Built a Solar Cover Reel

afrancis

Member
Oct 13, 2020
6
Fort Myers
I have a woodshop in the garage, and decided to try my hand at making a solar cover reel. I had quite a bit of red oak, and hard maple that I used for this project. I did put on a water sealing protecting layer to help protect from moisture, but will be putting on a cover on the top/sides to prevent the bushings and bearings from sunlight and direct contact with water.

I can operate this solar cover reel with 1 person effortlessly, and doesn't fall over when reeling or pulling the cover over the pool.

I didn't have any plans, but would be happy to discuss the project with anyone if you have questions.

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afrancis

Member
Oct 13, 2020
6
Fort Myers
Nice woodworking. How long do you think it will last? I am retiring my current roller this fall after 14 years of use.
A: Thank you!! I think it will last a long time, as long as I keep water/UV protective finish on it. I plan to refinish it in 6 months if the finish starts to wear away. If not, I will do it annually. I can replace the bearing/bushing, hand crank, or other components as needed.

Thanks Newdude. I appreciate the comment!
 
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afrancis

Member
Oct 13, 2020
6
Fort Myers
I get the woodworking part. But what did you use for the metal cross pipe to reel the cover on? Looks great.
A: I used 5/16 stainless steel rod that I can hammer out, and replace if it rusts out. I used 2 bars (approx 5 inches in length) to support each end of the pipe.
 

Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
330
Apex, NC
Can it be operated with one hand? If not, did you look at somehow putting a handle on the end of the current one to make winding up the cover easier?
 

afrancis

Member
Oct 13, 2020
6
Fort Myers
Can it be operated with one hand? If not, did you look at somehow putting a handle on the end of the current one to make winding up the cover easier?
Yes, it can be operated with one hand. I thought the longer handle would make getting leverage easier in the instance of resistance but I haven't encountered that yet. The reel rolls so smooth that I can grab one corner of the cover, and extend it the length of the pool without needing to get inside of it.

If it becomes more difficult, I can add a handle on the other side. I don't think it will be necessary though.