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Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

Posted by maryartist 10b (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 14, 14 at 20:37

Hi DIY community!

What's the easiest, most ergonomic way to screen your soil mixes? Like Tapla's square wooden screen "trays"? I like those handles... Maybe shaped like a kitchen strainer? Or shelves in a tub? I wonder how a machine might shake the screens for me...

Let's brainstorm!

Mary


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

I've never tried it, but I think those half-sphere kitchen strainers might be the best way to go. They both contain and sift. I always have to be careful with a simple flat piece of screen that the saved chunks don't jiggle themselves right off the edges.


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

I've been using Keene Engineering classifiers, works really well for me. They don't take up a lot of space.

Jerry


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

Hi Mary,

Are you asking about a hardware cloth screen for removing the larger pieces, or a fine mesh screen for filtering out the small stuff? If the latter, let me suggest the elfa Wide Mesh 2-Runner Platinum (Item #10022537), which can be ordered here for around twenty bucks. Someone had recommended this on the forum several years back; I got it at the time, and has proved to be an excellent investment! A great tool for removing the sub 1/16" particles, it's very sturdy, and the best part is that it holds a decent bit of material. A real time saver, compared to other techniques I had tried previously.

-Alex


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

Thank you, Oxboy, Jerry, and Alex! I went out and bought quarter-inch, half-inch and insect mesh screens at the hardware store, sold by the foot...Just something so that I can start making gritty mix while I figure out which of your solutions to buy online.

~ Mary


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

Most ergonomic? Reach into your wallet, grab a 20 and pay a neighbor kid to do it.


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

Ha! YES, charina! I'm still sore from lugging bags of gritty mix ingredients through my building a few at a time every day. Next time, I'm hiring a beefy teenager to do the lifting AND the sifting!


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 22, 14 at 17:04

I've seen framed screens suspended from wooden frames on legs, so that instead of having to hold up the screen and shake it, you just swing the frame back and forth within the frame. That way you are not holding up the weight of the screen full of material, just pushing it and having it swing back towards you for another push. Then the screened material drops down below.

This youtube example is not perfect but interesting, you might try a hand-crank or a belt attached to a stationary bicycle (pedal power!) instead of an electric motor. I like how it puts the chunks back into the compost bin and the good stuff into the wheel barrow.

Here is a link that might be useful: example of mechanized compost sifter.


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

Most ergonomic I ever had was an Archaeological Sifting Tools. I made it from a kids swingset, some boards and hardware cloth.


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

Thanks, keep 'em coming!

Here's a funny one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh9ZSVY425U

And you can just watch the last 15 seconds of this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VBsFp6mjqE

I love this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pz8nsP3kv8

and WOW, this one is impressive! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA6miB3UKGY

(...Have I gone too far down the research rabbit hole? Yes.)

This post was edited by maryartist on Tue, Mar 25, 14 at 15:59


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

What "hoovb" described is qualified for "Most Ergonomic". It is a manual "Shaker Screen".


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RE: Most ergonomic way to screen gritty soil?

I'm asking because I suffered for several years from too much computer work, and I still have low endurance in my wrists from RSI - carpal tunnel and ulnar tendinitis. This online brainstorm is helping me to figure out the best solution for me to build, as a renter with little outdoor access and no yard.

Thanks!
Mary


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