Building a prop saver tool

I use prop savers on a lot of my planes. I’ve had bad luck with o-rings, so I know generally use a small slice of surgical tubing to hold the prop in place. This works great except … it’s really tight and fiddly to get the o-ring / tubing in place over the prop. I’ve used hemostats, pliers, small screw drivers. They all suck.

About a week ago, I had an idea for a different tool and, while looking for materials in a drawer, found some picture hanging hardware that I thought would work for what I had in mind. I built a prototype tool and it works great. Here’s what I did.

I started with a cheap picture hanger, like one of these. My original was made from a thinner picture hanger than these, but these work fine. They cost $0.97 for a 3-pack.

new-package original-shape I straightened out the hook part that’s designed to hold the wire on the back of the picture.prepare-to-unbend undoing-bend I flattened mine out in a small vice, but pliers or a hammer will do.flattening-outHere’s the shape at this point.flattened-outNext, I add a new bend in the opposite direction from the original hook. This will only stick out 1/8″ or thereabouts. prepare-for-final-bend bend-to-final-shapeHere’s the final shape.bent-to-shapeI added a sort of handle by putting some shrink wrap about the lower portion of the tool.shrink-wrapHere’s the finished tool. My original is at the top. finished-product

I’ve found this to be nearly perfect for grabbing onto my o-rings, etc., pulling them into place, and then letting go of them again.mount-prop-01 mount-prop-02

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