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Author Topic: $4 boot spring clamp tool for front load washers. DIY  (Read 664 times)

Offline tcarmen

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  • Member Since: Dec 2018
  • Posts: 56
$4 boot spring clamp tool for front load washers. DIY
« on: January 28, 2019, 05:16:49 PM »

My thumbs are mostly shot. They had 20 years of appliance and HVAC repair work, followed by 18 years of typing on a keyboard, and now that I've retired from software and started up my service business again, I'm having a really difficult time with things that require long term precision squeezing.

Things like spreading the boot clamp spring and holding it open while trying to get the band lined up.

So I made a tool for it.

It turns out that with a little work, a bar clamp will happily spread things apart instead of together.

If you get a harbor freight ratcheting bar clamp like this (or probably anybody else's), you can disassemble it and flip both the end pieces around so that it no longer ratchets closed, but open.

Then you just need a couple of short pieces of nylon cord. Loop one through each end of the spring, and then place each cord on one end or the other on the bar clamp. Squeeze the handle until you're happy, put the band back on the boot just where you want it, and release the clamp.

Enjoy! I hope this helps someone else with worn out joints. 8-)

Picture of tool
**edit**

This is the "medium" size clamp. I wasn't sure if the small clamp would have enough travel to do the job. If anybody tries the small clamp, would you please let me know if it worked? It would be nice to save a little space in my toolbox if the small one worked just as well.

**another edit!**

I just had another maytag front loader today and tried the tool.

While I'm pretty much never a guy who toots his own horn, this was amazing. It took less than a minute (probably less than 30 seconds) to place the clamp perfectly around the boot and release it. No pain, no misalignment, no swearing, no getting it on "almost right" and having to start over. Just line up, hit the release and walk away.

Think of me the next time you're not swearing at a rubber boot and a steel clamp. 8-)


Offline Atech

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  • Member Since: Sep 2014
  • Posts: 22
Re: $4 boot spring clamp tool for front load washers. DIY
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 07:24:34 AM »
Great idea!! I'm always looking for an easier way to get those clamps off. Going to give that a try.

Dave

Offline tcarmen

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  • Member Since: Dec 2018
  • Posts: 56
Re: $4 boot spring clamp tool for front load washers. DIY
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2019, 08:01:19 AM »
Enjoy! And if you don't like it, you still have a clamp. 8-)

Offline tcarmen

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  • Member Since: Dec 2018
  • Posts: 56
Re: $4 boot spring clamp tool for front load washers. DIY
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2019, 08:02:43 AM »
> I'm always looking for an easier way to get those clamps off.

I usually just grab it with pliers and pull it off. I only had trouble getting it back on. 8-)

Offline Caddy4343

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  • Member Since: Oct 2007
  • Posts: 231
Re: $4 boot spring clamp tool for front load washers. DIY
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 04:18:38 AM »
Awesome idea!  Thank you.

Offline Caddy4343

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  • Member Since: Oct 2007
  • Posts: 231
Re: $4 boot spring clamp tool for front load washers. DIY
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 09:18:51 PM »
I found that the easiest way to take the clamp off is with a fine [1/8"] flat tip screw driver.  Just put the tip under the wire and pry it off. 

This tool for putting the clamp back on is great.  I'm going to try a little fine tuning.  I'm going to drill a small hole 1/8" through the face of the jaws near the top.  Then I'm going to put a piece of picture hanging wire through the holes and tie it off.  On the other end of the wire [about 2" from the jaws] I'm going to put tiny "S" hooks that will fit in the holes of the smallest springs.  Bend the "S" hooks over so the picture hanging wire stays on.  I might have to trim the other end of the "S" hook back a little bit so that it comes off of the spring easier and won't damage the boot.  A few dollars more but worth it.

Thanks again for the great tool!
Don


Offline Apprentice1117

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  • Member Since: Aug 2019
  • Posts: 3
Re: $4 boot spring clamp tool for front load washers. DIY
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 11:26:02 AM »
This is some great advice on a clamp tool! I've noticed that the outer and inner wire clamp aren't always the same, and the inner one is the hardest for me. It would be great to have a tool that can work for any ring and not just a certain brand's style.