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NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check

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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:55 am    Post subject: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote

OK, so, it's a 269 baler. My brother, who has baled probably a million bales, ran it yesterday, and he made some tweaks; but we're still looking for root cause...and we're thinking twin discs are loose and not holding the twine. This is why. Please critique.

Thanks.

Here are the symptoms:

Baler makes great knots with plastic twine. I just don't run it, because the plastic burns on the thrower belt. (Although, I'm making shorter bales now, I could revisit...)

We are getting, sometimes, two pigtails with curls but no knot. This usually happens when we are baling through a patch where there is some moisture in the bottom of the windrow. It's been so rainy this summer, that we almost never have whole fields of completely, perfectly dry hay. When this happens, sometimes there is a knot in the bale, but it's loose and pulls out as the bale expands at the end of the chamber

We also, once in a while, less often, will get knots caught on the billhook. This is much more rare.


Why are we thinking twine discs? What have we eliminated?

We've looked at wiper arm brass balls, both are rolling fine and appear to be not worn too small.

We have adjusted both wiper arms to wipe tightly.

We have eliminated hay dog springs... I did have one that had recently broken. We replaced it.

Tucker fingers are working properly.

We DO want to look at knotter timing, and maybe the needle carriage brake, because my brother says that he can hear the plunger sometimes clicking against the needle safety stop. I've never adjusted this.

We believe that the billhook isn't worn, since it has no trouble pulling plastic twine through to make a good, tight knot.

Now, he managed to make a couple of loads at the end of the day yesterday with no breakage, but to do that, he had to...

Shorten the bales just a touch.

Run the tractor quite a bit below the 540 PTO RPM mark (note that we always already run this baler a touch below the 540 mark)

Our working theory is this:

The sisal is thicker and should (should being the operative term) hold better in the twine discs than plastic. BUT, sisal also pulls much... much harder around the bale in the chamber. We believe that this outweighs the other effect... which means that sisal, in the end, is harder to hold.

We believe that the twine discs are just plain failing to hold the twine when we get the pigtails with no knots... or when we get a loosely formed knot that pulls through.

We also believe that the twine discs could be giving some slack to the twine as the wiper arm tries to wipe off the knot... so, instead of the twine being held taught, and the wiper arm getting a good wipe... the wiper arm is taking ups slack in the twine, instead of wiping... and then the knot hangs.

We believe that all of the solutions: shortening bales...lower RPMs...needing to bale bone dry hay... all are things that lessen the twine's tendency to pull out of the twine discs by either reducing the amount of pressure that is packed in the bale, reducing the distance of twine and tension that needs to be held, or, in the case of mostly dry hay with a little moisture... that little bit of moisture makes the hay "sticky" and sisal won't slide very well... so bone dry hay bales the best.

The twine disc timing seems to be OK. We could try tightening the springs... my brother says that some people run with double springs on these old balers...

If they aren't that expensive, I'm also considering getting new discs and putting them in.



The problem is, as far as we know, there is no field test for this... as in... I don't think the knotter manual has a spec that says... "pull on twine with force meter and twine disc should hold with X amount of force" It seems like something that needs to be diagnosed by symptoms only.


OK. Please... ask questions if I can clarify anything.

Critique away.

Thanks
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:40 am    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ar ethe twine knifes good an d sharp and does it pass by the bill hook with some resistance as in it rubs the bill hooks?
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Yes to both.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I now have a follow on question. I haven't run out to get new discs yet. I have looked them up on Messick's.

It appears that there are "double discs" and "triple discs"

???

It seems that the double style is older and has two notched wheels and you buy one "cleaner" to wipe out the cut pigtail. ???

Triple style is newer, and you buy two "cleaners" to wipe out the cut pigtail.???

My guess is that the double is the original for this baler, since my brother says that his NH 575 has the newer triple disc version.

According to Messick's...It looks as though you can replace the double with the triple.

Original disc part number 64654
New disc number: 86977070 (which Messick's says "replaces" the 64654)
Cleaner part number 11109.

I'm assuming that, if I go this route, I can get the 86977070 and two of the cleaners and have no problem installing them in my old 269??

The parts diagram also lists item 40 as "Spring, Knotter Tension"... I'm assuming this is the twine disc spring, even though I can't locate it on the parts diagram.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I made a mistake. The spring that I'm talking about is item 39 in the list. Not 40. Still can't find it on the diagram.
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:00 am    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Forgive me for asking, especially if you've heard this before, but could you post a few pics? I get where you are coming from with the issues you have
listed. Would just like to see what you are dealing with in terms of wear. I thought mine were pretty worn, but it tied fine after missing about 1/2
of the first 20. After that, I would never have known I cussed.

Also, for what you may spend in parts, you could replace the whole stack & potentially have one less thing to sweat. NH should still have shiny-new
knotter assemblies on the shelf.

