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FIN STRAP TOOL

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FIN STRAP TOOL
CoolI was recently playing around with some PVC, making an extended handle shoe horn for my son, who has back problems and has difficulty pulling his shoes on. My successful invention suggested that I might be able to come up with a suitable tool for assisting with getting fin straps on and off...for float tubers with bad backs, big guts, tight waders or all of the above. I plead guilty to at least two out of three of those.

I have tried a couple of designs, but this one is the simplest and easiest to make and use. I used 1" PVC, but even lighter 1/2" would work just as well. That's what I used for the 3' shoe horn and it is plenty strong enough.

It works by hooking down between your boot and the strap, to pull it on. You just get the lip under the strap, center it in the back and pull the strap up into place. It works in reverse when you get back in. Work the lip down between the boot and strap, and then lever it off over the heel, just like a reverse shoe horn.

I started with an 18" piece of PVC, and cut a straight line about 8" in from one end (with a jig saw. A hack saw will work, but it's slower). Then, using two pair of long nose pliers, I worked the ends apart after heating evenly over the burner on my stove. It takes a couple of heatings and stretchings to get it spread. Run it under cold water to get it to harden faster without returning to the round shape. The last part is heating just the end and bending the lip to about 1/2". Finish by rounding off the corners with a power sander or disc.





Any chubby tubers with back problems and tight waders who want more instructions or clarification, feel free to post or PM me.
image/jpeg FIN TOOL.jpg (36.1 KB)
image/jpeg FIN TOOL 2.jpg (32.0 KB)
(This post was edited by TubeDude on Sep 4, 2005, 10:19 AM)
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Re: [TubeDude] FIN STRAP TOOL In reply to
great idea TD.... but did you have to put in big guts and tight waders?...I think this is a tool to help us all out. Six pac or kegger... LOL... I might have to make one even though I do not have a bad back (who is not to say I am not guilty of the same offenses as you TD..

Minh
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Re: [halibut] FIN STRAP TOOL In reply to
CoolThey say that necessity is the mother of invention. I admit to carrying a bit more "table muscle" around my middle than I should, and when I wear extra layers inside my waders during cooler water times, it is hard to bend all the way over to pull up those fin straps. Even without the occasional back twinges I get, I find myself straining and puffing just to complete that last step before launching my tube.

Believe me, having a few more inches added to my reach makes it almost a pleasure to get in and out of my fins now.

Hey, Halibut. If you have to start wearing waders, you will probably appreciate having one of those.

I almost forgot. One of my early attempts at finding something to do that job was taking out both a little garden trowel (for peeling off the waders) and a little hand cultivator (with the tines) for hooking and pulling up the strap. They worked, but inefficiently and they were bulky and heavy. The PVC is one tool that works for both.
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Re: [TubeDude] FIN STRAP TOOL In reply to
 
Hey there TubeDude,

If some publisher is fool enough not to grab your manuscript for a tuber's bible, sell 'em a new book you could write titled something like 'a Hundred and One Things You Can Do With a Length of PVC Pipe' Seriously!

JapanRon
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Re: [JapanRon] FIN STRAP TOOL In reply to
good idea ron....
TD comes up with the weirdest, yet useful, things imaginable! have you patented any of the many bizarre things??


joe

(DEFINE "BIZARRE"....TD)
(This post was edited by TubeDude on May 8, 2003, 4:57 AM)
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Re: [DH_tubinjoe] FIN STRAP TOOL In reply to
CoolLook up "wierd" in the dictionary and it says "see TubeDude". As I replied to Halibut, I do believe that necessity is the mother of invention. If you have ever read about the origin of some of our greatest successes in patents, most of them came about when someone set out to solve a problem for which there was not an available solution.

I do lay claim to being "creative". My whole fishing system is mostly stuff I have made myself...with the exception of the basic tube, fins, etc. If you read the introduction to my book on over 40 years of float tubing, you will read that I may have been one of the originators of the sport. I started using my surfing inner tube to paddle out beyond the waves (ripples) and fish at Belmont Shore, back in the late 50's. I experimented with different kinds of seats, and began using my snorkeling fins to push myself around. I made lots of different models that worked okay, but I did not buy my first commercial tube until the mid seventies. Since then I have just tried to improve upon the manufactured stuff. A lot of it needs improvement.

Me and PVC? I gotta admit I find it a favorite material for all kinds of little "projects". It is relatively light and strong...and it is waterproof, for tubing.

I haven't tried to patent any of my stuff at this point because of the realities. Because of the limited (float tubers) demand for most of those things, the commercial potential is not great. It would be pointless to invest a lot of money in patents, tooling up and manufacturing, for little return.

Now, if I could only come up with some way to make a car out of PVC, that did not need gasoline, tires, repairs, etc. I would be my first customer.

I do appreciate your kind comments, guys.
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Re: [TubeDude] FIN STRAP TOOL In reply to
bizarre- out of ordinary, strange yet useful! please do not take that last comment in offense. ok. later



joe
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Re: [DH_tubinjoe] FIN STRAP TOOL In reply to
CoolI can dish it out and I can take it. No offense. I'm big, mean, nasty and I got thick skin. You can't offend me. (sniff sniff)

I was hoping you really meant bizarre...and not brassiere. I don't think I wanna get into making ladies' unmentionables outta PVC. Might be kinda uncomfortable too.
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Re: [TubeDude] FIN STRAP TOOL In reply to
 
Hey there TubeDude,

On the patent thing, I retired early because I learned just enough to get my stuff protected and lucky to get people/firms confident to want to make and or further develop a proto-type. Once people need what you've got a headstart on they're more willing to talk turkey. 20 bucks and some hand-drawn blueprints and brief explination will get you protected for a number of years till you develop an idea to mock up!

One caution, everything that is put out into the clear light of day has, whether intentional or not, become public domain with very few exceptions!

JapanRon
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Re: [JapanRon] FIN STRAP TOOL In reply to
CoolA WORD TO THE WISE...

1. IS OFTEN NOT ENOUGH

2. IS USUALLY TOO LATE

3. IS GENERALLY A WASTED EFFORT.

I appreciate your suggestions. But, again, for some of these applications I harbor no illusions of revolutionizing the world for enough people to make it pay off. However, I do have some other things knocking around in my brain pan that I am playing much closer to the vest, with the idea of turning into something commercial before I check out.

Thanks, Bro.