Duane Liptak's Spring Strap Cover Method:



Duane said in a Tech Diver Post:

<snip>
"For the spring covers, I used the sheathing for 10/4 water resistant electrical cable.  It's much softer than the vinyl tubing, and is closer to the compound on the original straps.  Cut it to length, pull out the guts, and slip it on."
<end snip>

Greg bought the 10/4 cable at Home Depot for a buck.  He noted that the sheathing feels like pliable rubber and is thicker than he thought it would be, which was great.  After removing the guts, he found that the paper that covered the enclosed electrical lines was the  biggest challenge to completely remove from the sheath.  It had some adhesive that stuck it to the inside of the sheath, or it had become a bit embedded in the sheath.  He ended up squirting a citrus based chewing-gum removal liquid called "De-Solve It" into the sheath and ran a spare SS spring through it several times... worked great.

Also, for reference Duane's entire Techdiver post is listed below:

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From:  Duane Liptak Jr.[SMTP:d.liptak.jr@worldnet.att.net]  Note: Duane's new email address is: dliptakjr@earthlink.net
Sent:  Monday, August 13, 2001 4:29 AM
To:  techdiver@aquanaut.com; Manos Manoli
Subject:  Re: Jet fin Spring  Heel straps
 
 

>Anyone knows where i can get good Spring Heel straps and bye them on line ?

   You're better off making them, as long as you have some degree of aptitude for this sort of thing.  All the ones I've seen for sale use either an aluminum or delrin cylinder  with SS wire bent through them for the connection between spring and fin.  They are not as clean as the original design.  You can make your own that are a lot closer to the original oceanic straps, and are just as clean as the originals.  The clear vinyl tubing is also popular on the pre-made jobs, and it is less than optimal.
    Cobb's web site has a pretty good page on making the straps as far as where to get the springs (McMaster-Carr online) etc., but when you get to making the ends of the spring straps do this instead:  Go to the local marine supply shop and get a 3" black rubber bow bumper (one of the things that looks like a "v" with a thick middle).  Cut the "wings" off  and split each one in two.  You now have four chunks of hard black rubber that are tapered from one end to the other.  Now find yourself a pair of the oceanic straps or a photo of same.  Shape the blocks until they look like the oceanic connections.  I used a dremel tool, a razor knife, and some 60 grit emery paper.  You'll need to drill a 1/2 inch hole for the spring, and a 5/32 for the connection hardware.  Tie in your overstretch line, stick a loop of the spring into one of the ends and secure it with the original Scubapro strap hardware.  The metal "U" goes through the block and through the loop in the spring (inside the block).  The little rod goes through the attachment point on the fin.  Peen them back together.  Be sure to put on the spring covers before doing the other side.:-))
    For the spring covers, I used the sheathing for 10/4 water resistant electrical cable.  It's much softer than the vinyl tubing, and is closer to the compound on the original straps.  Cut it to length, pull out the guts, and slip it on.
    The original oceanic straps had a hard plastic or delrin strap end, but it is a non-structurally critical element--The spring and attachment hardware are what is being stressed and the strap wouldn't break even if the block disintegrated--so the rubber compound works without sacrificing any strength.  Total construction time was about four hours.  There is a lot more pissing around involved with making the strap ends like this, but the end result is worth it.  The lines are much cleaner.
    Hunsucker has a set of the originals, and the only way you can tell our fins apart without taking a REAL close look is the fact that I have round black rubber spring covers, and he has the original triangular oceanics.
I'll try and scare up a digital camera for some photos.  I'm terribly
low-tech. :-))     If you'd rather not make straps, Lloyd Bailey has them for sale online, but they're the type with an aluminum cylinder and SS wire for the connections.

S/F,
Duane
 

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