Manual to Electric hose reel conversion

I'm sure it has been done before. But I thought I would post a bit about the process.
I had a couple manual vacuum hose reels that came with a truck I bought.
The conversion was relatively easy. That being said, if you have zero welding or fab experience this might be very hard for you.

We bought 2 DC motors $180 each, enough for two reels
1" channel-20' section
2" angle iron
6" x 1/4 plate about a foot
Misc bolts for attaching motor to bracket
Roughly 12' of link belt, about $60.00 per reel
1.5" 5/8 pulley $10.00

Instead of a big push button momentary switch, we went with a standard Ford starter solenoid. I love the Butler electric hose reel push button, so we bought some gooseneck flexible tube, and put a small push button on the end. I soldered the wires to the switch, but you can buy momentary switches with both wires already attached on Ebay


Very simple bracket. Use a piece of paper and a very small ball peen hammer to make a template to transfer the motor's bolt pattern to the 6 in plate.
Put paper on motor. Softly tap on each bolt hole to transfer pattern to paper then cut out with utility knife. Basically the same method you use to custom make a gasket. Drill those holes and bolt motor to plate
I bought mine, but I'd love to transfer my old one to an electric. I might take this thread to a metal fabrication shop and get them to custom make it for me.
I was lazy and bought a Rokan electric reel. But I give you a lot of credit. I admire the guys that get out there and build it themselves. Nothing wrong with that!
I'm gonna make some stainless reels. I will definitely go the gear and chain route. A good friend of mine fabs a lot of food grade stainless stuff for a local factory. So I have some unique stuff to work with. I'd love an adjustable speed vac hose reel. Also stainless electric solution reels for supply and APO lines. Probably should just have Aerotech make some. But I'm a glutton for punishment
You could have them make them, but what fun would that be?!

When ever I see the reels with that big belt I think slow! 13-14" sprocket now you're talking..

I would guess, for me, I could do 200' in under 45seconds..

Shane T here made a power solution reel that is awesome!! I keep wanting to build one..
That was to convert a manual reel to electric. Not to fab one from scratch.
Paying a fab shop would probably make it not worth it.
But to answer your question. I would pay a shop to roll the channel. Then take that to a small fab shop. I would guess about 200 max to weld on the channel and make bracket.