I would assume this is exactly what he describes it as?
Does anyone make them new, or would an old original be a good idea to buy?
Yep, the "fingers of steel" tool. They occasionally show up on Ebay at prices similar to the craigslist ad.
Made one from a picture I saw someplace. Have yet to use it though. Since I took this picture I added a bit to hold tool closed.
Blacksmiths made different types of hand tools to use for different situations before Oxy-Acetelyne was affordable and common.
Nothing new about the concept here but a useful tool. People are discovering old tool technology again. Good deal.
These don't compress the bands; they compress the band springs. Their use really tames this beast of a job.