Thimbles: How to Reinforce Cable Eyelets With a Thimble

Cable thimble by Monroe

When connecting a cable to an anchor point, you should consider using a thimble. Cables are commonly used in the aerospace manufacturing industry. Connecting a cable directly to an anchor point, however, may result in damage.

Cables can fray when directly connected to an anchor point. As a load-bearing cable rubs against the anchor point, the material from which the cable is made may fray. Continued fraying, of course, may result in the cable breaking. Fortunately, thimbles are available to reinforce cable eyelets and, thus, protect them from fraying and breaking.

What Is a Thimble?

A thimble is a cable accessory that’s designed to reinforce the eyelet of a cable. Cables often have an eyelet on the end. The eyelet is a loop that’s secured to a separate anchor point. Rather than connecting an eyelet directly to an anchor point, you may want to use a thimble.

Thimbles are small metal parts that create a barrier around the inner surface of a cable’s eyelet. With a thimble, the cable’s eyelet won’t directly touch the anchor point. The thimble will sit between the eyelet and the anchor point. As a result, the cable can move back and forth without succumbing to friction-related damage.

How to Use a Thimble

Using a thimble is easy. You just need to place it inside the eyelet of a cable. Eyelets are achieved by wrapping the end of a cable in a loop. Instead of leaving the end straight, you can take the end of the cable and loop it over. A finished eyelet will resemble a narrow letter U.

You can reinforce the eyelet by placing a thimble inside of it. You’ll typically need to loosen the eyelet first. Loosening the eyelet will create slack so that you can fit the thimble inside of the U-shaped end of the cable. After positioning the thimble, you can then retighten the eyelet.

Make sure the eyelet is tight. If there’s any remaining slack in the eyelet, the thimble may fall out. Ensuring the eyelet is tight will prevent this from happening.

In Conclusion

Cables can fray when exposed to friction. Even metal cables consisting of high-quality stainless steel aren’t immune to fraying. Fortunately, there are accessories known as thimbles that can protect cables from fraying. They are small metal parts that, when placed inside of an eyelet, will reinforce it so that the cable can move back and forth without fraying.

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