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DIY Screening for Homestead

Discussion in 'Screen/Wash Plants' started by Anthony Friot, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Potsdam, NY, USA
    Hello all! I had a great experience with other members when I asked about my backhoe timing issue. It turns out that my backhoe's engine is just worn out and needs rebuilding. So, I hope to find the same friendly and helpful advice here in this forum.

    I own 30 acres with my wife. We had decided to build a homestead and make it our life for life. Well, our driveway is maybe 1/4 mile long and sand, clay and silt...mostly clay. When it's dry it's great. When it's wet it's slippery. When it's really wet (in spring) it's impassible. I have about a month and a half that we have to leave the truck at the road and walk in and out. We (I) do not want to buy enough stone to cover our driveway when we have plenty of stone on our own property. All we need to do is separate it from the sand, clay and silt. I dug a test hole where we want a pond and found plenty of rock in the spoils.
    DSC_0062[1].JPG
    It is has too much clay and sand mixed in to use directly on the driveway so it needs to be screened and portions crushed. I will start a thread in Crushers in a day or two when I have the time. I'm hoping that in the spoils of a 3/4 acre pond I can find enough rock to finish our driveway. I also need stone for our new house foundation and under-floor fill and sand.

    I believe I have much of the material I need to make the grizzly and screening equipment. I would appreciate some guidance and advice.

    Materials:
    commercial shelving cross members (square tubular steel, not the C-channel type)
    12'+ W 12 x 19 I-beams
    Steel flat trusses
    1 Tennant 255 sweeper (Power plant and hydraulics)
    1 Sander slide-in with chain and hydraulics
    3 55 gallon barrels
    1 5'x16' livestock panel with 4"x4" openings and 1/4" wire
    1 3'x3' 1/2" rock screen (1/4" wire)
    3 Electric pallet jacks for electric motors, controllers, batteries, small hydraulic cylinders and steel for gussets and plates
    1 7,000 lb trailer to make the screener portable
    1 75 ton 20' Cargo container top loader
    1 solid steel bar 4"x9.5"x8'
    1 Loader forks 12"x1" thick tubular steel (2) 9'x4' forks

    Equipment:
    Case 480C backhoe
    35,000lb single axle dump
    MF35 tractor

    To make the homestead screener portable and keep it close to the work area, it will be mounted on a 7,000 lb tandem trailer. The slide-in sander will be mounted at the front of the trailer with the out-feed toward the rear. A grizzly with bars 7" apart will filter out larger rocks. For rocks that get stuck, the grizzly tips up with a lift from the loader bucket to drop the rocks off. The sander will feed the 7" and smaller media to a trammel. Three barrels welded together with openings cut into the side where the first 1 1/3 barrels have a screen is a 1 inch hardware cloth. The last 1 1/3 of the trammel is 4" square. Media filtered in the first section will fall to the left-rear of the trailer, media from the last section will fall to the right-rear of the trailer and the rock 4-7" will fall out the end of the trammel at the rear-end of the trailer. The trammel, sander slide-in conveyor and vibrators will be powered by the Tennant sweepers 35 HP engine and two hydraulic pumps up to nearly 30 gpm and 4,000 psi. There are jacks on the trailer heavy enough to hold the unit in place as the loader removes screened media.

    Please, view my vision of a portable plant on a homesteader budget and tell me what you think andd how I should improve.

    2020-04-16 (3).png 2020-04-16 (5).png 2020-04-16 (2).png
     
  2. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Potsdam, NY, USA
    I have started my Crusher thread HERE
     
  3. Tags

    Tags Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    986
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would think you could rent a screener for a few days, screen a bunch, rent again when you need it. I do understand the joy of fabricating and saving some money, looking forward to following along...
     
  4. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Potsdam, NY, USA
    Tags,

    In our area there aren't any locations to rent a screener without bringing it in from 150+ miles away. The drop-off and pick-up fees would be in the range of $300+. I could do the driving myself, I would still incur the fuel costs and wear and tear to my equipment myself. With the exception of my pickup, my equipment is rather old and needs tender loving care to stay operational. It lived a full life in another era and it still does what I ask of it and ... it's paid for.

    There are a few large quarries and many small gravel pits that operate around me. The big guys have equipment that is way beyond the scope of what I need. The small guys, eek out a living with their equipment and do not loan nor rent it out.

    Occasionally, I do find old equipment up for auction. Still, we cannot afford the 50's era machines as they are sought after as parts machines by the gravel pit operators. There is one coming up for auction with a crusher but I still expect that to sell for about $5k needing about that much again in repairs. While being old, it is still a good buy but beyond the economical boundaries for me.

    Everything I have for materials to build with I have found for free or really good prices and have kept me from having a mortgage. I limit my need to give money to others. By being frugal I sometimes butt my head up against a wall, but I learn how to get through,over or under the wall. If time constraints force me to, I will go around the wall by paying others, but I have earned the respect of others and myself by doing for myself. I do have to say, I also have come to admire those who are involved with forums like this who come together to learn about their particular interest as well as share experiences...good and bad.

    Thank you for your input.
     
  5. Paul Council

    Paul Council Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    Somewhere
    I don't know what it's like in your area.. But where I am from the people who supply aggregate for the cement plants have piles of unusable aggregate that they give away. They will even load it for you. Something to look into.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  6. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Potsdam, NY, USA
    Hi Paul.
    I have never heard that about any place here. But there is one really large quarry operator that is part of a road contracting company. They have a few large quarries about the area. Two are within truck range for me. They may have some output that wasn't quite what was specified in contracts for highway use. That's a wonderful idea. I will check on Monday.

