SK6248 : Reaper and binder detail - 7

taken 8 years ago, near to Calverton, Nottinghamshire, Great Britain

Reaper and binder detail - 7
Reaper and binder detail - 7
Reaper and binder at work, 21 August 2011
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The owner of the reaper and binder grows a small area of cereal, normally oats, on a regular basis to allow himself the pleasure of using it properly from time to time. The choice of oats is due to this being a crop which is still available in a long-stem variety, unlike wheat in particular which is now restricted to short-stem varieties. The binder cannot cope with the latter as the binding knot tends to come at the level of the heads, not the stems of the crop.
This particular field cannot be cropped annually as a rotation of crops is necessary to maintain fertility, but he does use the reaper and binder occasionally at other locations. Apart from the difficulty of producing a suitable crop for the machine, a major problem for the continued use of the equipment is the availability of the right sort of twine to tie the sheaves; modern plastic twines simply do not work.
This set of images shows the reaping process, together with the associated labour-intensive stooking of the sheaves. Unlike modern harvesting where the grain is threshed as part of the harvesting process in a combine harvester, stooked crops then had to be collected and threshed as a separate process, either on the field or at a remote location. The tractor in use is an Allis-Chalmers U type, dating from 1938 or 39.
Also illustrated are the various elements of the reaper and binder, showing the complete process. This particular model is a ‘Sunshine’ reaper, produced (probably) in Australia, but marketed under the Massey-Harris brand. It may well date from the second world war period, when large numbers were imported to the UK to help with the war effort for food production.
The machine has five separate mechanical sections, in this case driven by shafts and gears from the main wheel under the binder section. This was the more standard set-up, allowing the reaper to be towed by horse or tractor, without the need for a power take-off, although some models did have this facility.
In the order in which they take part in the process of harvesting, the sections are as follows:
1) A set of rotating paddles which serve to hold the crop against the cutters and lay it onto the conveyor. SK6248 : Reaper and binder detail - 2 SK6248 : Reaper and binder detail - 3
2) A set of oscillating cutters at the front of the conveyor SK6248 : Reaper and binder detail - 7
3) A conveyor system consisting of canvas bands, a horizontal section behind the cutters and an inclined section which lifts the crop to the binder. The latter section has a double band to enclose the crop to prevent it slipping. Note the long metal strip lying across the horizontal conveyor which is angled at the end to ensure that the crop transfers to the inclined section. SK6248 : Reaper and binder detail - 7 SK6248 : Harvesting with reaper and binder - 3
4) A pair of cam-driven hooks which catch the crop as it slides off the top of the inclined conveyor and gather the crop into a bundle (sheaf). (Unfortunately not illustrated!)
5) A final mechanism which when the sheaf is of the right size ties a loop of twine around the sheaf and then ejects it from the binder. SK6248 : Reaper and binder detail - 1 SK6248 : Reaper and binder detail - 6 SK6248 : Reaper and binder detail - 4
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SK6248, 32 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 21 August, 2011   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 24 August, 2011
Geographical Context
Farm, Fishery, Market Gardening 
Image Buckets ?
Closeup  Informative 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 6249 4899 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:2.0729N 1:4.1742W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 6249 4899
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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Other Tags
Farming Machinery  Massey-Harris  Historic Vehicle  Arable Farming  Reaper and Binder 

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