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Straw bales made by a hand baler?

 
Aleksandar Jankovic
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We have access to a lot of straw bales from last year that have not been pressed tight and are not exactly the ideal dimensions for our cottage. So we thought about making a hand baler (something similar to this perhaps) and re-baling these old bales to the dimensions we seek. It's extra work, but we've got the manpower and won't need more than a hundred bales for the small cottage.

My main question is: can a hand baler make bales of adequate tightness for building a straw bale home? Or are these super tight bales only the product of machines? We're talking about wheat straw, by the way. And if anyone has any hand baler plans to share that they are happy with, that would be awesome
 
Robert Ray
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We made a bale shortener that had a moveable pressure foot that was on an eccetrinc (cam). It wasn't meant to form a bale but to shorten an existing bale and the cam action would allow one person to compress the bale and tie it off without someone having to put pressure on the lever that the video appears to show. Quite a bit tighter than using the old needle and thread way. I'll see if i can't post dimensions and photo's.
 
R Scott
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You can make a rebaler from a hi lift jack that will put 7,000 lbs of pressure on the bale and can have enough stroke to compress two bales into one. It will compress tighter than twine or wire will hold.
 
Burra Maluca
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This thread might have the information you need - The Bale Press at Wheaton Labs
 
Ruby Gray
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Aleksandar Jankovic wrote:We have access to a lot of straw bales from last year that have not been pressed tight and are not exactly the ideal dimensions for our cottage. So we thought about making a hand baler (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_dYfTc1Wsc]something[/youtube] similar to this perhaps) and re-baling these old bales to the dimensions we seek. It's extra work, but we've got the manpower and won't need more than a hundred bales for the small cottage.

My main question is: can a hand baler make bales of adequate tightness for building a straw bale home? Or are these super tight bales only the product of machines? We're talking about wheat straw, by the way. And if anyone has any hand baler plans to share that they are happy with, that would be awesome


I am collecting the recycled materials to construct a hand baler. I scythe my own hay and so far have stacked it loose for several years. This is nice, but being able to press my hay would make it much easier to store and transport.

I have seen several versions of the baler you mention, and they are OK if you have a couple of goats to feed which don't mind smaller-dimensioned shaggy-looking hay bales, but there is a much better option which applies greater compression more easily, and makes bigger, neater bales comparable with commercial ones.

You can see this marvelous device in use at :



The plans for this much better design are available here :

http://www.tillersinternational.org/farming/resources_techguides/ThemiTillersManualHayBalerPlans.pdf

and instructions here :

http://tillersinternational.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ThemiTillersManualHayBaler.pdf

Themi-Tillers is an organisation which designs appropriate technology for people and livestock in developing country agriculture, and for sensible folks opting out of the high-tech agribusiness age.
 
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