Automatic gritty mix screener
I've been lurking and learning for some time now, mostly trying to figure out easy access to the ingredients for gritty mix. I have a lot of large tropical plants in containers, and am slowly moving them over to this mix as time allows. The hardest part has been screening enough ingredients to fill 20 and 30 gallon containers for my larger plants. I use Claybreaker from home depot for the pine bark, as I just couldn't find any cost effective source for pre-screened fir or pine nuggets locally (DC area). So I made a gadget that will process the Claybreaker and Turface for me, eliminating hours of standing over a plastic bin hand sifting hundreds of pounds of mulch. Here are some pics and videos:
I can process about 8 cuft per hour if I give it full attention, but I've found that it works best to pour in half a bag, walk away and do something else, then come back, stir it up a bit, and it's ready.
It's portable enough so I just move it around my grass and let the fines get scattered about, which hopefully will improve the soil over time.
I'm happy to explain how it's built if anyone else wants to try making one. Pretty simple design that I built with spare parts lying around. Basically just a 1600rpm motor with an unbalanced rod mounted to the shaft that induces strong vibration in the frame, which in turn sifts the material in the screen boxes. The spinning rod scatters the fines as they fall through, acting like a broadcast spreader over the grass.
Hope this helps someone!