How to Build a Pulley Using Home Items

You can easily build your own pulley out of household items with a few simple tools. Use it for a science fair demonstration or class project. It can also serve as a simple movable clothesline or pulley storage system. The household items the pulley is made of will give your project a simple, rustic look.

Step 1

Measure the width of the rolling pin, and make several marks in the exact middle of it. Connect these lines to form a line running around the middle of the pin. Take care to place all the marks at the exact center; otherwise, the pulley will not work well.

Step 2

Wrap one end of the rolling pin in the rag. Stick the end with the rag into the vise, and tighten it until the rolling pin is held firmly in place. Make sure that the vice is gripping the pin itself and not the handles. The rag will prevent the vise from damaging the wood of the pin.

Step 3

Cut a wedge-shaped groove into the middle of the pin where you marked the line. Use the hacksaw to cut the groove. Make sure that it is as thick and wide as the rope you have chosen.

Step 4

File the interior of the groove into a smooth U-shape, eliminating all sharp edges, burrs and discontinuities. Use a round or regular flat file. Keep the groove just slightly wider than the rope.

Step 5

Slip one end of a hose clamp through the loop of a snap hook. Warp the hose clamp around one of the rolling pin's handles and tighten it so that the snap hook is attached to the handle. Do the same with the other handle.

Step 6

Attach the pulley's snap hooks to screw hooks set into the ceiling, eaves or stand where you are setting up the pulley. Alternatively, string a rope through the pulley's snap hooks and suspend the pulley by the rope. After the pulley is in place, fit the length of rope you are using for the pulley into the groove you have cut for it. The pulley is now ready to use. Attach a load to one end of the rope, and pull on the other end to lift it.