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adorabelle63

Expensive windlass worth the price?

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1 hour ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Thing is, its difficult enough to get the magnet to hit on a whole steel windlass accidentally dropped in (in my personal experience). Hitting on a bolt in the handle of an ally windlass in 7ft of murky water is probably an order of magnitude more difficult, I reckon, hence my interest....

 

 

 

 

7ft of water? I thought you boated down south! Its never that deep unless the lock is full and then you don't need a paddle handle.

I try not to loose them' not always successfully :(

 

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3 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Thing is, its difficult enough to get the magnet to hit on a whole steel windlass accidentally dropped in (in my personal experience). Hitting on a bolt in the handle of an ally windlass in 7ft of murky water is probably an order of magnitude more difficult, I reckon, hence my interest....

 

 

 

 

 

Whenever I have dropped in a windlass or piling hook into the cut, it has always been where there has been steel piling, which for some reason my magnet much prefers to stick to.

 

Same happened when I dropped a nut in the engine hole. I couldnt quite reach it, then remembered I have a magnet on an extending telescopic thing. Got it but found I couldn't direct it to the nut coz it kept sticking to the swim. Eventually recovered the nut with some advanced gymnastics which left me with a bad back!

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7 hours ago, dave moore said:

To my mind, the only decent modern windlass is the alloy Dunton. The majority of offerings in chandlers are dismal, the flimsy open eyed things absolutely dire. Over many years I’ve acquired several old ones from working days, including a forged Wheelock and a Harry Neal, the latter being my default option. British Waterways cast replicas based on the Neal, which are also good in the hand, I have several of these. I’ve never tried the modern mechanical types, a bit of regular greasing of the paddle racks might help to solve the issues they are designed to address.

Dave

Thanks Dave. I have to agree, of course I would. Those open square eyed things are chewing up tapered lock spindles up and down the system. That's from C&RT engineers not me but anyone with half an eye can see the damage being done.

So if you want the best, forget the rest.

We are investigating the possibilities of placing a steel insert into the handle on the next batch of Duntons to be cast for those poor souls who inadvertantly drop theirs into the cut. Or we can cast the whole windlass in steel if enough people were interested in purchasing.

Oh hang on that'll include me then!!! After dropping mine in and later recovering, I began the search for the producer of Dunton windlass and eventually found him.

Here they are then

The DuntonFamily.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Graham_Robinson said:

Thanks Dave. I have to agree, of course I would. Those open square eyed things are chewing up tapered lock spindles up and down the system. That's from C&RT engineers not me but anyone with half an eye can see the damage being done.

So if you want the best, forget the rest.

We are investigating the possibilities of placing a steel insert into the handle on the next batch of Duntons to be cast for those poor souls who inadvertantly drop theirs into the cut. Or we can cast the whole windlass in steel if enough people were interested in purchasing.

Oh hang on that'll include me then!!! After dropping mine in and later recovering, I began the search for the producer of Dunton windlass and eventually found him.

Here they are then

The DuntonFamily.jpg

Deffo the best. We have only lost one so far in a lot of years.Light,strong and a good fit.

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1 minute ago, system 4-50 said:

No way would I have a windlass without a roller.

I really dislike the ones with rollers, skin gets trapped. We have one on the boat as our third windlass, we give it to visitors etc (slightly hoping they might lose it!).

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Paul loves his Dunton double plus,bought it him as one of his birthday pressies a few years ago.He has Jubilee clips on it just in case...

PS Think he guessed what it was even though it was gift wrapped.?

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10 hours ago, nicknorman said:

There are a few canals where the paddles are exceptionally stiff. Hudderfield Narrow springs to mind. For such, perhaps a fancy complicated thing like the Lockmaster might be desirable. For everything else, a bog standard double headed windlass is best. Not an aluminium alloy one, as they can't be fished out with a magnet! Maybe get one normal one and one longish one - the latter being good for "cracking" a stiff paddle, but often suffers from being unable to fully rotate without bashing it or knuckles on the lock gate structure. For most of the time you will find the short one quite adequate.

