This is definitely the sickest thing i've ever constructed on the property. Ha! The pulley system worked out great, easily allowing me to lift the entire thing with some relatively minimal downward force on the rope. However, i'll still attach a counterweight of some kind onto the rope end, which will make even less effort needed to move it. Some minor alterations will be made to the pulley systems sometime this week, because of 2 problems:
1. Because of the orientation of the pulleys, I can't raise/lower it while standing in front of the bins. It can only be moved from the side, which keeps me from positioning the contraption where I want along the length of the beam. I'll likely use a torch to heat the metal at the top, then bend it 90 degrees to the left. The ol' "flame wrench" comes in handy sometimes, and that's how I roll. heh.
2. Because the two pulley systems are connected by rope, the possibility of the entire thing twisting up when the auger digs into the pile is very high. I knew this would be a problem, as it was even considered when I first started designing it. But, it's just a small problem - and all problems have an answer. A person just has to find it. A couple of ideas are already taking shape, and i'll just have to see what is available for the fix. It'll all work out - I promise! Looks like another trip to Lowes is in order....
Photo below - The auger as it's connected to the output shaft of the gearbox. Due to the unwanted excessive length of the complete assembly, I opted to shorten the extension drastically. Even with that said, this thing is still too long. Crap.....However, I may remove the top 12" of the pallets that essentially make up the center bin, which would allow the auger to move freely along the entire length of the pallet bins system. Hmmmm...That will probably happen, knowing myself like I do.
Photo below - here's a pretty good closeup of the bracket that was made to attach to the motor feet, and also to the gearbox. Some last minute alterations in the backyard left the flat metal on the bottom pulley section bent pretty bad, but it's not the end of the world. Getting this thing to hang plumb was pretty interesting - let me tell ya...It didn't help matters that I welded the thing together upside down, either - then had to grind the weld off and start again. OOPS! Hehe...I was in a hurry...
Once these 2 alterations have been made, i'll give it a test run in the center compost pile. I'm sure it's gonna require a little bit of final tweaking to get it right, but that's just an ordinary thing for me to do. I'm a tweaker!
I'll try it out this weekend, weather permitting of course. Gosh, I know what all of you must be thinking..."this guy's completely out of his mind", but I just had to try and make this composting task easier.
Take care, and happy composting!