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What to know about
EagleWorks Holster Molds

When we started looking for holster molds many years ago, there weren’t many choices, so we developed  molds to support the specific style pattern and features we liked in a holster.  Other holster makers liked what they saw, so we offered our pattern-specific Production Molds and Matching Trim Jigs for sale.    

We also got requests for a more generic pattern style of holster mold, so we stripped all the features off the Production Molds, and marketed those minimally blocked split board molds under the name ‘Universal Molds.’  Many types of fold-over holsters styles can be made using a Universal Mold.

EagleWorks Production Molds and Universal Molds are individually milled from solid blocks of HDPE.  They are not poured resin, or castings formed in a mold tool.  They do not have to be affixed to a board to work; the backboard is part of the mold.  We do not stock molds; when your order is received, the molds are milled specifically to fill that order.  

When choosing a mold for yourself, it’s vital to understand what can and cannot be done with that mold.  Please take the time to read the following, and if you still have questions, please give us a call. 

Production Molds

Production Molds are butterflied molds on a backboard that produce a feature specific fold-over type holster, except in the case of the OWB, Conceal Carry style which is a two piece holster.  

Each Production Mold is designed only to work for a specific gun model, generation, and/or iteration.  Small changes a manufacturer has made from one year to the next can create fit, draw, and reholster issues.  Just because a model shares the same name, does not mean it is, in fact, the same.  Please check the manufacturer’s specifications before ordering.  If you still have questions, give us a call.  

There are five carry style patterns of Production Molds.  Each style pattern represents a specific holster type:

  • Inside the Waistband | IWB | Foldover Holster;
  • Outside the Waistband, Competition Style | OWB Type 1 | Foldover Holster;
  • Outside the Waistband, Conceal Carry Style | OWB Type 2, | Two-Piece Holster Mold;
  • Appendix Carry, Inside Waistband | Foldover Holster; and
  • Magazine Carry | Foldover Carrier.

The Production Molds, created to support our own holster business, were developed to reflect our personal vision of what we liked in a holster.  The holster created with a Production Mold will be similar to the holsters shown on the website, dependent on your method of trimming, heating, and forming the thermoplastic.  If you use the Matching Trim Jigs, each holster will be like the holsters shown on this website.  If your methods of heating and forming Kydex varies too much from ours, the results may not be acceptable.  We recommend heating the Kydex to 000 degrees Fahrenheit, and using not less than a 2-stage, 8 CFM vacuum pump capable of developing a reliable 25 (Hg) of vacuum.

If you have your own specific style pattern and feature package you’d like to include in your holsters, a standardized Production Mold is not for you.  They cannot be modified in the field.  If that is the case for you, take a look at the Universal Molds which will support various foldover holster styles, or give us a call about having a custom pattern developed specific to your needs.  

Holsters made from Production Molds require specific hardware to work properly.  The holster you produce with this mold will not work without the correct hardware.  A downloadable PDF Hardware List is available in the header and footer on every page of the website. 

We strongly recommend not making modifications to this mold.  Doing so will interfere with the function of the resulting holsters and could cause accidental discharge or other consequential problems. 

Universal Molds

Universal Molds are butterflied, milled HDPE representations of manufacturer/models on a backboard.  The standardized Universal Molds we sell are blocked for competition height sights, have a choice of detents at the trigger guard, and have minimal blocking to create channels for ease of draw and reholstering.  These molds create a fold-over type holster and can be used for most holster types or styles that can be created by a fold-over process.  

The History

If you’re in the Kydex holster making business, you understand the relationship between the holster you make and the mold used to form that holster.  In the digital world, it’s called  WYSIWYG—what you see is that you get.  If the Kydex is heated to the right temperature and you have a good vacuum system, the resulting thermoplastic holster will be the same shape as the mold.

In the beginning, most of us ordered replicas of real guns and modified them to make those molds.  When we realized that the epoxy plastic material used to make the replicas shrank slightly, we learned to build out the surfaces with tape, sometimes a single layer, sometimes several layers.  We attached pieces of wood or plastic, whatever was around our shops, to create channels for the things that were proud of the surface.  We came up with clever ideas for making retention plates.  We filled the trigger guards and created shapes in that area that would provide detents.  We are craftsmen, makers who work with our hands and find solutions. 

We do not, however, all agree on how a holster should look and function.  Each craftsman who builds holsters has a vision of how that holster will perform and how it will look.  Like all craftsmen, we are constantly tinkering with the formula we use to make a holster, looking for ways to solve problems we’ve encountered, trying to accommodate a customer’s needs, or just to bring our ideas to fruition. 

We’re an opinionated bunch, us entrepreneurs.  We like to debate the merits of everything, and it’s why we, as an industry, offer so many unique products.  In the end, it’s also why there’s room for so many in the holster making business.  No one holster type will serve all people who want a holster.  Competition is a good thing for all of us. 

