How to make your own custom-fit hockey glove

Some Custom Gloves

Be sure to read these instructions completely before beginning - if you already know how to work with silicone caulk, you'll definitely want to read the advanced tips at the bottom!

Prefer video tutorial? Try these:
Step 1 (base-layer)
Step 2 (padding-layer)
  1. You will need the following: a string-knit glove or similar fabric glove that fits your hand comfortably. Some thin vinyl, latex or similar gloves to protect your hand from the silicone (make sure they fit snugly - if they bunch up a lot, they won't work nearly as well). 1 tube of 100% silicone caulk, any color. Make sure it is 100% silicone - not 'siliconized latex' or anything like that. A caulking gun.
  2. Go outdoors! The fumes are awful in a closed space.
  3. Get comfortable - you'll be sitting around for at least 20 or 30 minutes while the glove dries on your hand.
  4. Put 2 (two) of the vinyl or latex gloves on your right hand, one over the other, followed by the fabric glove.
  5. Put 1 vinyl or latex glove on your left hand
  6. Open the caulk tube by cutting off roughly 1/2 an inch (1 centimeter) of the plastic tip and puncturing the foil seal with a long nail or a piece of wire (it works better if you punch a whole bunch of holes in the seal instead of just one).
  7. Squirt small amounts of caulk on several places around the string knit glove and then, using your left hand, smear it into the fabric of the glove, all over. The goal is to impregnate the fabric with caulk everywhere - this drastically improves the longevity of the glove and also helps the next layer of silicone stick better. Continue smearing and adding silicone to the dry spots until you've got it rubbed in everywhere - don't forget in between your fingers, fingertips, etc.
  8. carefully apply silicone in a thicker layer everywhere that you want the glove to protect you from impacts - Probably the backs of all your fingers and thumb, and possibly also the side of your index finger, the back of your hand, etc. Generally, the more silicone you add during this process, the better protected your hand will be, but this comes at the price of reduced dexterity, as the added bulk of the silicone will make your hand and fingers less maneuverable in the water.
  9. (the tricky part). Using your left hand (or a popsicle stick, etc.), carefully 'tool' the thick silicone. There's lots of things you can do with the silicone as far as shaping, smoothing, etc. and they all take a bit of practice to get good at. Basically, you're trying to get a smooth, uniform layer of caulk without any loose edges or big dollops that are going to snag and get torn later. You might want to practice before-hand to learn the tricks, or just think of your first glove as a practice run and then make a second one later. The picture below shows a partially-padded glove. The padding layer has been added to the thumb, index finger, and little finger.
  10. Put your hand in a comfortable stick-holding position (some people even put a stick in their hand during this part) and sit around trying not to breathe fumes for 30 or 40 minutes. Drying time depends on temperature and humidity (humid air actually speeds up the curing process since silicone cures by reacting with moisture in the air) and also on how thick you made the protective layer (thicker takes longer). Once the surface of the silicone is dry enough to not stick to you finger when you poke it, you can probably take the glove off. The picture below shows a glove with a white base-layer and a blue padding layer. The tooling process is finished and the glove is being held while the caulk dries.
  11. this part is tricky, too. You want to avoid crushing or twisting the glove too much while removing it. The best way to get it off is to blow forcefully (and repeatedly) into the space between the two vinyl/latex gloves. It'll take several good, hard blows (make sure you don't get a big lungful of silicone fumes in between breaths or you'll pass out and whack your head on the barbecue grill), but eventually, the whole glove will sort of puff up and slide off your fingers.
  12. once it's off, you can usually just hang the glove by it's cuff using a clothespin. If the caulk is still wet enough that the glove won't hold it's shape, you'll want to wrap the fingers around a railing our something similar so it stays in the right shape while drying.

Advanced Glove-making Tricks If you've made a glove or two and feel like you've gotten the hang of it, I recommend the following:

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