1987 - Volume #11, Issue #6, Page #11[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Saw Slices Bales Into Three Pieces"We read in FARM SHOW about the Canadian farmer who built a round bale saw that cuts bales in half to make them easier to feed out in a dairy barn (Vol. 10, No. 5). We liked the idea but we wanted to cut them up even smaller so they'd roll down our feed alleys," says Jerry Nelson, Kimball, Minn., who improved upon the original "made-it-myself" idea by building a bale saw that cuts bales into three easier-to-handle pieces.
Nelson's bale saw mounts on a trailer chassis made from 3-in. angle iron and steel tubing, carried by a 3/4-ton pickup axle. Stabilizing legs drop to the ground to brace it while cutting. Using a tractor loader, the operator sets a bale on a sliding bale plat-form that rolls on 3-in. channel iron rails. A hand-cranked boat winch pulls the bale platform, which is divided into three separate sections, into a big pto-powered band saw blade at the front end of the trailer. The band saw makes two slices through the bale, on both the down-stroke and the up-stroke of the blade, cutting an 18-in. wide slice out of the center of the bale and two equal size slices on either side, depending on the size of the bale.
It tookl2 min. to cut through a bale with the first prototype Nelson built. After making some changes, including a switch to pto-power for the blade, his current saw cuts through even the heaviest bales in about 30 sec.
"We still can't believe how well it works. It does the work of a hired man," says Nelson, who's cut more than 300 bales without replacing the original band saw blade.
If a hay bale weighs 1,500 lbs., each bale slice weighs around 500 lbs. Nelson built an overhead track that picks the bale slices up off the saw platform and carries them right into the barn. Once inside, he lowers the narrow roll of hay to the floor and unrolls it down the feed alley by hand.
A tractor pto direct drives the band saw pulleys at about 500 rpm's. The blade's designed to be easily tightened, as needed. Nelson notes that the saw cuts through straw or cornstalk bales as easily as hay, and picks up in minutes for transport down the road.
Nelson plans to build the band saw on a custom basis.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jerry Nelson, Rt. 2, Box 52, Kimball, Minn. 55353 (ph 612 398-6655 or 784-6040).
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