Retying bales is one of the most important techniques on a straw bale construction job site. You will be required to retie many bales over the course of the construction and each retying episode will take time. It is not a fast process to retie bales so every step that can be done more efficiently will impact the overall timeline of the job. In the following video, the first in a series of two, I teach you how to make two bales out of one bale with speed and accuracy. I also talk about spreading the bales and other details that will save you time and energy.
Obviously a quality baling needle is needed for retying bales. You can get the design for our needles at strawbale.com/store which you can then take to a local metal worker. Our needle design is the best and most efficient needle I have ever used and is well worth the time to build. In fact, I suggest you build at least two and perhaps even four needles before you start building. The needle design package at the above website includes an e-book on how to most efficiently use the needle, a scaled shop drawing for the metal shop, and a separate video on how to use the needles on everything from sewing and retying bales to cooking rotisserie style! Everything you need to know about baling needles is in that package.
Although the above video offers a lot of information about retying bales, the more you practice, the better you will get. Be patient with yourself as you get started, especially with the miller’s knot. Most balers are used to using a trucker’s hitch knot which is an adequate knot, but not nearly as fast or strong as the miller’s knot. If you are used to tying a trucker’s hitch, it may take you some time to learn the new knot. Stick with it and you will be thrilled in the end. Next week I will post the second half of this video which shows you step by step and up close how to tie a miller’s knot. This single technique will save you hours on the job and a lot of headaches during construction. Happy Baling.