 

Spend the cash difference on some weight training in the gym!

A bog standard will do the Huddersfield Narrow

10 hours ago, adorabelle63 said:

There are two lockmasters on sale one £115 and one £97 (sounds like the start of a school exam paper lol) one of them purports to be new and unused...the other has been used for four years. 

there is also an Easylass at £50 which research (old stuff on this site) tells me were selling in the marinas for £30 brand new back in the day....

which (if any) would be best?

I’ve a bog standard you can have for nowt

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3 hours ago, Goliath said:

A bog standard will do the Huddersfield Narrow

If you are a strong bloke - yes, just. If you are of the female persuasion, unless you have the attributes of Caster, probably not. Of course some paddles on the HNC are fine, but a few were ridiculously stiff when we did the canal last summer.

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8 hours ago, nicknorman said:

If you are a strong bloke - yes, just. If you are of the female persuasion, unless you have the attributes of Caster, probably not. Of course some paddles on the HNC are fine, but a few were ridiculously stiff when we did the canal last summer.

There’s a lot of women stronger than me. 

?

 

I saw an 85 year old woman operating northgate locks at chester like it was  a breeze in the park. 

 

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18 hours ago, Nightwatch said:

Go Windlass https://gowindlass.co.uk/ Bought for my darling Lock wheeler for her birthday. Has made the job much easier for her. Fun watching the decision making process of which way to turn, change ratchet direction, repeat three times and open paddle. It hasn't speeded up the process but made it less hard work. 

My lock wheeler has one of these, she loves it but like yours does, she gets mixed up about setting the ratchet direction. The same size as a conventional windless it doesn't have the extra long handled leverage that those mentioned in the OP have, but the ability to be able to use it as a normal windlass then switch the over to the ratchet whenever she encounters a stiff paddle gear has made such a difference for her. At just under a kg it's virtually the same weight as an iron one so it's not heavy and cumbersome like those other ones. We've used it for around 500 locks so far and it's showing no signs of wear.

 

The only negative is that it won't fit locks with the non-tapered paddle gear but thankfully those have been in the minority so far. At £80 it's a bit pricey but well worth it IMO if it keeps her happy!

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27 minutes ago, Grassman said:

My lock wheeler has one of these, she loves it but like yours does, she gets mixed up about setting the ratchet direction. The same size as a conventional windless it doesn't have the extra long handled leverage that those mentioned in the OP have, but the ability to be able to use it as a normal windlass then switch the over to the ratchet whenever she encounters a stiff paddle gear has made such a difference for her. At just under a kg it's virtually the same weight as an iron one so it's not heavy and cumbersome like those other ones. We've used it for around 500 locks so far and it's showing no signs of wear.

 

The only negative is that it won't fit locks with the non-tapered paddle gear but thankfully those have been in the minority so far. At £80 it's a bit pricey but well worth it IMO if it keeps her happy!

Couldn't have put it better myself.

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On 02/05/2019 at 11:16, ditchcrawler said:

I have heard of people drilling and tapping the end of the handle to screw a steel bolt into it

Another option is to drill the end of the handle and epoxy a handcuff key in there. That way the aluminium windlass is recoverable with a magnet and you always have the handcuff key available if required :)

 

Eta I would secure it with a roll pin as well as don't 100% trust epoxy resin. 

Edited by magnetman

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11 minutes ago, magnetman said:

Another option is to drill the end of the handle and epoxy a handcuff key in there. That way the aluminium windlass is recoverable with a magnet and you always have the handcuff key available if required :)

 

Eta I would secure it with a roll pin as well as don't 100% trust epoxy resin. 

Sounds like a good idea. The Dunton definitely needs to be retrievable using a magnet. Is this the place to admit that I attached jubilee clips to mine - only to find that the clips were made of a non-magnetic alloy?

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22 minutes ago, magnetman said:

Another option is to drill the end of the handle and epoxy a handcuff key in there. That way the aluminium windlass is recoverable with a magnet and you always have the handcuff key available if required :)

 

Eta I would secure it with a roll pin as well as don't 100% trust epoxy resin. 

