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Old 09-25-2012
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bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

Hi all,

Please see attached pic of my Lewmar 25 two speed winch. I imagine that once upon a time the two winches I have were nice and shinny! I have tried bringing the shine back using various winch and chrome polishes but to no avail. Can I give up when it reaches this stage?

Strangely enough my neighbour has a similar winch of probably the same age (35 years?) and is really shinny! Pity it is not visible in the pic!

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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

I would think having them re-chromed would be an option. Might not be cost effective however and the drum might end up too slippery anyway.

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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

Wow! That's the worst I've ever seen. Didn't know chrome could get that bad.
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

I am not convinced that winch was ever chrome plated. I would take the drum off and see what a wire wheel brings up when applied to an inconspicuous surface.
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

Those aren't chrome winches, they look like anodized aluminum, although I can't explain what the brown blotches are. It looks like rust, but that can't be, can it?

You may be able to strip the drums and get them re-anodized, but I can't imagine it being cost effective. If it really bothers you, perhaps it is time to go shopping for some new winches!
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

If it is (or was) chrome plated bronze, you can definitely have them re-plated. I have done it and the results were very good. It wasn't cheap, but a lot less than a new winch.
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

If they were chrome over bronze then I would just use some SS wool on them and see what they look like. I wouldn't understand why they would have rust on them if they are aluminum. Easy to check however to see what the metal is.

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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene T View Post
If they were chrome over bronze then I would just use some SS wool on them and see what they look like. I wouldn't understand why they would have rust on them if they are aluminum. Easy to check however to see what the metal is.

Gene
I can't understand why they would have rust on them at all! Bronze doesn't rust. Aluminum doesn't rust. Did lewmar make steel winch drums back then? I have never seen a winch rust like that!

Regardless, one would think if they were originally chrome there would be some sign of the chrome plating remaining. It certainly looks more like an anodized coating.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

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
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT

Perhaps they are older stainless steel that has given up the ghost? Even stainless can be overrun by rust in poor conditions, particularly lower quality stainless. If you get the surface rust off and leave it exposed to air, it's resistant quality will usually come back (somewhat). Hard to believe that the dimpling around the drum will remain effective and the pitting is never going to cure itself.

The first thought that came to my mind was wondering what the inside of that winch looks like. If the outside is any indication, they would be highly dangerous. If the pawls or gears failed, while under load and a winch handle is attached, it could break an arm. Have you pulled a drum off to look? Post a pic?

While I don't believe they are aluminum, Al can and does rust. However, it forms a white surface powder when oxidized (ie rust) and is not as pervasive as iron oxide.
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