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Bentall Chaff Cutter with dust extraction

Bentall Chaff Cutter with dust extraction

A Bentall Heavy-Duty Chaff Cutter, fitted with dust extraction equipment. Used for cutting hay and stray into small lengths before feeding to animals. Ilustration taken from a Bentalls sales capalogue of 1935. The fast and loose drive pulleys are located outside the frame, and the drive shaft is across the frame, as per the larger XRSX and Bamford mills. The large flywheel in the middle (and under the large cover) has steel knives bolted to the spokes. The feed mechanism takes in hay that is placed in the hopper, and it gets sliced it up as it feeds through the face behind the cutter blades.

The feed mechanism pulls the hay through, and some horrific accidents occurred with people losing hands and arms as they fed hay in and got caught by the feed mechanism. An act of Parliament: (The Chaff Cutting Machines (Accidents) Act) was eventually passed which required all machines to have a safety reversing mechanism to prevent such accidents. The round handle with two supports at the right hand upper side of the illustration is the safety handle, which reverses the feed if pushed up by the operator.

These machines are never seen in preservation in the UK, as they were only sold to contractors or very large farms, and while a few may be in existence, it is not the type of thing that most enthusiasts would want to pull around to show. The C series required between 1&~189 to 7 hp to drive, and produced up to 2 tons of ¼" chaff per hour with the three-bladed knife assembly.

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