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The Bale-Press at Wheaton Labs

 
Burra Maluca
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When I visited wheaton labs, I took the opportunity to photograph the bale press. First, at Base Camp, and later in action at The Lab.



Paul opened up the door so I could see the inner workings of the beast.



Here's a view of the business end of the press doing it's thang.



The slots in the press line up with where the strings on the bale go, so either you can put string onto loose hay to create a bale, or reach the strings on existing bales to tighten them.



This bale is far too loose to build with, so it's a good candidate for testing the press.



Jesse inserts the bale into the press...



...and pushes is down into place.



He pulls the loose strings through the slots ready for tightening.



Then starts to tighten the bale by pulling down on the lever.



He manages to get the lever close to horizontal.



There's plenty of slack to be taken up on those strings now, but Jesse wants the bale tighter still.



Fred comes to the rescue! Vegan lats for the win!!

The lever is below horizontal now.



Jesse tests the bale by sitting on it.



And then by standing on it. It's much more suitable for building now!



 
Julia Winter
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Thanks for this series of action photos! Really useful tool - I hope somebody makes a straw bale structure to really get some use out of it.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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hahaha vegan lats for the win! love it.. great photos burra.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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That is a neat design for the job, is there a resident genius or is that a known design?
 
Cassie Langstraat
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i believe jesse built it. not sure where he got the design though. do you know burra?
 
Sue Rine
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Nice photo documentation. Thanks, Burra.
 
Burra Maluca
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:i believe jesse built it. not sure where he got the design though. do you know burra?


Um, no, not sure. Better ask Jesse!
 
Joe Braxton
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These plans look like the ones, if not please correct me.

http://essmextension.tamu.edu/pinestraw/baling.html

 
André Troylilas
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I'm very interested in building a straw press.
Does the builder have any plan of this one?
Thanks.
 
Glenn Herbert
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See the link in the previous post.
 
André Troylilas
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Thanks, I had seen it, I thought about the wheaton laboratories one...
 
Thomas Kinstle
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Farmers can adjust how tight the straw bales are on their baler. The main issue though is how tough the strings holding the bales together are; sometimes you pick up a bale held together with hemp twine and they explode.....so you may save some time looking for bales held with plastic twine or wire.
 
Sue Rine
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Mostly the hemp twine is fine as long as the bottom layer of bales in a stack are laid on their sides so the string is not in contact with the ground.
 
Joel Russ
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Why not make the lever assembly (parts A and B, in the illustration given above by Joe Braxton) out of steel tubing? One reason to use steel: these parts will receive a lot of stress over the lifetime use of the device. Part A could be made from round tubing, and part B could be made from rectangular-cross-section tubing. The round tubing would probably fit your hands better and be more comfortable, if the device is used hour after hour - a second reason for using metal tubing. The tubing pieces could be arranged to fit the dimensions needed and then be welded into permanent position along the length of the lever.
 
brandon gross
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Well thats a neat praticle contraption
 
Tam Deal
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Tubing is an option, but it is more expensive, and pretty messy unless it is galvanized or powder coated. The right wood can last 10 - 20 years out of doors without any finish whatever. And if one is using the press in cold weather, the wood is naturally warm to the touch. Steel is also relatively heavy if stiff, while Miracle Fiber W has pretty much the best stiffness to weight and stiffness over cycles of use, of any material other than carbon fiber composite.
 
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