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Junked Baler Makes Great Wood Splitter
When Frank Zacharias needed a wood splitter, he went shopping in his brother's junk pile.
"I had sold him a used New Holland model 68 baler several years ago. He ran it until it wore out and then junked it. I figured I could make a wood splitter out of it, so I bought it back for 25 bucks," he says.
The La Crete, Alberta, farmer stripped off the hay pick up, knotters and needles, and then cut off the bale chamber just behind the axle. He stripped out the insides of the bale chamber, too, taking off the plunger, but leaving the crank in place. What remained was the PTO drive, the flywheel, part of the bale chamber, and the axle.
"The crank ran the opposite direction I wanted it to in order to split wood, so I turned the entire bale chamber upside down," he says. While he was at it, he shortened the axle, too, so it's just wider than the bale chamber.
To make the stripped down baler split wood, Zacharias made an axe-shaped wedge of steel plate and welded that to the plunger crank. He made a base plate at the back of the cut-down chamber to hold wood as it is being split. And, using steel tubing, he built a guard around the plunger to protect people working with the splitter.
"The tractor pto is used to drive the plunger-mounted wedge up and down through a gap that separates a pair of half-moon shaped steel plates. With every revolution made by the plunger, the wedge comes down on top of the log to split it in half. The two halves are then split again.
"We use it with a Massey Ferguson 65 tractor, running just a little faster than an idle," he says. "It doesn't take much power to split wood with it. We cut the logs 14 to 20 inches long which is the ideal firewood length for us.
"Everything I used to make it was scrap, so the only expense I had was buying back the baler. The rest was just labor and time," he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Frank Zacharias, Box 681, La Crete, Alberta T0H 2H0 Canada (ph 780 928-4020; fax 780 928-3762).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #3