Recently I was given a copy of Mike Sastre’s “Kitchen Kydex” DVD set to watch and write a review on. I have been doing my own Kydex for some time now, and was mostly self-taught, but was able to glean some good information off the Internet and various forums. Over a period, I was able to start making my own stuff, but I spent a lot of time and money working my way through the trial and error process. There is a Kydex graveyard littered with the corpses of failed attempts at sheaths and holsters that did not need to be, but such is the process of trial and error.
Like many other people out there, I got into making things out of Kydex because I needed more custom stuff than I was able to find on the Internet, plus I was also looking to save a little dough in the process. What I found is that I really enjoyed making Kydex gear, got pretty good at it, and started selling the stuff I was making in my basement workshop. So for me, what started as a distraction became a hobby which morphed into a small business. But no matter why you get into the Kydex game or what you plan to get out of it, knowing what you are doing is key.
After I got my hands on Mike’s DVD set, he had one main request of me, and that was not to do a stroke job in the review. I agreed, and with a somewhat jaded attitude I stuck the first DVD into my laptop not knowing at all what to expect. I was immediately drawn in by the quality of the production of the DVD. I have seen other DVD’s done by others in related fields, and the quality of production was not nearly as good. The entire process shown on the DVD was covered by multiple steady camera angles, as well as cut scenes sprinkled throughout showing Mike giving pearls of wisdom related to Kydex production, as well as the benefits of Kydex over other materials used for knife sheaths and gun holsters.
The first DVD entails what I would call “Guerilla Kydex Making,” and is done especially for those wanting to make Kydex gear with minimum amount of money spent on tools and materials. What surprised me was that Mike made a knife sheath using a heat gun and a couple of old pot holders, there is no other more minimalist way you could produce something out of Kydex. If there is I have not seen it, nor would I want to. However, by showing people that a holster or sheath can be made in this fashion, Mike has achieved his goal of showing the viewer just how easy and inexpensive it can be to fashion products out of Kydex.
The second DVD goes into greater detail, and entails the use of a more traditional method of heating and pressing Kydex using a press with the foam inserts. Mike takes you from start to finish in the process and sprinkles in absolutely essential tips along the way to guide you through. I personally found these tips very useful in the Kydex holster and sheath making process. The second DVD shows the use of power tools in the process, as well as showing the viewer how to construct Kydex presses using nothing more than 4X4’s, a woodworker’s vise and some foam rubber matting. Without giving too much away, there is also a very clever use of metal staples in the process that struck me as an “Aha” moment, but you will have to watch the DVD to get the full story.
All in all I would have to say that if you are considering getting into Kydex holster and knife sheath making for money, or just for personal use, the Kitchen Kydex DVD series will be more than sufficient in helping you get started, and proving a invaluable as a reference resource once you figure out the basics. I was very impressed overall with the Kitchen Kydex DVD set, both due to the amount and quality of content, and in the production quality as well. Good luck and check out Mike Sastre’s Kitchen Kydex DVD series. Thanks.