics of the vac table and process. Please excuse the state of my shop. I'm a slob at best and it's been a long day. I'll clean tomorrow(yeah, Right!)

    The original vacuum press and vacuum pump.




    The press in use with a butterfly mold that I put together from a Blue Gun.



    The Vac table adapter.



    The .060" Polystyrene in the frame.



    After heating the frame and Polystyrene at 330 deg f. for about 3 minutes and pulling a vacuum on an HK P30 Blue Gun.

    Last edited by Rich@CCC; 11-27-2015 at 07:21 AM.
    TANSTAAFL

    Managing Partner, Custom Carry Concepts, LLC

  3. #3
    Site Supporter Rich@CCC's Avatar
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    At this point, I trim the first piece of the mold with a razor knife and Dremel then repeat the process on the other side of the pistol with the first half of the mold on the gun to get this.



    after trimming the second half they can be assembled for casting.

    TANSTAAFL

    Managing Partner, Custom Carry Concepts, LLC

  4. #4
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    This is pretty cool. I would tempted to keep the grip for novelty purposes. I appreciate the process and you sharing.

  5. #5
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    Very cool!
    Grinder Monkey, CEO and Janitor at FLC Knives.
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  6. #6
    Thanks for posting, neat.

  7. #7
    Site Supporter Rich@CCC's Avatar
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    Here's the latest dummy gun I cast. A Para LDA, PDA. I made the molds up on a buddy's gun and tried a different casting medium, Freeman Mfg. 1085 polyurethane.


    This casting resin is has a very thin viscosity so there was a good chance for roll out as my molds are not water tight. I knew this was going to happen so I applied a double coating of parting film to the mold and even coated the outside by about 1/4". I taped everything as well as possible and hoped for the best. The resin pours beautifully and the fill was perfect, no bubbles at all and the roll out was minimal. The problem came when it was time to demold. It was like I hadn't even used a parting film at all. I had to peel the polystyrene mold off in pieces. The finished casting is fine but I need to be able to get at least two castings from the molds. This did not happen with the Bondo resin. That popped right out of the molds as slick as duck butter.

    I'll call Freeman Mfg. tomorrow to see if I should have used a different parting film. I used their parting film that I have used for years with their hard skin coat resin. I just assumed it would work for the poly resins as well. That could be the issue.
    TANSTAAFL

    Managing Partner, Custom Carry Concepts, LLC

  8. #8
    Thanks for posting all this. Looks really cool.

    You might try some spray on Mold Release like they use for plastic injection molding to help with removing the parts from the mold.
    "Don't get me started on how coddled the modern anus is." -Dwight K. Shrute

  9. #9
    Site Supporter Rich@CCC's Avatar
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    Actually, Freeman's tech support suggested using a wax paste release agent rather than the liquid film type with the polystyrene molds.
    TANSTAAFL

    Managing Partner, Custom Carry Concepts, LLC

  10. #10
    Site Supporter Rich@CCC's Avatar
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    Here's the latest form made from scratch. A vacuum form board for the Glock 43.

    Name:  G43boardform.jpg
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    This was made with Freeman Supply's REPRO NS polyurethane resin. Mixing it was a bit of a pain as it had settled and packed in the cans, but it turned out nice. The resin pours well and is just thick enough to preclude any real run out. I forgot to wax the mold and was very surprised when the casting popped right out with very little coaxing. I think this is going to be the resin I keep working with.

    After demolding I split the casting on the band saw and set up the vacu-form board.
    Last edited by Rich@CCC; 02-23-2016 at 07:10 PM.
    TANSTAAFL

    Managing Partner, Custom Carry Concepts, LLC

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