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Old 16-12-2015, 10:30   #1
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Winch Drum Roughness

Hi All,

I have recently redone all my winches including putting new tailing jaws on but I am still having difficulties with the self tailing slipping and I am informed that it is probably due to the drum surface being too smooth. I have 3 x different types of winches some are painted alloy and others chrome/stainless.

Any ideas on how I would get the drum surfaces roughened up? It must be quite a regular thing people do?

Thanks Anthony
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Old 16-12-2015, 10:37   #2
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

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Hi All,

I have 3 x different types of winches some are painted alloy
Thanks Anthony
Really? Not anodized?
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Old 16-12-2015, 10:39   #3
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

Yep anodized.
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Old 16-12-2015, 10:58   #4
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

Might want to review this thread:

Refurbishing Wench Drums?

Yes, you can get them knurled at a machine shop, but then you will want to get them re-anodized (Al) or re-chromed (bronze or maybe SS) to protect from corrosion.
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Old 16-12-2015, 11:03   #5
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

Are the lines slipping on the winches new?? Use them for a while and see if they still slip before you work on the drums.
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Old 16-12-2015, 11:40   #6
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

Have you tried taking an additional turn around the drum?


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Old 16-12-2015, 12:12   #7
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

Hi, Burge,

We have some slippery winches, chromed Jim has to hit them with 40 grit sandpaper, using vertical strokes on the drum. This practice eventually removes the chrome, but the lines get a reasonable grip on the drum.

Ann
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Old 16-12-2015, 12:16   #8
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

There's a guy over on SA Forums who re-texturizes (aluminum) winch drums all the time. He's easy to find, via a search & or asking around over there.-
- Also, you could have a machine shop do it easily enough, though I'm guessing that they'd carge more.
- And the 3rd option would be to DIY; free handed, or with a pattern "painted onto the drum. Via mounting the drum on a spindle which you can lock in place, & setting up a jig for better control of your Dremel (or similar), that you do the texturizing with.
- Ah, & I think that another route, is to use a needle gun. But I can't say with certainty, as it's been 25yrs since I've played with one of those.
You'll likely be able to find out about this option, definitively, over on SA as well.

And I'm thinking that after any of these treatments, you'd want to get the drums re-anodized. Which, before doing such, it'd likely be wise to speak to whomever made them, to make sure that you know the parameters which the anodizer needs to operate within. Especially regarding the gear teeth into the drum's base.

Though, too, there are different industrial spray & bake finishes, which will both add texture, in addition to acting as a corrosion inhibitor. But other than the names of a couple of them, they're known to me by reputation only. So, basically, 3rd party knowledge.
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Old 16-12-2015, 12:20   #9
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

FWIW, the chrome Barients on this boat were rechromed, and the shop ground off the surface roughness and polished the surfaces. Looks wonderful, but is way too slippery. I had the same issues that you report.

I investigated having them knurled by Arco winches in Sydney, but it was several hundred dollars each, and I viewed that as excessive. My solution has been to take some 40 or 60 grit sandpaper, wrap it around a square bit of timber and with some force, run it up and down the friction surfaces of the drum, leaving very fine scratches or grooves in the surface, oriented vertically. This has worked well for the 13 years that we have owned this boat. I need to re-do the process every couple of years. There is no visible damage to the chrome in that it isn't flaking or wearing through. I expect that eventually it will do so, and then re-chroming will be needed.

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Old 16-12-2015, 12:30   #10
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

I would be careful sanding on the anodized drums, if you could even sand them. It's a thin coating.
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Old 16-12-2015, 12:50   #11
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Re: Winch Drum Roughness

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I would be careful sanding on the anodized drums, if you could even sand them. It's a thin coating.
Jim's referring to sanding his chromed (bronze) winch drums, in order to put some texture onto them. Not anodized ones. And, as stated, post re-texturizing aluminum drums, you're going to need to get them re-anodized anyway.

Regarding texturizing one's own aluminum drums. Machining some vertical flutes onto the drums isn't rocket science, & for someone familiar with tools, it would be a plausible DIY job.
The key part of it would be in making a solid jig, so that it's easy to repeat the flutes, identically, around the circumfrence of the drum.

Obviously the Winch manufacturers are pro's, perhaps with access to a bit more high end tooling tham most of us. But there are whole lines of winches, which have semi-helical fluting cut into their aluminum drums. Like Harken for example.
But hiring a shop with CNC cutter's is an optionn... especially if you desire fancier, & or, more precise fluting, for enhance rope grip.

In terms of farming out the job, here's the thread over on SA which lists some of the guys who do these jobs professionally. In addition to some more details on some of the (viable) coatings to which I made reference (some of which, again, are DIY options).
winch resurfacing - who? - Fix It Anarchy - Sailing Anarchy Forums
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