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Old 25-04-2018, 12:18   #1
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Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

Hi,

one of our halyard winches has an issue with the slot for the pawls in the bell/drum being worn. Apart from that the winch is fine.
I'd hate to have to spend hundreds of to replace two in general healthy self tailing winches when there is a possibility to fix them.
Looking at it, I wonder how difficult it would be for a machine shop to fix this.

1st option, cut two new pawl recesses after a 90degree axial turn from the existing recess.

2nd option, somehow close the existing pawl recess (welding?) and recut at the existing location.

My feeling is option one would be better as these housing are normally cast or forged.

Here the questions:

Is it technically possible?
Has anyone had done this?
How much was it?
Who in Europe could do it for a fair price?

Thanks for your comments!

Franziska
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Old 25-04-2018, 13:51   #2
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

Hi Franziska,

Photo and brand/model might help. However, if the pawls are installed as I think I recall the ones on my winches there's a round hole a few mm from the edge of the winch and that hole has a wedge shaped slot opening to the edge of the body.

If this is correct and your winch is similar it would be a fairly easy thing for a machine shop to cut a new place for the pawls, also assuming the winch is bronze which isn't too difficult to work and nothing in the design prevented a pawl at the new location from working.

In fact if no access to a machine shop I might be tempted to try that myself with hand tools. A drill press with a metal cutting Forstner bit to make a flat bottomed, round hole and carefully cutting the slot with a Dremel and finish off with small files.
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Old 25-04-2018, 14:04   #3
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

Hey, that's good news, as it confirms what I had thought.
I was just not sure if I was missing something in my thoughts.
Thanks.

Round hole with adjacent recess here, exactly as you describe. Drums are bronze, only two paws on opposite sides of the drum.

I'll take the drums with me the next time I'm on board.

We have a machine shop close by, will check with them.
One thing they'd need to cut as well then is the small cut for the spring I guess. Still will need to verify this need when I'm on board.

Might save a couple of hundred bucks this way...

On a very high loaded winch I'd be hesitant though as it surely weekens the overall drum strength a bit.
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Old 25-04-2018, 15:04   #4
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
We have a machine shop close by, will check with them.
One thing they'd need to cut as well then is the small cut for the spring I guess. Still will need to verify this need when I'm on board.
Wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion from the machine shop where they can hold the parts in their hands and evaluate the plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Might save a couple of hundred bucks this way...
Not sure what shops charge over there but in the states I would guess the overall charge should be $100-$200 tops. That should save more than a couple hundred Euros compared to a new winch. In my case I have a friend with a machine shop in his basement so could get it done free.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
On a very high loaded winch I'd be hesitant though as it surely weekens the overall drum strength a bit.
Since the hole for the pawl is so small and so little material being removed from the winch drum I don't think lose of strength would be an issue.
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Old 26-04-2018, 09:26   #5
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

There is one thing that is critical on the machining. The spacing. Both pawls need to engage at the same time so that the load is shared by both of them. A good machine shop with a rotary table on their mill should be able to do this precision easily. They must be 180 degrees apart.

The set up time is longer that the machining time.
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Old 26-04-2018, 09:28   #6
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

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Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
There is one thing that is critical on the machining. The spacing. Both pawls need to engage at the same time so that the load is shared by both of them. A good machine shop with a rotary table on their mill should be able to do this precision easily. They must be 180 degrees apart.

The set up time is longer that the machining time.
Excellent point and yes this would be very critical.
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Old 26-04-2018, 09:39   #7
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

Good point. Will take the complete winch me to explain that.

The guys who might be able to do it here are more knowledgeable of agricultural equipment.

We have 3 of these winches. Two are still working fine, but if the time is in the setting up, I'll have all three drums done. Once the setup is done, they can use the same settings for all three drums.

Eventually the other two winches would wear out/fail too...
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Old 26-04-2018, 15:53   #8
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

Well done, Franziska.
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Old 26-04-2018, 20:34   #9
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

Hello Fanziska.

Just where is the slot worn out, at the bottom (B) or the round part (marked A)? The pic is from an old windlass, not a winch.

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I'd try and replace the missing material, keeping the original slot as much intact as possible. Something a machine shop should be able to do in less time than aligning and cutting new slots.

Are they worn out because of missing lubrication and hence salt grinding away at the exposed faces? Normal usage shouldn't wear out the slots, one would guess. At least not in our lifetime.

All the other winches might need is a good clean and regular greasing, at least once or twice a year, depending on how much sea spray they are being exposed to.
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Old 26-04-2018, 23:59   #10
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

@hzcruiser

Thanks for the picture and questions!

At location A. The paws are not held properly any more and "wobble" a bit.

I believe it started with lack of maintenance. The boat is 22 years old and I may be the first person who took them apart cleaned and greased them.

The issue results in the paws not engaging properly any more.

Wonder how they could replace thatmissing material without recutting thereafter.
I would not want to drill the hole larger and sleeve it. Weakens the drum to much in my eyes.
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Old 27-04-2018, 06:37   #11
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Re: Winch bell refurbishment? New slots? Anyone had it done?

Once after rebuilding our Lewmar 43 winches I installed the pawls backwards. The winch worked fine until it was loaded up and then it would slip.
I was shopping for a new winch until I discovered the issue.
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