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"Sewing Needle" Splits Big Square Bales In Half
Gordon Fuller and his wife wanted an easier way to feed big square bales to their miniature horses, so Gordon came up with a big “sewing needle” that lets him split the bales in half and re-wrap them with nylon straps.
  “It’s like pushing a sewing needle through cloth, only I’m pushing the needle through the bale. The eye of the needle holds the straps, which keep the half-size bales together,” says the Barriere, B.C., farmer.
  He used a 42-in. long, 1 1/4-in. wide, 1/4-in. thick steel bar to make the needle. He ground one end of the bar to a point, and welded a D-ring onto the other end that forms the eye of the needle and is used to pull the straps through.
  He starts with the bale setting on its edge. He shoves the needle through the center of the bale about 2/3 of the way up off the ground, until the pointed end is all the way through on the far side of the bale and the eye can still be seen on the near side. He attaches 2 straps to the eye and then pulls the shaft all the way through the bale. Then he removes the straps from the eye and wraps each one around the bale, hooking the strap ends together and attaching a ratchet to the end of the strap to tighten it up.
  Then he repeats the process, pushing the shaft through the bale and then wrapping straps around the other side of the bale. The final step is to cut the bale’s original twine strings and pull them off.
  “As soon as I start pulling the shaft through the bale it pulls nice and even,” says Fuller. “I use 2 different colors of straps so they’re easier to hook up.
  “I came up with the idea because we use a loader tractor equipped with forks to feed miniature horses in 5 different locations, and we don’t need much hay at each location. The bales we start with are 32 in. wide, 36 in. deep and 8 ft. long. They’re not super big, but they weigh about 640 lbs. The half-size bales are small enough to fit through the doorway of an 8 by 8-ft. hay shed. I set the bales down on their end and then remove flakes from the top.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gordon Fuller, P.O. Box 988, Barriere, B.C., Canada V0E 1E0 (ph 250 672-0167; grfuller1@gmail.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #2