2011 - Volume #35, Issue #4, Page #11[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Hay Baler Converted To Split Wood
"I just drop a chunk of wood into the bale chamber, and the pieces come out the bale chute," says Paquin. "I saw the idea somewhere else and had this one built by a friend, Dennis Walthers."
The baler has two large drive gears that transfer power to the plunger from the flywheel so there's plenty of power to push chunks of wood into the wedge.
"The flywheel rotates at about 29 rpm's so if you could drop 29 chunks of wood in per minute, it would split them," says Paquin.
Walthers cut away the pickup mechanism and other unnecessary parts like the knives and knotter. All that was left was the motor, the belt-driven flywheel, plunger with its gear drive, the bale chamber, and the chute. Paquin also retained the axle and wheels for mobility and a simple-screw style tongue jack for leveling.
"We fitted it with a 5 hp Honda, cut a hole in the top of the bale chamber, and welded a splitting wedge in place at the end of the chamber," he says. "We're only limited by the size of the 14-in. wide bale chamber."
Paquin lined the chamber and chute with metal screening to keep the wood from catching on the chute floor. The splitting wedge is a 12-in. section of grader blade. Paquin had it sharpened and tapered like the head of an axe. He reinforced the chamber with steel plate and angle iron to provide a solid base for the wedge.
"We welded a 6 by 8-in. plate to the end of the plunger to push the chunk of wood into the wedge," says Paquin.
Though his hay baler splitter has worked fine for about 4 years, Paquin is already planning his next one. He has purchased a similar baler, but with two flywheels for even more power. He will be installing a brake on it, so the plunger can be brought to an immediate stop when desired. He also plans to enlarge the top of the chamber to handle larger pieces of wood.
"This baler only cost me $50 and the motor a bit more," he says. "It's not OSHA approved, but if you don't stick your hand in the chamber, you're fine. The great thing is there is no upkeep, only a little used oil and an occasional sheared pin."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mike Paquin, 27059 290th Ave. S.E., Brooks, Minn. 56715 (ph 218 796-5293).
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