How to Build an Electric Hoist from Scrap Metal

Need a hoist? Then go ahead and build your own from scratch using scrap metal.
Christopher McFadden

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In need of a new hoist? Why buy one when you can make one from scrap bits of metal?

Find out how...

diy hoist complete
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Like any project of this nature, you'll first need to gather together some materials and tools. 

With all your bits and bobs in hand, it is time to get on with the build. Be warned, however, that you will need some experience with welding and using power tools like a lathe.  

First, grab your salvaged worm gear and fasten to a spare metal plate, as shown in the video. 

diy hoist salvaged gear
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Bend other pieces of steel plate to enclose the worm gear and weld to the base plate. See the video for more guidance on this. 

diy hoist weld
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Next, take two large ball bearings, mark out the holes, drill, and attach them to the worm gear base, as shown in the video. Also, ensure you add the main gear wheel before securing firmly with bolts.

diy hoist gear
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Test the gear before moving on. It should move freely with some resistance. 

Angle grind one end of the worm gear axles and attach a suitably sized pulley wheel, as shown in the video. Secure tightly. 

diy hoist pulley
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Now, grab another piece of metal sheet and your induction motor. Secure the motor to the metal sheet as shown. Also, attach the main winch mechanism to the same steel sheet as shown. 

diy hoist motor and winch
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Connect the motor and hoist winch assembly using a rubber timing belt. Make sure the belt is pulled tight before you secure the winch assembly in place. 

You will likely need to mark out and drill holes for the bolts. 

diy hoist timing belt
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Power up the motor and check the winch mechanism turns smoothly. Adjust if needed. 

Next, grab a length of metal rod and drill a hole through the middle using a lathe. 

diy hoist lathe
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

The diameter of the hole needs to be the same as the exposed worm cogwheel axle of the winch assembly. Secure it tightly using a nut, if needed (you may need to drill a hole through the axle and length of the tube). 

diy hoist tube
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Now take two disks of steel and another length of wide-bore tubing. These wheels will be used to hold the hoist cable. Assemble as shown in the video -- will need some machining and welding. 

diy hoist cable holder
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Next, insert and weld the tube you made earlier into the center of the hoist cable holder. Weld securely, again as shown in the video. 

diy hoist cable holder
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Reattach and firmly secure it to the main hoist gear assembly. Create and attach an attachment plate (with ball bearing) for the other side of the hoist cable assembly.

diy hoist end plate
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Again ensure all moving parts move freely. Weld components to the base plate as needed. Use some L-shaped strips of metal to build mounting rails for the entire assembly. 

Weld to the base as shown. 

diy hoist base mounts
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Add cross members if needed for added strength between the mounting rails. Now, coil some steel cabling around the cable holder as shown in the video. Ensure it is securely fastened.

To make this task easier, hold the cable at one end and turn on the motor at a slow speed to wind the cable. 

diy hoist wind cable
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Attach the hoist pulley and hook to the free end of the cable (unless the cable comes with one attached). Now fashion a spring-loaded hoist cable pressure plate using spare metal plates and a spring.

Weld to the base plate.

diy hoist brake
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that, your hoist is effectively complete. 

Now simply set up your hoist, make sure it is securely fastened, and begin testing the limits of its lifting capacity. The one in the video lifts in excess of  396 lbs (180 kgs).

Happy hoisting! 

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