How to Make a Small Pulley


Making a small pulley showcases how a pulley system works and what it can be used for. Constructing a pulley is a way to model a Science lesson or create an after-school project to complete with children. Making a pulley requires simple household items and no more than thirty minutes of your time.

Things You'll Need

  • 8-10 inch length of wire - about the gauge of paperclip wire or smaller
  • Wooden thread spool
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Cabinet handle or wall hook
  • 12- to 15-inch length of string
  • Paper clip
  • Pencil or other small object
  • Place the wire through the wooden spool. Use a gauge of wire that allows the spool to spin.

  • Bend the wire into a triangular shape and twist the ends together using needle nose pliers.

  • Attach the spool to a secure location by hanging the wire on a fixed object such as a cabinet handle or wall hook.

  • Place the string over the spool. Tie a paper clip to one end of the string and tie the other end around a small object such as a pencil.

  • Pull the paper clip. The spool should slowly turn, raising the pencil or small object.

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  • Photo Credit pulley of a boat image by timur1970 from
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