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Installation and good use practices

It is important that the chain be installed on the saw bar correctly. The cutters are symmetrical so you can’t tell which way to place them by looking at them. The drivers on the bottom of the chain must be placed in the same direction as a standard chain. The pointed end of the drivers will be pointing toward the nose of the bar as the chain moves on the top side of the bar.

A fire extinguisher or water supply should be available should the fast-moving chain cause a blaze to begin. This is especially important if bale cutting is done in a building or near an accumulation of hay or other flammable materials.

Chain lubricant must not present a health or digestive problem for the animals. Vegetable oil or other digestible oil may be used in place of petroleum products. When cutting baleage the wetness of the hay may make it unnecessary to use a chain lubricant. However, to reduce the friction caused by the material’s gummy condition, a larger gauge saw bar (.058 or .063) may be advisable.

"...I use mineral oil for the chain...if the bale gets wet from rain or snow outside, it is harder to cut.  It will always cut better if it is dry."   J.G - Wisconsin

Keep It Sharp!

A recent survey of Big Bale Cutter owners indicated that those who sharpened the blades after cutting 20-60 bales (depending on bale size and moisture) obtained the best results. Cutters may be sharpened by removing the chain from the saw then sharpening each cutter, one at a time on a belt sander, taking care not to remove the temper of the steel. Sharp cutters and a nose-and-heel rocking motion of the saw while cutting makes the work go quickly.

Here is a sketch showing the technique: The cutters on the Big Bale Cutter can be sharpened with a fine-grit belt sander. The outside of the cutter blade cutting edge is flat and is designed to be parallel to the flat side of the chain links. Taking extra care not to remove the temper, the hardened blades can be re-edged with the chain intact by placing the flat part of the blade flat against the belt. See the sketch below.


BBC Sharpen       The Big Bale Cutter ©2012