The knotter has only two working parts. It is so simple and the adjustments are not delicate that almost anyone can keep it in working condition. The reason that no delicate adjustments are necessary is that the surface cord holder is unusually large. The surface holds the twine, yet it does not grip it too tightly to prevent the knotter from working properly. In tying a knot the cord holder feeds the twine toward the bill hook. This obviates the danger of breaking the twine.
I particularly enjoyed your “Setting Up A Binder” article in the last Small Farmer’s Journal. I noticed that the Champion binder has an IHC auto-steer tongue truck. I’m wondering if you know when that Champion binder was manufactured. There are many clever designs in the old horse machinery, but I have long admired how that tongue truck turns shorter than the tongue so a team can sidestep around a corner to line up for the next swath. We had one of these tongue trucks installed on a #9 mower back when Dad was still alive and farming. I still have a couple stashed in my windbreak.
The binder attachment is adjusted when it leaves the factory, and will operate under average conditions without adjusting. Make no adjustments until all paint is worn off and important working parts are smooth. Successful operation depends largely on proper adjustment of all chains and the manipulation of levers for height of cut, position of butt pan, and tilting. These adjustments are provided to meet varying or extreme conditions. If knotter or twine tension adjustments are made and do not correct trouble, be sure to change back to original position, before making further adjustments.
We recently acquired a full color McCormick publication which included, at its core, this information on their binder designs. In a previous issue we published the mower portion. There is additional info we will offer in a subsequent journal. It is our mission to keep such material alive.
The new MINNESOTA Binder embodies every feature that is necessary to meet the demand for a binder that can be depended upon — not only to harvest this year’s crop, but each successive year’s under opposite and varied conditions. It is adverse conditions that test the mettle of a binder and if built to stand this strain without battle scars, then you know you have the kind of binder you need. The MINNESOTA binder is designed as a general-condition binder. It is heavier in weight because it is re-inforced to stand cutting on rough and hilly land. A MINNESOTA binder does not get out of alignment. It is easy running because it is equipped throughout with roller bearings. It is long lasting because the material of which it is made is in accordance with time tested specifications. Cheap material has no place in a MINNESOTA binder for its reputation is held higher than a profit.
Perusing through old books and magazines in the Small Farmer’s Journal library, one of my favorite things is the old advertisements. They provide some of the greatest archaeological evidence of how things have changed, and of how they have stayed the same. Here are some ads from Deering and one from Willys-Overland Jeep.
These photos were taken over two days this fall, ahead of the threshing on the McIntosh Lazy M Ranch in Terrebonne, Oregon. Their standby binder for several years has been a meticulously maintained John Deere. Recently Mike McIntosh acquired a second binder from the Rumgay estate; this one, a New Champion, is in excellent original condition but has not seen use in many years. A day ahead of the threshing Mike, Jacob and Jamesy allowed me to join them in assembling and assessing the unit for a test flight.