The self-binder

For years we have had a self-binder from the 50s of the last century in our collection. This is a machine that mows the grain and binds it with rope into bunches, called sheaf or sheaf. This self-binder is unique because it is equipped with a cane device. This ensures that the grain is guided by means of sticks instead of being guided by a roller.

Several of these machines were built by the Nuremberg-based Fella-Werke GmbH. Here in the area, self-binders of Mc. Cormic, Batz and Massey Harris, which were equipped with a reel for the guidance of the grain. The Fella binder is also equipped with a roller separator that ensures that the cut grain does not get caught on the still fixed crop. Our self-binder was previously used by a contractor.

The self-binder needed a thorough refurbishment to make it suitable for use again, perhaps on our Harvest Day. Volunteers from the metal workshop have worked for a number of years under the direction of Albert Bongers on the restoration of this machine. First, they had to find information about the various parts and figure out how the connections worked. Were the parts still original?

The self-binder has been completely disassembled. All parts have been checked, oiled and reassembled. Finding fabric for a suitable canvas was one big search, but was eventually discovered at a sailmaker in Venlo, at ARTON tarpaulins. There are also a number of wooden parts in the self-binder. These have been checked by volunteers from the carpentry workshop and, where necessary, replaced with carefully made new parts. Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers, the machine is once again on display in full regalia in the agricultural barn.

Too bad…, the museum’s grain plots are too small for a demonstration of the harvester. There is also no plot available in the vicinity of the museum to use the machine during Harvest Day. Soon we will install a screen on which you can see the machine in operation via a video.

Pete Lenssen