I've always had a fascination with the capacity of metal to adopt a shape through applied pressure. Seeing how I wouldn't be building a forge anytime soon, I decided that I would work with Kydex instead.
The name might be unfamiliar, but you have certainly came in contact with some form of it during your life. It's the back of an airplane seat, the side of the fuselage that, if you get a window seat, you get to rest your head on. Kydex is a thermal plastic that, when heated near its boiling point, can be shaped using applied pressure.
But first, I would need a work bench:
I had never built a workbench before. I'm made a few cigar boxes, bubblegum machine and bird house in high school... I am usually the designer and find someone to make it for me afterwards (thanks dad!).
Turns out I can also build heavy duty stuff. Seeing how sturdy it was, I had a different idea for the press. I fitted the bottom of the workbench with heavy gauge metal rings at the bottom to hook the strapping system and use the whole workbench as a press.
So after a quick press test, I was happy with the results, and I still have the same setup since then. I've also did my best to reduce my noise output by isolating a wall that I share with the neighbor. It won't muffle it completely, but it will help with the shopvac noise.
I decided that my first project would be a Cold Steel Double Agent blade. It was a thin enough blade that I could use my free Kydex samples (Thanks to the super nice customer support rep Penny!) to make a new sheath for it.
It was easy to work the thin Kydex gauge (.06). It was a nice small starting project but will need to find a better Dremel bit. The design didn't come out with as much details I would have liked. Next time, I might try just taking the extra time and hand sculpting and filing it down.