About to buy a solar cover for my IG 16x36' solar heated kidney shaped pool and am researching reels. Can't really spring for one of the nice $200-300 reels, so I thought I'd look into building something myself. I came across the solar roller coverstick (http://solarfactory.com/) that has a very simple design.
Has anyone attempted to make something like this? First thought was to use something like 1" pvc used for underground sprinkler systems, and then simply zip tie the cover onto the pvc at reasonable intervals. I'm not sure if 1" pvc has the rotational (torsion?) rigidity required to crank up the cover. I'm also not sure that a whole lot of rigidity is really needed as the cover is rolled up on the surface. Probably the most would be up front to get the thing going and begin the rolling process.
I'm a little stumped on the detachable crank part. Certainly you could also construct this out of pvc, but I'm not sure how to make it nicely detachable. Can't think of a sprinkler part that fits the bill.