How to Make a Hoist

Written by edwin thomas
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How to Make a Hoist
British artillerymen using a hoist. (Wikimedia Commons)

How to get heavy objects up to a high window or roof without an elevator is a construction or moving problem easily solved with one of the oldest of machines: the pulley-based hoist. Using position and a combination of pulleys and ropes to multiply force, this type of hoist is portable, simple to set up, and simple to use.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Work Gloves
  • Heavy Duty Basket
  • Length of Rope
  • 1 Single Pulley
  • 1 Double Pulley
  • Counterweight or Anchor

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  1. 1

    Thread the rope through the pulleys.

    How to Make a Hoist
    A diagram of this hoist plan lifting a bale.
  2. 2

    Choose a support and hang the double pulley from it. Keep in mind that this support must be able to bear the weight of whatever you attempt to hoist.

    How to Make a Hoist
    A double pulley.
  3. 3

    Hook the single pulley onto the basket.

  4. 4

    Find a good place to stand so you can pull the rope freely, and draw in the slack on the rope.

  5. 5

    Slowly and steadily pull the basket and its contents up to the appropriate height. If you need to leave the basket suspended there, tie the rope to a counterweight or a permanent anchor.

Tips and warnings

  • If you intend to hoist objects to the same level you will be standing at while pulling the rope, the support will need to be at least five feet higher than that.
  • The counterweight or anchor, just like the support, should be able to bear the maximum weight of anything you intend to hoist.
  • It is a good idea to plan with a margin for error when it comes to bearing weight. Add at least +20 per cent to your estimate, so that if you think your maximum weight will be 45.4 Kilogram, make it 120 when it comes to choosing a support, rope, and counterweight or anchor.

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