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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Slightly OT, Hay Baler Knotter

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01-09-2010 15:50:18

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Being a city guy I don't have the luxury to go out and look at how a knotter works on baler. Since I don't have land to farm I was thinking about building a mini baler for giggles. I can pretty well figure out how to make ram and plunger move, but knotting is another story. I figure it can't be that hard to figure out once I know how a knotter works. Anybody have any sources that shows/explains how a knotter works?


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01-10-2010 06:02:17

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 Re: Slightly OT, Hay Baler Knotter in reply to patsdeere, 01-09-2010 15:50:18  
The way to do it easiest, and cheapest, is to take a regular sized baler, and re-work the plunger, and bale chamber, to make them smaller, leaving the needles and knotters full size. That's how I have seen smaller bales made.

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01-10-2010 04:55:56

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 Re: Slightly OT, Hay Baler Knotter in reply to dave2, 01-09-2010 15:50:18  
The only way you will ever be satisfied is to step up to a baler and manually & slowly turn the flywheel as it goes thru the knotting cycle. I probably did that a hundred cycles, trying to get a knotter timed correctly. Turned out the manual was just plain wrong. Set/time according to manual repeatedly & it wouldn't tie. Finally after working with it long enough, I could see what it had to do when in order to tie, so I timed accordingly & baled thousands of bales ever after. But I do understand it now! As I said, you have to see it in slow motion.

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01-09-2010 18:06:54

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 Re: Slightly OT, Hay Baler Knotter in reply to patsdeere, 01-09-2010 15:50:18  
Basically, they grab the two strings together, rotate them together, form a loop, and pull ends through. Then cut off both ends even. Easy to do with your hands, mechanically, they are fairly complicated. Just ask a farmer who's having trouble with one. I fought one all summer.

If you're going to do a few bales for fun, you might make a contraption to compress the "hay" and tie the bales by hand.

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01-09-2010 21:19:40

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 Re: Slightly OT, Hay Baler Knotter in reply to RayP(MI), 01-09-2010 18:06:54  
That is what my current plan is. I was just baffled on how they made them mechanically. I have seen youtube videos of it and it is a quick thunk noise and it is done. I was just curious how it was done.

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01-09-2010 16:20:07

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 Re: Slightly OT, Hay Baler Knotter in reply to patsdeere, 01-09-2010 15:50:18  

A knotter requires some fairly precise machining, gear cutting and the making of some odd shaped pieces which have some more precise machining on them. Do try to find someone square baling next spring and observe the baler in operation.

However, don't despair. Minature balers have been made, perhaps some with knotters. Generally small balers are made like the old stationary balers which were pulled by horses or tractors to piles of hay. Hay was forked by hand into the top of the bale chamber. The baler had a packer arm which came down and pushed the hay forcefully toward the bottom of the bale chamber. A plunger attached to a crankshaft forced the hay back into the bale case which had a hinged top which was tightened against springs. There was a device at the top of the bale case which held a wooden form which was dumped into the bale case. When hay was pushed back the desired length of the bale, another wooden form was inserted at the front again. After a little more hay was fed in, the bale was tied. The wooden form had 2 slots. Wire was inserted into the slots on one side of the baler, pulled through on the other side, and inserted into the slots on the other end of the bale. Then the wire was pulled tight as possible by hand and tied by inserting one end of the wire into a premade loop and twisting the end back on itself. I've seen minature balers made on this design which is a lot simpler than making a knotter. If someone has made one with an automatic knotter I don't remember seeing it.


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