We don’t own a tractor, so we cut and bale our hay by hand. Last year, we stored it loose in several sheds and anywhere we could find a few square feet of dry storage space. This year, we have a hand baler. A friend in Texas sent us a link and Hubby set to work on it. The baler in the plans is for use in making a bale of pine straw, but it works just fine baling our mixed-grass hay.
Our hayfield is about 10-12 acres, so obviously we are doing this a little at a time. Hubby cuts the grass with our brush-mower. Once it’s dry, I use a fan rake to rake it up in windrows.
Release the plunger, open the door, and remove the bale of hay.
Added 7/11/2016, the photos below are also available at my later post, Photos of our Hay Baler:
I've been asked for some additional photos of the hay baler. (Please excuse the pile of Stuff in the background.)
Instead of the rod where they attach the "eye" of the twine, ours has 2 small nails on the back of the baler for the same purpose. (Click on the photo to make it larger, then look for the nail. It's about 6" down.)
Also, there are two screw-in eyes (as in hook and eye) on the bottom of ours - the twine is threaded between the wooden rib and the eye (not through the eye) to hold it in place as we put in the hay. It then pops out when the finished bale is removed.
We found that the heaviest baling twine works the best; we had trouble with lighter twine breaking. We've also used baling wire with success.
I hope these are helpful. My hubby agrees that the plans online are pretty vague.
I believe this photo is public domain. If it isn't,
please inform me so I can remove it. Thank you.
Reader Daniel sent this link pdf plans for a manual baler from Tillers International. They show plans for a horizontal baler.
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