A friend was working in our hacklab http://quelab.net tabbing some un tabbed solar cells, when he realized what a pain it can be! (Literally, as he burned his fingers soldering them and trying to hold them in place on the paper thin solar cells).
I thought there has to be a better way, which got me thinking about making thumb and index finger heat protection. and from there Sugru Thimbles!
Step 1: Setup,
To do this i think you will need:
1, packet of Sugru
1, smooth non sticky surface
Some soapy water in a small cup.
A pair of scissors
And about 30 minutes
Step 2: Open and Knead
Start off by opening the Sugru, It has instructions on the packet, to cut around the edges, I tend to agree with their suggestion.
Also keeping the package fairly intact allows you to use it later to help get the thimbles off your flesh
Knead the Sugru to start activating its curing.
roll it up and split it into 2 roughly equal sized balls
Step 3: Start Forming
At this point you want to get the fingers you want to make the thimbles for wet with soap/water
And then carefully start forming the thimble over your fingertip, smoothing and thinning it out by rolling your fingertip around on the wet soapy tile.
Do one fingetip at a time, and resist the urge to do the "Okie Dokie" hand gesture!
in the shaping process be sure to make a little lip around the edges, rather than smoothing the edges down super thin (i suspect this will make them more easy to take off/put on
Step 4: Give It 10+ Minutes and Gently Pry Off
Give it 10+ minutes to start to set up. I also tried heating it by putting it in-line with my laptop fan exhaust.
Then roll up the empty sheet of plastic that was the package, around your finger and slowly pry/shuck off your thimbles
use a little soapy water to smooth off and place like you can see in the photo where my nail kinda stuck to it.
And that s pretty much all of it, I will see in a few days how the hold up to some serious tab soldering.