Like everyone else, we had a vision, not better or worse, just a vision that was as unique to us as your vision is to you.  The wall we’d hit and couldn’t get by was the molds we were using.  We came up with the idea of making our own molds, and then threw ourselves headlong down that long, winding, expensive, and frustrating trail.    

We solved it.  After many attempts, much cursing, and breathtakingly expensive forays into research and development, we developed a complex system for making our own molds, and it set our creative minds free.  We started nitpicking holster details, trying to find solutions for things that would have been impossible to address by modifying the replicas we started with.  We were able to manage dozens of details and standardize those solutions so they could be used repeatably.  We liked the holster styles we created using the new molds, and so did our holster customers.  We protected those early molds like gold bullion. 

But like half-mad scientists, not content with the win, we decided to make matching trim jigs.  Hand trimming Kydex and then having to sand it endlessly was time-consuming and unprofitable.  It wasn’t so bad when my business partner did all the sanding, but when I was recruited to help, I quickly saw the genius in the idea to develop trim jigs that matched the Kydex Forming Production Molds.   Lots of acquired skill sets later and many more dollars donated to the R & D gremlins, we had our matching Trim Jigs. 

Then folks asked, “Why are you selling holsters?  Why not sell those molds?”  Simple question, and we instantly got our protective hackles up as anyone protecting a secret ingredient would.  But we starting thinking.  What would that look like?  Were we willing to share what we felt was our edge?

If you’re reading this, you know we did start selling our molds, and much to our surprise, they were, and are, very popular.  With popularity, however, comes struggle.  No mold, whether ours or someone else’s, can be all things to all holster makers. 

It is important to understand that our Production Molds were specifically created to reflect our unique vision of functionality.  Having an idea, and then trying to bring that idea to life, can be a cruelly frustrating process.  During the R & D phase of prototyping, it’s not uncommon for a seemingly simple change to cause downstream failures that don’t rear their ugly heads until the milling is done, the mold inspected, a holster formed, and a tiny flaw identified that makes the mold unusable.  The cost of R&D is staggering. Did we say that already?  It bears repeating.  The time commitment is beyond anything you might imagine going in.  Ignorance of how hard it will be allows you to start down that road, and once started, it’s tough to turn back.    

We endured, and the reward was having the capacity to design and mill our own molds.  Despite the long, expensive road to get here, that ability has been freeing.  When we decided to sell the molds, the designs had long ago gone through R & D, been field tested, and the holster patterns standardized.  The resulting holsters formed on those molds were being used by satisfied customers for carry and for competition.

As mentioned, the design of the holsters made from our molds was our personal vision of a holster that reflected the features we thought important.  We empathized when potential mold customers asked us to make ‘little changes’ to molds to reflect their own unique style or function.  Too often, variations that seemed small and inconsequential were,  in fact, expensive and time consuming to design and test.   What we’ve discovered, the hard way (is there any other way?), is that some requests can be accommodated inexpensively, others cannot.  Too often, we’ve tried to fulfill seemingly small customization requests for free to the peril of our sanity and bottom line.  

If you are considering honoring our efforts with a mold purchase, we want the mold you purchase to be a dream-come-true money-making tool for you. Please take the time to read the information provided on this site, the pages referenced here and in the header and footers of every page on the website, and email or call us with your questions.  Take time to understand completely the difference between the Universal Molds and the Production Molds.  Understand the options.  Know what you are buying ahead of time, and what can and cannot be changed.  If you have any questions about whether a mold can serve your particular holster needs, please call us before ordering. 

 

Our Recommendations

1. If the concept of Production Molds and Trim Jigs appeals to you, order a single set for your most popular gun model. We’ll email you a computer rendering of that combo so you can inspect it carefully before it’s milled and shipped. Try the combination out, and judge for yourself. If you like the process and the product it produces, you’re on your way. 

2. If you have something different in mind, take a look at our Universal Molds. We’ve stripped most of the standarized features on these molds, and just left the basics. Universal Molds can be used to make many types of fold over holsters.

3. If you’ve already developed an esthetic you’re known for, those holsters are in demand with your customers, and your current methods don’t allow you to produce holsters fast enough to keep up with orders, consider streamlining your processes. Take a look at the videos available on this website to see what’s possible. We can create a custom patterned Production Mold and Trim Jig or a custom Universal Mold pattern. You will bear the cost of the research and development of the product which will include, but not be limited to, time and materials. This cost can be small or large; you won’t know until you make the request and get a quotation. There is no charge for quotes. If you are interested, please read this page for more details, and then contact us directly to discuss design strategy and pricing.

4. And finally, if you are currently using a mold maker who supports your holster making processes and holster style, stay with them and celebrate your good luck in finding them. There’s room for all of us.