Minute Mod: Winch Hook
Do-It-Yourself Winch Tool Short Cuts
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By: Mike Pulskamp - 09/2001

Winch Guide Hook

Rewinding cable onto the winch spool in tight, uniform wraps helps protect the cable -- but puts your hands awfully close to danger.

I never like to wear gloves around pinch hazards like winches, but I always like to wear gloves around puncture hazards like winch lines! This Minute Mod should help to alleviate that dilemma by giving you a tool to control the wire rope from just enough distance so you will not have your fingers pulled into the winch or your hand punctured by any frayed strands of wire.

I've got to give credit for this to Warren Wilkes. He might not be the first to use it but he is the person who showed it to me. Finally -- a good use for that dangerous looking weeder thing you picked up at the hardware store (hoping that it would make your lawn look so much better).

What you need for this is a hand weeder, a stout vice, a grinder (either a bench grinder or better yet, an angle grinder), a cheater pipe, and safety gear (goggles or face shield).
First grind the two points off the weeder to make a spoon-like shape.
Then clamp the shaft of the weeder tightly in the vice, lining it up vertically with the 'spoon' inline with the jaws of the vice.
Slip the cheater pipe over the 'spoon' and start bending the weeder toward you until you can no longer bend the weeder with the pipe.
Remove the pipe, loosen the vice, and finish bending the hook shape by putting the whole weeder into the vice and slowly tightening the jaws.

Now you have a tool to guide the cable while you keep your fingers at a healthy distance.
  As with any winching operation, use caution -- winches can be dangerous if used incorrectly.
  Use this tool only with light loads like rewinding, as I show in the pictures.
  Do not use this tool to guide a loaded cable onto the winch spool.

That is all there is to it. Now you have a good way to keep those fingers out of harm's way when rewinding that pesky winch line.

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