How to Make a Capstan Rope Winch? – [Detailed Guide]

You will find many types of winches out there in the market. These winches can be electrical, hydraulic, thermal, air, and there are also the ones used for sailing, the one we will be talking about today; Capstan Rope Winch.

Capstan Rope winches are great when the placement of the winch and the object to be pulled are far away; these are usually used for mining, sailing, industries, forestry, and many other things.

We will now look at the process of making a Capstan Rope Winch and what it is used for but first, we will run through the safety precautions around winches and their operation.

How to Make a Capstan Rope Winch – Guide

You wouldn’t believe it, but it is pretty easy to build a Capstan Rope Winch. Yes, you read it right. A winch is nothing but a cylinder fixed on a motor that dispenses rope to pull loads up and down. So now, let us get into the process.

  • Find a motor that has enough capacity to rotate even when asked to apply some force. Basically, a strong engine. This motor must have an external movable axis to fix the drum on.
  • Now prepare for a winch drum. Find a cylindrical metal piece that could hold ropes wound around it. You could also build a drum with separate metal pieces to look like sewing machine thread dispensers. Make sure your drum has some friction to hold the rope. 
  • Now you have the motor, and a drum, fix the drum onto the axis of the motor. You can do this by using some more metal pieces to keep it in place and soldering it. 
  • Make a metal hoop and insert the rope through and pull it. Now your Capstan Rope Winch is ready. Yes, it’s that easy. 
  • All you have to do now is insert a rope through the hoop and wind it around the drum at least until you have five complete turns. 
  • Hold the end of the rope coming out of the hoop in your hand and tie the other end to the object you want to pull. Tie the motor to a hefty thing, maybe a tree to keep it in place, and you can use metal chains to do this. Supply some power and test it.

You now have your own-made Capstan Rope Winch!

Capstan Rope Winch: Uses

1. Forestry

Capstan Rope Winches are helpful for forestry as with these, and you do not have to pull out the cut trees to a distance. You can just fix the Capstan Rope Winch to another strong tree, tie the open end of the winch rope to the tree to be pulled, supply some power, and start pulling it towards you.

2. Constructions

Capstan Rope Winches help you pull heavy trolleys that might contain cement from construction sites. You do not have to take all the heavy load all by yourself to the different floors of the construction site. 

3. Sailing

Capstan Rope Winches are used for sailing on a vertical axis. This means the drum is kept upright. And the winch drums only rotate one way, clockwise.

Capstan Rope Winches can be used in many places to pull hefty loads. People also use Capstan Rope Winches to haul cars.

Safety Precautions

Winches are pretty dangerous if not taken proper precautions. So first, read the safety precautions and then get going with your winch building.

  1. Make sure you wear gloves while working with winches, and do not let your fingers touch the rope while it’s on, even with gloves. 
  2. Keep the area around winches out of children.
  3. Try to use winches on flat surfaces as much as possible.
  4. Always have at least five complete rounds of rope around the winch drum.
  5. When trying to release the ropes from the drum, keep your hand flat on the drum, do not let your fingers come between the strings.


Capstan Rope Winches are the best way to pull things that are far away from the place they need to be kept and are extremely heavy. This is because they have no limit on the length of the rope; you can use as long rope as you want. 

Making a Capstan Rope Winch is a pretty simple job; you just need a motor, a drum, some power supply, and a rope that has a length as you wish.

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