How to Build an Elevator Pulley

Make an elevator pulley to lift objects off the ground.
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If you want to transport objects to a higher height or want to test out physics, build an elevator pulley. Pulleys are simple wheels with grooved rims that are pulled by a rope. Pulleys are useful for elevators because they lift more than their weight. The longer the string length, the more weight they can pull. Instead of using your own strength, build an elevator pulley system to do the hard work for you.

    Cut a 2-inch plywood sheet to the dimensions of 9 by 9 feet, using a table saw. The plywood sheet is the base wall.

    Position a 5-inch pulley 20 inches from the top edge and 20 inches from the left edge of the base wall. Drill a 2 1/2-inch pilot hole through the hole in the center of the pulley into the base wall, using a power drill and 2 1/2-inch drill bit. Insert a 3 3/4-inch screw through the center of the pulley into the pilot hole. Tighten the screw, using a screwdriver. This pulley is pulley A.

    Position another 5-inch pulley 20 inches from the top edge and 40 inches from the left edge of the base.

    The pulley is 20 inches to the right of pulley A. Repeat Step 2 to attach the pulley to the base wall. This pulley is pulley B.

    Position another 5-inch pulley 20 inches from the top edge and 40 inches from the right edge of the base. The pulley is 20 inches to the right of pulley B. Repeat Step 2 to attach the pulley to the base wall. This pulley is pulley C.

    Position another 5-inch pulley 20 inches from the top edge and 20 inches from the right edge of the base. The pulley is 20 inches to the right of pulley C. Repeat Step 2 to attach the pulley to the base wall.

    This is pulley D.

    Position another 5-inch pulley 20 inches from the bottom edge and 20 inches from the left edge of the base. Repeat Step 2 to attach the pulley to the base wall. The pulley is pulley E. Position another 5-inch pulley 20 inches from the bottom edge and 40 inches from the left edge of the base. The pulley is 20 inches to the right of pulley D. Repeat Step 2 to attach the pulley to the base wall. The pulley is pulley E.

    Place a 20-by-20 inch cardboard box in the center of the base wall. The box is the elevator box. Drill a hole in the bottom of the box, using a power drill and 2-inch drill bit. The hole is the bottom hole. Drill two holes in the top of the box, using a power drill and 2-inch drill bit. The holes are top hole A and top hole B.

    Insert a rope with a 2-inch diameter into the bottom hole from the outside of the box to the inside of the box. Tie the end of the rope. Pull the opposite end of the rope over the bottom ring of pulley E and D. Pull the rope upwards towards pulley A and wrap the rope around pulley A twice. Pull the rope over the top ring of pulley B. Insert the rope into the top hole A from the outside of the box to inside of the box. Tie the end of the rope.

    Insert another rope with a 2-inch diameter into top hole B from the outside of the box to the inside of the box. Tie the end of the rope.

    Pull the rope upwards on the top of pulley C and pulley D. Tie a 5-pound weight to the end of the rope. Turn pulley A to the right or left. The elevator box moves up and down. The pulley system is complete, though lacking an elevator brake system.

    Things You'll Need

    • 2-inch plywood sheet, 9 feet by 9 feet
    • Table saw
    • Power drill
    • Drill bits, 2-inch and 2 1/2-inch
    • Six 5-inch pulleys
    • Six screws, 3 3/4-inch
    • 20-by-20-nch cardboard box
    • Two ropes, 2-inch diameter
    • 5-pound weight

    Tips

    • The elevator pulley is used for example only. Adjust the dimensions to fit the desired size of your elevator pulley, Do not put any living or fragile items in the elevator box.

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