Except this simply wouldn't work, as the increased diameter of the handcuff key caused by it being sheathed in windlass handle would stop it being able to be inserted in the locks!

 

I have bought poorly manufactured handcuff keys that I have had to file down the outer diameter of to get them to fit, so there really is very little spare clearance in most of the locks.

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You would have the handcuff key sticking out for the required distance. I assumed that was obvious. I haven't used one for ages so can't quite remember how far they go into the hole but it is not a particularly long ? Maybe it would be a nuisance on the end of the windlass handle. 

 

Eta it would also give a larger magnetic surface if it was sticking out which as you point out is obviously necessary.

 

I have got a handcuff key and when held by the cross bar there is only about 2 inches of bar useable. I seem to think its actually not very deep maybe just an inch in fact but can not recall as last time I used one was about 15 years ago...

 

If it was an inch protruding that would be pretty tidy on a dunton windlass and enough of it in the hole to make it secure. 

 

Edited by magnetman
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17 minutes ago, magnetman said:

You would have the handcuff key sticking out for the required distance. I assumed that was obvious. I haven't used one for ages so can't quite remember how far they go into the hole but it is not a particularly long ? Maybe it would be a nuisance on the end of the windlass handle. 

 

Eta it would also give a larger magnetic surface if it was sticking out which as you point out is obviously necessary.

 

I have got a handcuff key and when held by the cross bar there is only about 2 inches of bar useable. I seem to think its actually not very deep maybe just an inch in fact looking at the wear marks it might only be half an inch. 

 

If it was half an inch protruding that would be pretty tidy on a dunton windlass and enough of it in the hole to make it secure. 

 

Well you did say "in there" rather than "poking out from there"!

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22 minutes ago, magnetman said:

 

 

I have got a handcuff key and when held by the cross bar there is only about 2 inches of bar useable. I seem to think its actually not very deep maybe just an inch in fact but can not recall as last time I used one was about 15 years ago...

 

 

Some are much deeper than others and need almost all the shaft, but at least you would have one at hand for the odd occasion you left the key on the boat

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13 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

Well you did say "in there" rather than "poking out from there"!

Maybe a spring loaded mechanism would work so you could push it back a bit after use. 

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Few years back I bought a Lockmaster for my wife to use. It was a Christmas present.

 

She hated it....

 

Firstly it weighed a ton...secondly....my wife ( not all women) was in no way adept at using a ratchet drive...

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Further to my earlier comment, pics of what I consider to be decent windlasses. The top one is a Harry Neal No2 original, the second a Wheelock forged original, the bottom two BW cast Neal types, the bottom one I had chrome plated, “ Silver dipped” according to the boaters.

978B93E9-6302-4371-8326-39D68952ADCB.jpeg

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Nice irons :) 

 

These are my three favourites all of which fit the majority of current locks. 

 

The closest one is the oldest and my favourite and the one I use which is evidenced by the shiny handle. The chrome one is a standard 1960s cast small socket the same as the lower two in the previous post. I have several of these the others of which are hot dip galvanised as originally produced.  

 

The one at the top is a hand forged key with no markings but remarkably similar to the modern cast one.  

 

In my little collection I also have a few GH Cooke Grand Union keys found with magnet but unfortunately they are no longer useable on locks other than the northern GU candlesticks.

 

 

IMG_20190504_185833.jpg

Edited by magnetman

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"GO Windlass.co.uk are advertising their latest offering with optional revolving handle on page 47 May Towpath Talk. @adorabelle63 please, please do not get one of these:

See the source image
They can damage the spindles.
 
Any excuse to show my collection, nothing historical or special.

IMGP3551.JPG

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The chrome double eye windlass from wfbco is quite an unusual one to find but there is a risk of breaking it on hard to wind paddles due to the inadequate transition from shaft to socket. Not a big enough web on it. 

 

Nicely laid out collection :)

 

 

Eta the wfbco one was also produced as a single socket and there is a forum member who did break one but he might be too busy with work and fast cars and a town class motor with a Perkins it to be looking on here. 

 

Edited by magnetman

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