Unseen Servant, Animate Dead, Telekinesis, Planar Binding
The classic spell for this is Unseen Servant. The servant is not very strong, but it's only a level 1 spell, it lasts for hours, you can cast multiple if needed, and it has that strong "things move themselves" vibe, because the servant is invisible.
Another practical alternative for free labor, although with less of an enchantment feeling, is Animate Dead (Cleric 3, Socerer Wizard 4).
This spell turns the bones or bodies of dead creatures into undead skeletons or zombies that follow your spoken commands.
This has the added bonus that it works without time limit, as at the cost of 25 gp in onyx per HD, the undead stick around permanently. You have a limit of caster level times 4 HD you you can control, but they are much stronger than unseen servants, and while pretty dumb, should have no issue with simple repetitive tasks.
At the higher end (Sorcerer/Wizard 5), you get Telekinesis
An object can be telekinetically manipulated as if with one hand. For example, a lever or rope can be pulled, a key can be turned, an object rotated, and so on, if the force required is within the weight limitation.
And the limit here is 25 lbs per caster level, so you can excert a significant amount of force; but you must concentrate here, which is likely not what you have in mind.
A souped up version of unseen servant would be an invisible stalker
Invisible stalkers are creatures native to the Elemental Plane of Air. They sometimes serve wizards and sorcerers, who summon them to perform specific tasks.
A summoned invisible stalker undertakes whatever task the summoner commands, even if the task sends it hundreds or thousands of miles away.
This requires something like summon monster VI (Cleric, Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard 6) as the stalker is a large elemental, if you only need it for a few rounds, or planar binding (Sorcerer/Wizard 6) with its various other trappings as the stalker has 8 HD. You might also be able to bind other extraplanar creatures that can turn invisible, like an imp, with the lesser version of the spell that is only level 5, if they have 6 or less HD.
I suspect these latter options are too high level for what you have in mind and a bit of overkill for just turning a capstan.