So the first picture is the extension and new hand wheel that I installed on the blade tension assembly, the previous installation was to short to extend beyond the future guard and I found this very heavy hand wheel. I had considered scrapping it a couple of times, because I couldn't find a use for such a heavy hand wheel, but turns out this is a perfect application for it. I threaded it 3/4" pipe thread and installed it with a 3/4" pipe extension.
In the same picture you can see one of the new blades. It is a 1 1/4" carbon silicon blade with 7/8" tooth spacing, and surgically sharp, (I drew blood just uncoiling it, ha ha.) made in Germany.
So on to the lift winch. This is another 1500 lb. ATV winch. A whole $40 about 10 years ago. To get it to work I had to make one modification. Since it is winding or unwinding two separate cables at the same time and rate, I had to drill a second retainer hole and set screw threading, at the opposite end and side of the winch drum. One cable feeds from the top and the other from the bottom so that when the winch operates, both cables are either winding or unwinding. The angle to the pulleys keeps the cable well spaced and top to bottom is less than one full rap on the drum, this keeps the speed consistent and even on both sides. I bolted the winch to the head, instead of welding, until I am certain this is going to work out.
Here is the pulley mounting, you can see the angle that keeps the cable well separated on the winch drum.
A wider picture of the winch and both pulleys. The cable passes through two 3/4" holes drilled through the head frame.
So we are ready to try it out. I pulled out one of the two marine batteries I recently got for this purpose, and connected up the winch.
So here we go ready to try it out. Here at the bottom slide locks still on and the cables just snugged up.
Released the slide locks and raised the cutting head to the half way point. Raised effortlessly, one side seemed to grab a bit occasionally. Checked the post and cleaned up a bit of weld spatter I found.
Continued to raise the cutting head to the top of its travel, traveled easy and steady. Lowering was faster and very steady. I have never seen this type of set up before, so I wasn't sure it was going to work. I have yet to see how battery life is going to hold up, but so far this works great.
When I put it into use a light greasing of the head posts will make it even smoother and less demanding on the batteries. This is another post where video would have been nice, maybe one day.