soil sifter successes?

Hello,
I am need of ideas on building a soil sifter (screener). I'd like something that would deposit the soil in one wheelbarrow and allow the rocks, vegetation, pop cans etc to be collected in another wheelbarrow, or other tidy collector. I figure it should have some agitation so it can sift while I shovel. Whenever I put my pencil to paper I wind up designing the Hummer of all sifters because I get concerned with sturdiness and flexibility. I'ts a mental thing. So does anyone have any soil sifting success stories?
Thanks,
Overkill Bill Mukilteo, WA
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Wilmoe) wrote in

no by try plastic insect screening. slap together some spare pieces of wood for a frame, rout out an area for the spline. I guess you'd want to use the thickest diameter spline you can find.
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I'd suggest Ye Olde Archeologist's model: http://www.nps.gov/rap/tools.htm Even better is to hang it from a tripod: http://www.harding.edu/nursing/heifer.htm
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This may not be what you want. But, I built a 2x4 pine frame that just fits over the top of my wheelbarrow. The size is about 4'x3'. Nailed a sheet of 1/2" hardware cloth to the frame, then nailed .5"x 1.5" strips to sandwich the hardware cloth. Used a waterproof wood sealer on the frame. I've used this extensively for 15 years and it is still in good shape. I sift compost, soil, gravel, etc with it. A shovel moved across the material does the sifting--no need to agitate the sifter.
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Wilmoe wrote:

I took four 18-inch lengths of 1x6 and nailed them together to form a box with no top or bottom. With large staples, I fastened a piece of 1/2-inch galvanized mesh to the bottom, overlapping up the outside of the box. I fastened handle on top of two opposite sides.
I put this box on a tarp. Using a spading fork, I half fill it with material from my compost pile. Lifting it by the handles, I shake it over the tarp, side-to-side and up-and-down. Whatever does not go through goes into a large bucket after sorting pebbles and other debris into a smaller pail. What does go through goes into my compost barrel. Sometimes, a mass of rotted leaves holds together; I rub it against the mesh, which acts as a grater to break it up. When the barrel is about 3/4 full, I stop. The large pieces that went into the bucket are returned to the pile for further composting.
I've been using this same sifter for about 25 years or more. Once in a while, I have to rehammer the nails to keep it solid.
While 1/2-inch mesh might seem large, the resulting compost is fine enough to use in small flower pots.
--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/
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1/2x1 rabbit cage floor wire comes in a stiffer thicker wire than hardware cloth and even this is fine enough to use in pots.
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