Steel cable is tough, but excessive wear at attachment points can cause early failure. Installing a thimble and sleeve stop at problem areas helps to prevent wear, thus improving the strength and longevity of wire rope or cable. The thimble creates a physical barrier between the cable and the attachment point, while the compression or swage-type fitting called a sleeve stop holds the assembly securely together. Installed correctly, such an assembly is as strong or stronger than the cable alone.
Select a piece of heat-shrink tubing with a diameter slightly larger than that of the sleeve stop. Cut a three-inch section of the tubing with a utility knife. Slip the tubing onto the cable.
Slide a sleeve stop onto the cable. Form a loop in the cable by doubling it back on itself. Slide the end of the cable into the open side of the sleeve stop until it protrudes one-quarter to one-half of an inch from the other side of the stop. Insert a thimble into the loop. Pull the long end of the cable through the sleeve stop so that the cable loop tightens around the thimble.
Maintain the position of the sleeve stop so that the thimble is held tightly and the free end of the cable protrudes slightly from the stop. Place the sleeve stop in an upright position between the jaws of a crimping tool for compression (swage-type) fittings.
Utilize the crimping tool to crimp the sleeve stop onto the cable. Start at the end of the sleeve stop closer to the thimble. Make the number of crimps recommended by the manufacturer of the sleeve stop, which is usually determined by the size of the cable. Smaller sleeve stops normally require two crimps, one at each end.
Slip the heat-shrink tubing down the cable and over the sleeve stop until it touches the thimble. Ensure that it completely covers the small amount of cable end protruding from the sleeve stop. Utilize a heat gun or lighter flame to shrink the tubing tightly over the assembly.