Now that the fire danger has passed for the time being at least, we were able to get some small projects done. One in particular had been on the “experimental” list, the hand hay baler.
Since we only have ~18 acres I couldn’t justify dropping a ton of cash on a large PTO baler for such a small property. Though, It still might be better to have a farmer come and do it for me. The thought of having to rake all the hay by hand is a bit much for me, but i’m sure my kids would love to do it!
Anyway, I was bored and needed something to do so i built this crazy thing:
Open the door, thread the twine, load the top with hay and compress it down. Then tie off the hay and open the door to remove it. Sounds easy right? Well, the first attempt blew out the bottom part of the door, so I had to reinforce the bottom with a crossbar. After that, the twine I had kept breaking when I pulled the bale out. Some more modifications were made and after the third bale I had a keeper. Not very pretty (my ugly mug either), but I believe It will do the job without costing a fortune.
The plans are available here: http://essmextension.tamu.edu/pinestraw/baling.html
I modified it slightly to be a bit lighter in weight on the lever. Another good mod would be to add two or four large wheels to tow it around more easily.