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How to make a pulley hoist

Updated November 21, 2016

Pulley hoists are used in a wide variety of applications from the work site and recreation to home storage. Pulley hoists provide a way of greatly increasing the ability to lift heavy loads with the use of multiple pulleys rigged together. One popular type of pulley hoist is used by some outdoor enthusiasts to store canoes, kayaks, bikes and other gear in a garage or storage area. A simple rigged pulley hoist can make lifting a heavy canoe or bike much easier.

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  1. Locate two crossbeams in the ceiling where you can securely install the screw-in hooks. Drill a pilot hole with a drill and a bit that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw-in hooks.

  2. Screw the hooks into the ceiling until they are flush, or securely mounted. Turn the screws with pliers if necessary.

  3. Hang a double pulley on one hook and a single pulley on the other. Thread the free end of a small-diameter rope or cord through one side of the double pulley. Pull the rope or cord down so it is easily accessible.

  4. Feed the free end of the rope or cord through a single pulley so that the eye on the top of the pulley is on the bottom. Attach a carabiner to the pulley eye.

  5. Pull the free end of the rope or cord up and through the double pulley. Feed the rope or cord through the side without rope or cord. Pull the rope or cord through the pulley and across to the single pulley attached to the other hook.

  6. Feed the free end of the rope or cord through the single pulley suspended from the hook. Pull 30 to 60 cm (1 or 2 feet) of rope or cord down past the pulley. Double the rope or cord about 8 cm (several inches) from the end to form a working loop. Tie a simple overhand knot to secure the loop in the end of the rope or cord. Attach a carabiner to the loop.

  7. Connect the carabiners to the kayak, canoe, bike or other object in equally spaced points. Pull the rope through the pulley hoist to raise the object to the ceiling. Securely tie off the rope to hold the object suspended from the pulley hoist.

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Things You'll Need

  • Drill and bit
  • Pliers
  • 2 screw-in hooks
  • Double pulley
  • 2 single pulleys
  • Small-diameter rope or cord
  • 2 carabiners

About the Author

Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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