Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I only suggested bronze since it is relatively easy for an amatuer to work with and it was the material of choice before the 1970's. Aluminum was used because it was cheaper and made a lighter winch handle.
Efforts to lighten winch handle weight has always struck me as a little odd since it did not seem like weight was all that significant, but there has always been a pattern toward reducing winch handle weight which is why the cross section of a winch handle is often a channel, there was a period when bronze winch handles had lightening holes, and you now see carbon fiber winch handles.
As to the square drive, it was often made of monel or stainless steel. These are generally harder materials than bronze. That said, I have used winch handles which were cast aluminum (including the drive which in that case was the star pattern) and winch handles which were all bronze including the square drive.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay