Summer’s warmth and providence

The days here are getting longer again, looking forward to summers warmth.  Lets take a look back at last summer.

With the warmth and sunlight grass grows, matures, and can be cut for hay. For the past couple of years I’ve been using a scythe, which is indescribably enjoyable work, very honest. Properly peening a scythe blade takes a bit of practice. But anyway I got it into my head that I’d like to see how much work making hay is on a small scale.

Making hay by hand is hard work, lots of it, in a constant rush because summer thunderstorms might ruin all your work. But you have a good reason to make a wooden hay rake. Riving your pegs is a necessity, hopefully from a stout wood like hickory.

Loose hay takes up a ridiculous amount of space. Still, there’s good arguments for leaving it loose in a haystack. Most importantly, baling hay is a lot of work, but you get to make a baler. And if you’re like me, and do a bit of blacksmithing and metalwork, you’ll be right at home in the making.  The plans for this baler are free online from Tillers International.

The attraction of the continuous baler is production, but it needs skill to load the hay into the baler evenly. The tendency is to push too much to the bottom of the infeed box and your bales will want to banana apart.

Good compound leverage, very effective. As I recall there was an error in the plans with the placement of the bearing rod for the plunger. The plunger face has to push fully past the spring loaded dogs that hold the hay from pushing back into the infeed box. Isn’t there always a sneaky error in a set of plans though? You’re clever people and will figure it out.

Do you love small unexpected touches? I bought these pens which shipped from Japan and came with a little folded paper crane. It got me wondering if there’s  a machine that can fold these mass production style, it wouldn’t surprise me.

Back from reminiscing about summer’s warmth, baby its cold outside. But maybe time to make some snowshoes?

Gabe Dwiggins

I read Sebastian’s final blog post this morning:

I too haven’t written much lately, mainly the struggle to express the ways in which life changes and how it changes us in turn.

And I must say thank you so much for what you have been willing to share, I greatly respect the honesty in your work and writing. For what the future holds let us favour optimism and give thanks for all things crafted with love.


2 thoughts on “Summer’s warmth and providence”

  1. You always surprise me with your interesting choice of projects…..a manual hay bailer! Never crossed my mind before but wonderful!

    Stay warm, that trailer looks cold!

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