We left off Part VI with the barrel shroud mostly done, but needing a fix for the set screw nuts which kept backing out. While I pondered what to do about that, I finally turned my attention to the part of this this from which it gets its name: the magnetic holster.
I entered the holster phase of the project pretty blind. I knew that I wanted as minimal of a holster as possible that would keep the revolver secure and that's about it. I didn't know how strong of magnets I would need, what the design of the holster would be, or anything else that people who know what they're doing know before they start the "doing"....
So, I started slow. I made a template of the profile of the holster in wood.
I cut the revolver outline out of the wood and then recesses for the magnets. At this point the idea was to make a similarly-shaped core of the holster out of acetal. Note that the main magnets would pull the base of the barrel shroud toward the holster and a smaller magnet would hold the shroud cap in place.
What kind of magnets am I using you ask? The main ones are these 48-Lb pull force 1" x 1" magnets from K&J Magnetics. Since I knew basically nothing about magnets before this project, I ended up ordering a variety of magnets from K&J trying to determine how much pull strength I needed.
Public Service Announcement: 48-lb pull force magnets are no joke. They'll rip skin, ruin phones, and cause all kinds of other damage if you aren't careful. Please be careful.
I wanted the acetal holster to be a single piece, so I marked and cut a slot for the magnets.
With the magnets in place I began cutting the front of the holster to fit the shroud and be thin enough between the magnets and the shroud to have strong magnetic attraction.
Although the acetal holster was taking shape.... it was also pretty bulky and wasn't going to allow for a magnet on the front to hold the shroud cap in place. So I tried a simpler version using a couple stainless steel straps bent at 90 degrees.
One benefit of using the steel is that, since it is magnetic it acts as a larger magnetic surface than the magnets are on their own housed in acetal.
Second Public Service Announcement: Not all stainless steel is magnetic. I got a non-magnetic kind the first time. Make sure you know the actual alloy of stainless steel you're getting and do a quick goole to see if it's magnetic or not.
This design was working better than the acetal one. I made some small spacers out of acetal to hold the steel straps in place and started thinking through the housing I'd use to hold the magnets & steel in place. Generally, the plan is an aluminum frame that covers the trigger and allows the whole thing to attach to a Tek-Lok belt clip.
We'll see how that plan goes in a later post.