Huge coincidence! Just saw a Sears ad on TV for the tool I was trying to describe. It is called a "strap wrench". Don't know what Ace Hardware would charge for one but Sears wanted $19.95 plus $5.95 S & H. Just in case you might want to pursue this, the telephone number was 1-800-954-6677. Naturally, their ad made it appear to be a very utilitarian tool.
Go ahead and get yourself a strap wrench. You know what they say, "Every project is an excuse to buy a new tool."
Good luck. Hope you get your problem solved soon now.