bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 21 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

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Originally Posted by AlaskaMC View Post
Just a question, would powder coating a winch drum be a fool idea? It would be cheap at least. You can even do it yourself if you don't get caught using the oven
You'd have a problem with the line not gripping on the powder coat.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.

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post #12 of 21 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

Considering the boat vintage, that the track and cleat are anodized aluminum, size of winch - I'm thinking it is a production boat and drum is black hard anodized aluminum (builders have to cut corners somewhere). If aluminum, the drum could have had impurities to start with which surfaced over time, or depending on what has been on that winch over the past 35 years, if it is rust it could be from repeated contact.

Chrome plated doesn't often wear evenly so you would expect to see chrome and bronze showing along with some shine. Stainless would show similar wear . We all leard that stainless steel is not stain free, but depending on grade stains less.
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

This looks like an old BRONZE winch that has completely lost its chrome plating. If so it can be easily (but not cheaply) re-chromed as it has to be nickel plated before re-plating with chrome. If bronze, the 'rust you see' is probably small traces of iron that have 'rusted' or maybe iron that was embedded into the bronze when 'someone' removed the residual chrome with a stiff steel iron wire wheel.
Why I say bronze .... the green patina of verdigris (copper acetate complex) at the bottom margin of drum.

Easy enough to tell if 'bronze' ... see if a magnet is attracted; and if not attracted, then remove the drum and 'file' a small internal area to see the 'reddish-yellow' of the freshly exposed bronze, will be whitish if aluminum.

If it is bronze, consider to sand it down (&/or soak in lemon juice) and polish it back to 'mirror bright' bronze, then heavily spray it with a clear acrylic or urethane clear paint .... or after polishing just occasionally rub-on olive oil and beeswax and let it go 'bright brown' -- the oil and wax will prevent the 'green'.
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

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Originally Posted by RichH View Post
This looks like an old BRONZE winch that has completely lost its chrome plating. If so it can be easily (but not cheaply) re-chromed as it has to be nickel plated before re-plating with chrome. If bronze, the 'rust you see' is probably small traces of iron that have 'rusted' or maybe iron that was embedded into the bronze when 'someone' removed the residual chrome with a stiff steel iron wire wheel.
Why I say bronze .... the green patina of verdigris (copper acetate complex) at the bottom margin of drum.

Easy enough to tell if 'bronze' ... see if a magnet is attracted; and if not attracted, then remove the drum and 'file' a small internal area to see the 'reddish-yellow' of the freshly exposed bronze, will be whitish if aluminum.

If it is bronze, consider to sand it down (&/or soak in lemon juice) and polish it back to 'mirror bright' bronze, then heavily spray it with a clear acrylic or urethane clear paint .... or after polishing just occasionally rub-on olive oil and beeswax and let it go 'bright brown' -- the oil and wax will prevent the 'green'.
I'm with Rich - at first I thought it was old anodizing but on closer inspection I think I can see a trace of old chrome on the top edge of the drum and there is a bit of verdigris showing on the bottom of the drum.

Pop the drum off and hit it with a buffing wheel and some tripoli - it will look like gold. I wouldn't clearcoat it - that will wear and peel for sure. Just polish it occasionally with "Autosol" and it will stay gorgeous. Almost but not quite as much work as varnish.

P.S. I can't see a magnet accomplishing anything - winches are all non-ferrous - stainless, bronze or aluminium

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #15 of 21 Old 09-27-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

It's a cast iron winch. With proper care it will last a lifetime. It looks like it could use a little re-seasoning which can be done in your oven at home and a little olive oil.

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post #16 of 21 Old 09-27-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

1200 grit sand paper (auto parts store) on an inconspicuous spot will quickly tell you what's the composition.

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post #17 of 21 Old 09-27-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

I have older bronze winches where the chrome has partially fallen off, and they look nothing like the one in the picture! Bronze does not normally corrode to black with rust spots. Green-brown, yeah. But black with rust? I thought anodised aluminium, but the chrome remnants indicate otherwise, and again the color does not indicate aluminium oxide.

My vote is for cast iron - which I did not know was used until MedSailor pointed it out but makes perfect sense. If so, just oil, them, as the man says. I'll be interested to see what a buffer brings out!
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Last edited by paul323; 09-27-2012 at 11:32 AM. Reason: typos
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post #18 of 21 Old 09-27-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

When did Lewmar make cast iron winches? That drum design is fairly recent (70's or newer).

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-27-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

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When did Lewmar make cast iron winches? That drum design is fairly recent (70's or newer).
Dunno - that is why it's a puzzler (and what makes it fun/interesting!). Visually cast iron is the best fit, but I agree it makes no sense. I am hoping the OP buffs/sands a small area and gets back to us...as long as it is not aluminium, it should be easy to restore - olive oil or a lot of buffing!
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post #20 of 21 Old 09-27-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

I've seen lawn fertilizer make splotches like that on concrete. Maybe they aren't rust but some kind of contaminant that has etched itself onto the aluminum?

The silverish bit on the top could be cuts in the aluminum exposing new non-anodized metal.
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