By Lars Dalseide | March 26 2012 14:26
Earlier this month, I told you that I was going to try out my new set of Earinc/Insta-Mold custom fit ears. Since then I've used them twice and the difference is amazing. So I went back through my notes and put together at two part series on the man who made it possible ... Ken Dennis.

Ken Dennis of Earinc-Insta-Mold at the NRA Great American Hunting and Outdoor Show
Ken Dennis of Earinc-Insta-Mold at the NRA Great American Hunting and Outdoor Show

Frederick, Maryland - Three years ago, Ken Dennis was looking for a new set of ears. Not the ones he was born with – of course – but the pair one employs to protect their hearing when working heavy equipment or shooting firearms. That's when he found Earinc/Insta-Mold. Calling the company for more information, they invited him out to Colorado to learn about the system first hand.

"It was so impressive that I started my own business making and selling their product in 2010," said Dennis. "Apparently they like my work because they brought me out to SHOT Show to make ears ever since. We did 500 ears in four days this year — our chairs were never empty."

EarInc silicone dye at the NRA Great American Hunting and Outdoor Show The entire process takes about fifteen minutes. After choosing your colors, Ken grabs a chunk of dyed medical grade silicone and starts mixing, twisting and mashing. Twisting is what produces the swilrls and mashing gets out the air.

"You can have as many colors in the ears as you want," explained Dennis. "But if you want more than two, then you'll have to lend a hand. The silicone will harden before I can do it all myself."

Then, with a turkey baster sized syringe, he injects the mold into your ears. There's roughly a three minute window once the mold is in the ear canal to smooth the surface and get out all the wrinkles.

When he approached me with the turkey baster, I was a touch nervous. Mom always said never put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow. This was smaller, but not by much. Luckily it came with a warning.

"It's going to feel a little weird," Dennis warned with a grin. "It goes in a little like toothpaste."

Twisting dyed silicone for an Earinc-Insta-Mold hearing protection at the NRA Great American Hunting and Outdoor Show
Twisting dyed silicone for an Earinc-Insta-Mold hearing protection at the NRA Great American Hunting and Outdoor Show

Part two of this series will run next week.

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