OT: seperating dirt and 1" rocks


I know WWers are a creative bunch.. many solve non WW issues.. so here goes..
Any good ideas to seperate a large pile of dirt and rocks? I am cleaning up several thousand sq ft of rock landscaping. I have a tractor with bucket and box blade (3 pt hitch). I'm looking for a creative way to take the combined rock/dirt and seperate out the rocks, clean them off, and reuse. I was thinking of a 4' x 4' platform of metal mesh, that could then be agitated, and possibly dumped back into the bucket.
The rocks are 1" or thereabouts river rock ~ roundish. The solution can be somewhat manual, but I have the tractor, so may as well us it if possible.
Needs to be cheap.. under $100.. using scrap parts, etc.
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On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 12:52:19 -0600, nospam snipped-for-privacy@mesanetworks.net

Water and a screen? Shaking and a screen?

Lots of weight on that box (BTDT).

I toyed with this earlier; my rocks were larger so I used chain link fence as my "filter". Worked well but it's real work.
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wrote:

Stay away from the water until after you've screened the stone from the fines. You'll have a hell of a mess on your hands otherwise. If you need to wash the stone, then do it seperately, after the stone is sorted out.
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That's essentially how a screening plant works. The smaller stuff falls through and the stuff that won't fall through rolls off the edge of the screen. Obviously, the screens are tipped so that the rocks will roll of into a pile. You'll need to come up with a pretty aggressive shaker mechanism and it's going to make some noise, so if you have neighbors nearby, they may not like it.

You'll certainly want it to load the screens and then to move the piles afterwards. You could rig up a motor with a cam attached to the pully and simply place the cam under the edge of the shaker screen. As the motor turns, the screen will ride the cam and create a lift/drop sort of movement. Gear it right and get a good drop out of it so that you really rattle the rocks around, and it might just work.

I think it might be doable.
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For what it is worth.
Actually saw a guy who made one using old car coil springs. Mounted a steel frame on the coils and used some metal grating. Used the bucket of the tractor to bump the frame, which surprisingly kept moving after bumping it. Not a huge operation by any means and it did require some manual raking from time to time, but it did seem to get the job done for the home owner. Getting the correct coils I would imagine would be the trick.
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Hi,
I did something like that at my house. I took out 2,000 sq. ft. of lawn and put in a vegetable garden and big flower bed. I build a box of 1X4 and put a wire screen on the bottom. The box was set on two longer rails. I used angle brackets to attach the box to the rails. the chicken wire isn't even attached. It is trapped between the wood. I just would load it with the dirt and rock and shake it over a wheelbarrow. I would take the rocks that were remaining and put them in a second wheelbarrow. It worked great! I used two handles attached to the rails to make it easier to shake.
It really got the job done.
Good Luck.
Zug
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On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 14:56:54 -0400, Mike Marlow wrote:

I did this some years back for a compost shaker. Bolt an electric motor solidly to the frame. Mount washers off balance ... they needn't weigh a ton -- just enough to get the shaft out of balance and set up a vibration.
Actually, I set up a sacrificial dummy shaft and mounted the washers on it to save my motor shaft and bearings. In the end, I think that might have been slight over-engineering.
It isn't necessary to shake the bejabbers out of the frame ... move it a quarter inch or so and you're in business. Compost is pretty wet. Lumps left over at the far end were just fuel for the next pile.
Bill
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Wed, Sep 14, 2005, 12:52pm (EDT-2) nospam snipped-for-privacy@mesanetworks.net did burble: I know WWers are a creative bunch.. many solve non WW issues.. so here goes.. Any good ideas to seperate a large pile of dirt and rocks? <snip>
I dropped by to post, and saw this.
Want something simple, inexpensive, that will work well, eh? Hmm, tough problem. However, after thinking on your problem, I'd say go with a platform of metal mesh, that could then be agitated, and possibly dumped back into the bucket.
JOAT I don't believe in reincarnation. I used to, but that was in another life.
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On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 12:52:19 -0600, nospam snipped-for-privacy@mesanetworks.net scribbled:

You don't need to make it vibrate. Just make a frame for a slanted screen (of the right mesh), dump your rock/dirt mix at the top of the screen, as it slides down, the dirt drops through the screen and the rocks slide down to the bottom of the screen. For a description of a manual shovel version, see:
<http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/msg/60e2a090b74a98c0?dmode=source&hl=en
You should be able to adapt the idea to use with your tractor & for dumping more dirt at once (i.e. much beefier and bigger than my manual version).
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Woodworking
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That will work but the OP wants to use his tractor to make work faster and easier. It's true that without a shaker the screen will still work, but if there is any significant moisture in the mix, it will soon clog the screen without a shaker. Look at any commercial screening operation - they all use a shaker. Sixty degrees seems like a pretty steep screen. You can get a screen too steep and end up with lots of fines that make it down the screen with the stone. Better to keep it a little more shallow and give the dirt time to drift off the stone and through the screen.
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On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 21:07:05 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

No question that it would be more efficient with a shaker and he would have to run the stuff through only once. The commercial operations also use conveyors, all in the interest of minimising the handling of the material. But with a 3/4" mesh hardware cloth, it shouldn't take more than a couple of passes to get rid of most of the dirt (depending on the type of dirt & how wet it is), and then the rocks can be washed on top of the screen placed horizontally.
On the angle, you're quite right about the moisture. IME, I have used different angles for different types/moisture of soil. Too steep and not enough dirt gets screened out, too shallow and the rocks might not slide. Experimentation will quickly establish the most efficient angle.
On the other hand, if there's lots of vegetable material (roots, etc) in the dirt, the screen will definitely clog. I don't know how a vibrating/shaking screen would work then.
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Woodworking
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You're in the Yukon and have never seen a gold rocker?
Friends, the wife and I were going camping and panning one long weekend, and were in buying supplies. Cal saw the long wire "Afro" combs by the checkout and thought they might be a good sluice rake. Woman checking us out looked at the white hand as he gave it too her, then up at the face, and burst out laughing.
We had to explain why a bald white guy would buy such a thing to avoid making a scene.
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Yup, and sluices and trommels and grizzlies and wash plants and pans and cats and loaders and dredges and ... (for the uninitiated, we're way OT into placer mining for gold here). But I don't think the OP wants to stand there rocking his rocker and ladling water into it. :-)

Hey, whatever works.
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Woodworking
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I've seen this method used successfully. The tractor does all the work, no manual labor needed. Make a screen wider than your bucket and secure one edge to the ground, Raise the other edge so the screen forms about a 45 to 60 degree angle with the ground. Secure the sides well. Dump the mix from your bucket onto the top of the screen. Most of the mix will slide down the screen where you scoop it up and dump it on top again. Keep this up till you're satisfied with the cleanliness. Remove the dirt from the backside as needed.
Art

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You need a screed. It is simply hardware cloth with the desired openings nailed to a frame. I do this all of the time. I shovel the dirt on to the screen and the dirt falls through and the rocks stay on the screen. max

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Walkway metal mesh flooring, and a cam on the PTO of the tractor?
djb
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