Well, provided it's within means of your budget.

Mike
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I can do pictures, as soon as this rain stops, and I can uncover the knotters. They are under a tarp right now. They've spent a lot of time under cover this summer.

As far as tying after the first twenty or so goes, we worked through the initial, what I'll call "mothball" issues, with this baler. When I bought it last year, it had sat around for a long time, in a shed, but still a long time. We had to loosen the tucker fingers and a few other things to get it to knot. After that, last September, we baled a few hundred bales with plastic twine and no missed knots, but the thrower kept melting the twine...even when we were baling fast. Probably because another thing that I fixed was the thrower mounting brackets, that were so egged out that the belts weren't running straight. With that, the thrower belts got a new alignment, and the twine was getting "bitten" by fresh treads on the thrower belt.

Since then, this year, we have put about 5200 bales through this baler with both plastic and sisal twine. The plastic isn't quite so much of a thrower-burn-through issue anymore; because the thrower belts have new grooves worn into the tread.

But...over these thousands of bales, we've noticed the above problems with sisal (missed knots, hanging knots); while getting perfect knots every time with plastic.

Even with sisal, we've baled thousands of bales of bone dry hay without too many issues; and we almost always have issues when we go through a wet spot; where there is a little bit of moisture on the bottom of the windrow.

Same thing with feed speed and PTO speed. If we slow the PTO down, it helps. If we slow the ground speed down to put maybe 10 to 15 slabs in a bale, that also helps.

So, we have some statistics. Like I said, we've done (last year and this year) 5500 bales through this baler; so we're starting to see trends with regard to what works and what doesn't.

Cost-wise, a new knotter stack is 1,400 bucks, and might be worth the investment for the long haul. Replacing twine discs, cleaners and springs on both sides would be about 260 bucks.

Adding a second spring to both twine discs would be about 20 bucks.

Tightening the twine discs is free.

I can try this first, but I probably won't get a chance to see if it works for a while, given the forecast around here.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Plus... I'm an engineer... I want to know what's wrong.

Give a man a whole new knotter...he bales for a ...well... I'm not sure where I'm going with that. Smile

I'll concede that there is a part of me that doesn't mind a little bit of anxiety, especially if I can learn something from it and fix it.
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Face it a knotter that is not working right can send a guy to the nut house in short order. Been fighting them on and off now since 1980 and have had JD and NH balers and it does not matter thing have to be just right or they do not tie right. I've sent hours riding on a baler watching the knotters just to make sure they do not miss a knot and when they did miss I would tie the missed knot
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:57 pm    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote


It CAN be a nuisance. We're getting our baling done, but we are having to either stop here and there to throw a broken bale out of the wagon. Or we leave them in the wagon, and the crew in the hayloft sorts it out and sends the broken bale (or bales) back to the field for re-baling.

We have maybe 2500 to 3000 bales to go, including second cut, this year; so if I can get things to be more reliable without breaking the bank...it will just make life that little bit easier.
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have not used my NH271 for 2 or 3 years so this year due to the mini horses I need some square bales. So in Sept I'll pull it out of the weeds/black berries and oil it up and grease it up and see if it will work. This NH271 was pulled out of a fence row as a dead machine but I got it working agai nso I am sure I can do so again since it was working when parked
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Yikes! I see the price on the stack has gone up considerably over the past several years. Last price I had was $859. I was going to replace mine for
the sake of longevity, but would not bother anymore at that price. Also agree about figuring out what's going on. If you replace the stack.... & the
same thing happens further on down the road, there was nothing gained initially. Might want to double up on the disc springs, then.

My 269 didn't like to run 540 either. It clunked like crazy, broke the roller off of the top of the plunger & puked out another two from the
underside. The clunking was caused by the blocks on either side of the gathering finger carriage being worn down to nothing. New block & a couple
extra shims & the baler was quite a bit quieter.

Mike
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Good luck with that, my friend.
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Meant that for Old... but... I give the same sentiments to anybody wrestling with these old Rube Goldberg machines.

I feel that the twine knotter should be in the Smithsonian Institution as a treasure of mid century mechanical genius.

But...the darn things can be picky...
 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: NH Knotters, problem solution sanity check Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I am guessing that the slower PTO speed and slower ground speed all go towards making a bale that is less "bouncy" with respect to its packing.

If you run a the tractor at high RPMs, the plunger is whacking the bale pretty hard, putting more jerk (time derivative of acceleration...for you physics buffs) on the twine around the bale with every whack. That's going to tend toward pulling twine out of the twine holder.

If you feed the baler fast and make six slab bales, those thick slabs are generally more bouncy, and they are going to expand a lot as they move through the bale chamber...which will tend toward pulling apart loose knots.


So... running lower RPMs and making 10, 12 or 15 slab bales is a much gentler process on the twine holders both during the bale making process and the post-knot process.

That's my theory, anyway Smile
 
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