Baler Puts Chopped Wood Into Bales

A baler for chopped wood? Sounds unusual but Jim Fincham, Leon, Iowa, builder of wood balers, says they work great for compressing firewood into a tight bundle that's easy to load, transport and store.

Fincham says wood bales can be made up to 5 ft. wide and 4 ft. high. After stacking wood in the baler, you engage two 14-in. stroke hydraulic cylinders that force a beam against the wood, compressing the logs into a tight bale which is wrapped with nylon strapping.

Wood bales are easy to load on a truck or trailer with a loader, easy to store and, when selling wood, provide a uniform sized bundle for the buyer.

To use, you first put a pallet down on the bottom beam of baler which allows you to pick up wood bales with a tractor or skid steer loader. Next, place pallets along each sidebeam. These side pallets form a firm edge for the wood to be pressed against and a place for the nylon strapping to go around. The top beam swings out of the way for picking up the finished bale.

Fincham generally stacks 18-in. long wood but says longer logs easily stack in the baler. A plywood back panel, adjustable for different log lengths, provides a firm back for uniformly aligning the logs for stacking.

Mounted on an axle, you can pull the baler behind a truck, tractor or trailer. The two cylinders are powered off the hydraulics from your tractor, or an auxiliary pump.