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Built chandelier lift using gorilla brake winch

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Built chandelier lift using gorilla brake winch

The entrance of our home has a two-story tall ceiling with a chandelier very high up. There is absolutely no way (ever!) I'd be getting on a tall ladder to try to change light bulbs in that chandelier, so we'd been going for about a year now with its bulbs all burnt out. 


We have access to the roof space directly above the chandelier, so I decided to see if I could built a chandelier lift. This is what I found directly above the chandelier: a simple chain nailed to the stuts with another chain safety loop over a small piece of cross wood.


IMG_1526.pngOriginal chandelier mount

I didn't know whether the chandelier was maybe also mounted into the ceiling structure, so my first task was to figure out whether I would even be able to lower the chandelier just working from the roof space. Luckily it was simply hanging by that chain, which meant my project could go ahead.


My original plan was to have an electric hoist of some sort and have the electrical cord go up and down with the light fixture from some spring loaded reel or something, but quickly I decided to keep it really nice and simple and just install a manual Brake Winch instead.


I bought a simple 100 x 75 mm fence post from Bunnings and prepared it for vertical installation in the roof structure with the help of a Ryobi circular saw and some other basic tools:


IMG_1586.pngEasy with the circular sawIMG_1589.pngWearing goggles and mask against the dustIMG_1590.pngReady to go up into the roof space

With this vertical beam installed like this, it's resting on the roof support structure, and I used 6 long M7 screws to keep it securely in place:


IMG_1595.pngClamped in placeIMG_1599.pngAll screwed in nice and tight

With that beam in place, it's just a matter of mounting the brake winch:

IMG_1602.pngSolid looking winchIMG_1620.pngBrake winch mounted and attached to the chandelierIMG_1619.pngChandelier lowered for maintenance

I really like this brake winch. It feels very solid, and there is no weight on the line required to lower the line (some brake winches require quite a bit of minimum weight in order for lowering to work). It takes me a minute or two to pull the chandelier back to the top and because it's manual, I have very precise control at the end so I can make sure the chandelier is perfectly centered and it's pressing against the ceiling gently. 


Very happy with this solution!


Now the next step is to find a nicer light fixture and replace what we have now :smile:






Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Built chandelier lift using gorilla brake winch

That's brilliant Erik (@vanderneut) many thanks for sharing. Great to see you join the discussion and post your first project on the site. We look forward to seeing many more in future.


Let me also extend a very warm welcome to the community. We're rapt you could join us and encourage you to post whenever you need a hand or have something new to share. And please let me know if you ever have any feedback about how we can improve Workshop for you.


All the best,




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