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Old 26-12-2013, 02:39   #1
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weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

G'Day all,

Just wondering -- for those of you who are using a Milwaukee right angle drill to drive winches, have you done anything to weatherproof the machinery?

They look kinda vulnerable to rain or spray, and are too expensive to risk unnecessarily. I'd be interested in any useful schemes...

Cheers,

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Old 26-12-2013, 07:08   #2
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I'm also wondering. The sunbrella cozy's on the Internet do not seem like much protection. We only bring ours out to raise the main, or pull someone aloft, and immediately put it back inside.
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Old 26-12-2013, 08:42   #3
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

Google it but there is a neoprene cover you can buy for them. I seem to remember that it's sold by a company that makes the winch bits.

Edit: www.thecranker.com
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Old 26-12-2013, 09:01   #4
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

We've been using ours unprotected for three years without any issues. However, we only use it for hoisting the main. The winch is under the dodger so is pretty well protected. As soon as the sail is squared away, the drill goes in a bag and is stowed below. If I were using it for trimming the genoa, I'd be more concerned.

I think the covered one goes by the name Winch Buddy. However, the cover looks more like it is designed to protect the brightwork and winch from being dropped than keeping the weather out. I wonder if you could fashion a cover from sunbrella that left the right angle section free, covered the open vents in the body of the drill and then snapped closed into the grip. It wouldn't be a perfect closure, but would cover the most open access to the motor and leave the ends free to handle properly and be able to change batteries.

If you haven't purchased your winch connector, be aware that the winch bit, while less expensive, limits you to using the drill in forward only. The chock replacement is more robust and allows you to run the drill forward and back. The forward direction is usually the high power, slow speed so you're losing significant versatility.
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Old 29-12-2013, 15:14   #5
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

About 10 years use on two boats. kept under dodger no problems. Mine is the older 18V unit with forward and reverse for two speed winch. used only for halyard work really not enough reserve for sheet use. Since I single hand it is quite helpful for raising big sails.
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Old 29-12-2013, 20:54   #6
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

Thanks to all who replied... it sounds like no one is exposing their drill to much in the way of wx, and I suppose that this is the conservative approach. We may well sew up an acryllic canvas shroud to minimize spray contact.

My main usage is anticipated to be furling the genoa repeatedly when in a short tacking situation. The subject winch is well aft in the cockpit and sometimes exposed to spray, so I'm concerned. The other possible job is grinding in reefing lines or the mainsheet prior to gybing (lots of line to pull in). Those winches are under the dodger and less exposed. I don't mind cranking up the mainsail even though it is a big job, for it a sort of once a day task. It will be interesting to see how it all works out in practice.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 29-12-2013, 21:23   #7
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

Quote:
Originally Posted by tartansail View Post
We've been using ours unprotected for three years without any issues. However, we only use it for hoisting the main. The winch is under the dodger so is pretty well protected. As soon as the sail is squared away, the drill goes in a bag and is stowed below. If I were using it for trimming the genoa, I'd be more concerned.

I think the covered one goes by the name Winch Buddy. However, the cover looks more like it is designed to protect the brightwork and winch from being dropped than keeping the weather out. I wonder if you could fashion a cover from sunbrella that left the right angle section free, covered the open vents in the body of the drill and then snapped closed into the grip. It wouldn't be a perfect closure, but would cover the most open access to the motor and leave the ends free to handle properly and be able to change batteries.

If you haven't purchased your winch connector, be aware that the winch bit, while less expensive, limits you to using the drill in forward only. The chock replacement is more robust and allows you to run the drill forward and back. The forward direction is usually the high power, slow speed so you're losing significant versatility.
you mean like this?
The Cranker - a S.S. Sailboat Winch Drill Adapter Bit_?


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Old 29-12-2013, 21:46   #8
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

We use this on our 58 Camper & Nicholson ketch. It has enough guts to haul me to the top of the 80 ft mast. We primarily use it to partly furl the #1 geny on tacks and for total furling. I made the winch bit from 7/8 square key-stock at our machine shop. I have been pleasantly surprised at how long it will run on a charge. We are 24VDC powered so I can also power direct if needed.

photos: total Milwukee tool package; Big Bertha.

Note that you must set the 2:1 right angle gears to reduce rather than speed-up. The tool can only be used in clockwise rotation which happens to be low gear on my winches so I don't worry about reverse. Reverse can result in unscrewing the chuck from the gears.

We have no cover for the obviously open motor cooling inlets. This has worried me. Our primary use is under the bimini, center cockpit ketch so the exposure is limited. On our large vessel, I consider this a critical tool. It is only on deck when we anticipate its need. I might suggest that the use is intermittant so that total waterproof covering might be tolerated since the use is far from heavy duty.

BTW, the other tools; recip saw, drill, right angle grinder are indespencible. I have used the circ saw but rarely.
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Old 30-12-2013, 10:42   #9
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
That is the version that is simply the drill bit. It will only work effectively in one direction. We have the version below called the "Super Cranker". I couldn't get the picture to copy, but you can see it here:
The Cranker - a S.S. Sailboat Winch Drill Adapter Bit

This requires replacing the chuck, but results in a much stronger link between the motor and the winch bit.

Jim, I agree that some sort of cover is in order if you'll be routinely operating in spray. If I were to make one, I wouldn't copy the cover in the photo above.. I would focus on covering the motor and vents. I would close the cover at the front of the motor and would carry it back to snaps or velcro closure inside the front of the hand grip area and cover the vents seen in the picture. That would keep the trigger and bit free, but keep spray out of the motor. Please post pics of what you decide to do. As the years mount, I can readily see more use with less protection.
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Old 30-12-2013, 11:19   #10
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

What is you took some inner tube that was as long as the wrench and put grommets in one end so you could lace that end shut. The other end is open and you put your hand in that end.
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Old 30-12-2013, 16:23   #11
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

Inner tube is a good idea. If you find one the right size it might even be a stretch over the vents. The usual short bursts of use shouldn't over heat it.

I looked at the Super Cranker adapter that replaces the chuck. I sort-of like it but I'm concerned that the set screw would damage the threads on the chuck mount. As a machine builder, I think that if the threaded end was a tiny bit larger with a saw split, the set screw would be replaced with one or two proper screws and used to clamp around the threaded stud. The screw does not touch the stud. Alternatively, we sometimes use a two-piece clamp collar. In either case, the threaded housing around the stud is clampted tightly over the stud so no movement happens. Release of the clamp makes manual removal easy. I might make one of these.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:57   #12
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

We use our in reverse. I managed to break the retaining screw once (we carry lots of spares) but when I put the chuck back on I used Locktite which seems to have solved the problem.
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Old 04-01-2014, 21:42   #13
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
We use our in reverse. I managed to break the retaining screw once (we carry lots of spares) but when I put the chuck back on I used Locktite which seems to have solved the problem.
Mike, do you have a description for the screw? IE, diam, length, pitch, head style and grade? I'd like to get some spares as well, and haven't seen any handy Milwaukee outlets in this region! There are some fastener places, though...

Thanks,

Jim

PS Tried it out for the first time sailing down from Quarantine, and it works quite well. Noisy as skeletons screwing on a tin roof in a hailstorm though! Be sure to wake the off watch.
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Old 04-01-2014, 21:50   #14
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

You can be sure the bolt is B7 grade or better. SS and Home Depot stuff will be soft as butter by comparison.
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Old 04-01-2014, 21:57   #15
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Re: weather protection for Milwaukee drill wincher

Screw is

1/4-20 X 1" Socket HD. Screw - L.H. Thread
Part Number: 06-75-3150

Doug
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