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Thread: dirt sifter

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    dirt sifter

    I seem to recall someone mechanizing a sifter box for sifting dirt. I have a compost pile that I'm running through a 4ft x 4ft box made with 1x4 with 1/4 hardware cloth on it. Have it sitting between two sawhorses and would be nice if I could somehow make the box shake on it's own. Any help?

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    Will one of these (or elements from several) work for you?

    Sifters

    Ken

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    Jerrdan john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homer2105 View Post
    I seem to recall someone mechanizing a sifter box for sifting dirt. I have a compost pile that I'm running through a 4ft x 4ft box made with 1x4 with 1/4 hardware cloth on it. Have it sitting between two sawhorses and would be nice if I could somehow make the box shake on it's own. Any help?
    I built one years back to sift my sand after pouring castings. It was just as you speak of but three levels with 1/4" at the top level and screen wire at the bottom. I used 4 garage door wheels to attach to my 2x4 frame then built a stand and used two pieces of garage door track for the wheels to go it. This allowed the frame with the screen to roll back and forth. I used a small riding mower transmission hooked to an electric motor. There was a disc brake on the transmission that turned and I just drilled a hole in it and hooked a rod from the front of it to the frame and it worked like a crankshaft. Didn't need a long stroke, but the box shook great and I only used 1st gear. Sold my sand casting setup and the guy wanted it with it, so can't take any photos, would be glad to draw up some ruff plans if you would like, there was no machining or welding involved just bolted everything together. Jonathan

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    I had literally tons of dirt and landscaping rock to "rescue" so I decided to go another route. Where we live is close to the beach and the soil is sandy and the people who used to live here had put down some rock without anything under it to keep it from disappearing. So when I went to make a fence I couldn't get through the 3 layers of rock they had put down. So I had to sift it all. I probably got 6 to 10 yds of rock. In some places the rock was more than 2' below the surface.

    What I used was a plastic 55gal barrel with holes I made with a hole saw then covered the holes with 1/4 wire cloth. The frame was all 3/4" conduit brazed together with golf caddy wheels to move it. Picture a cement mixer with holes in it The frame was set up so you could park a wheelbarrow under it if you wanted the sifted dirt, or like I used it in front I could tilt and dump the clean rocks into the wheelbarrow. I ended up using a HF hand held pipe threader(set to hold itself and with a router on off switch) to power it with because it was reversible, ran at 40rpm and was a cheap return. Probably the only thing it was good for really. Even then I had to work on the gearbox once. But it does the job and it has sifted literally tons of rock for me and my neighbor when he borrowed it. I'm still not done. Just a thought.

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    ncollar's Avatar
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    Take a look at this video and maybe it will give you an idea.

    I do not know if the saw would do it but a motor with pulley set up reducing the rpm might give you the motion you need.

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    C-Bag (02-07-2016)

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    For a small sifter that is brilliant. I have no idea why I never thought of using my sawzall for something like that. I love his speed control with the eccentric dowel on the trigger. No need for reduction drives.


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