    Thank you!
     
    Paul Council likes this.
  7. Paul Council

    Paul Council Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Glad to help. I admire your gumption for fabrication and saving a buck. I am the same way. Just now I priced out material to make my own wrought iron fence after being offended by the price of a way less quality faux iron fence from Lowe's. I came out pound for pound per panel and with a much greater quality than the junk Lowe's is offering. That's not including my labor to build, but it's weighing heavily on my mind to do it. The only thing stopping me right now is time o_O
     
  8. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    7,920
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hermann, Missouri
    Can simplify life by rough screening the larger boulders out first. Are a number of Commercial screen sites that use either square steel or heavy angle iron some even using commercial floor walk grating as a primary screen then shift to a finer materials screener.

    I constructed a simple screen using woven wire mesh sheeting from a steel supplier, currently adding a angle iron Large Materials separator 'Screen' to my equipment to remove 4" and larger before drop to small screen (1" mesh). First screen is too narrow, set up for a Ag tractor bucket, should have made full 8' width, roughing screen will be 8' wide to handle a decent Loader bucket load. Both will utilize the same support framing.
     
  9. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Potsdam, NY, USA
    Thank you for your suggestion DMiller. Actually, I did something very similar a couple weeks ago. I am lucky enough to have a forgiving wife who knows that I have uses for nearly every piece of "junk" I have in the bushes in our fence rows. I used some of this valuable material to create what I may say is quite a sight for something made of scrap this or that. There is a grizzly for removing the larger rock 6-7" and larger. It does lift up with help from the loader should rocks get stuck and impede the flow. Whatever makes its way through the grizzly, falls upon a shaker of 1/2" wire cloth that allows smaller matter through for later processing. 1/2" and larger is directed toward the side for picking up and use elsewhere. Atop of an old snowblower transmission a Kohler engine gives motion to our screener. It certainly took a few days longer to make this creation, but when you have to clean, cut, fit and weld used metal from other purposes, it's going to add some time.


    DSC_0010.JPG DSC_0011.JPG DSC_0012.JPG
     
  10. Jonas302

    Jonas302 Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    648
    Location:
    mn
    Looks great
     
    DMiller likes this.
  11. Flat Thunder Channel

    Flat Thunder Channel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2020
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Ohio
    I love it! I was just discussing building a topsoil screen. I have a big pile of wire grating from pallet racks. Talk to me about the screening process in simplified terms. I was hoping to build a metal mesh (with the wire pallet racking) and mount that structure to a spring supported base. I was going to install a shaft with an eccentric to make it vibrate.

    Talk to me about the motor you installed. Does it shift the grating back n forth on an eccentric? Has anyone built one with just a vibration action?
     
    DMiller likes this.
  12. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Potsdam, NY, USA
    I neglected to mention that under the shaker grate's 1/2" wire cloth is 4" x 4" livestock fencing for support. The small wire fabric would not have been nearly strong enough to hold the weight. I am sure I will have to replace the wire fabric soon, but I needed to separate 1/2" and under to later separate the 1/4" and above for gravel for my roof drain layer under filter fabric for my living roof on my new house...when that time comes.

    As mentioned, the snowblower transmission is a infinitely variable type so that the speed that the axles turn can be adjusted to just the right speed rock the screener back and forth. I wanted to be able to adjust the speed so as not to place undue stress on the hodgepodge of material we made it from. Enough shaking to move the material, but not so much that it would shake itself apart. The screener shaker has adjustable height on the output so that it can be assured to have proper slope to output rock.

    The whole screener is large enough to take a full-width bucket from my backhoe without spilling off the sides. The bucket also fits under the shaker and can curl without hitting the sideways moving shaker tray. I placed the unit on a couple old barn beams with chamfers on each end so not to dig into the earth when moving. On each end of the beams, I looped a bit of guy wire to attach a chain to pull by.

    If you need better pictures of what I have done, please ask for the part to be included at close range to get detail. I'm sure my design can be improved on, but I did what I could for what I had. I did splurge for a new engine though as the one I was trying to use had a bit of rust under the pin which opened and closed the points. I would adjust the points to the proper opening and the engine would operate fine for about 2 minuted. I check the points again only to find the gap had closed. This rust would quickly wear away at the pin that pushed the points open in such a short time and we (my wife and I....who loves to weld now...even bought her own helmet, cape and gloves) decided we would just get an engine we could not only use on this device, but others we plan to make. Perhaps ever a rock crusher.

    Our all-in expense was $375 for a Kohler 7HP engine, and $80 for various hardware cloth, hardware and chain, but if I wanted to have no cash outlay I could have done so with stuff we had here. I realize not everyone has what we have available to us, but much material can be found at various auctions for a fraction of new steel...especially at today's prices.
     
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  13. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Potsdam, NY, USA
    I have to say, I found a couple weak spots in my screener. Also, the 1/2" wire cloth screen should be a little larger as I am not finding the desired 1/2" stones in my fines. 3/8" but no larger, unless they are falling around the screen into the finish soil. In my case, I don't think the 1" wire cloth would be heavy enough to withstand the weight of the rock falling on it even with the 4" x 4" fencing support beneath. The 1/2" wire cloth, with the fence support, seems to be holding up quite well.

    The connecting rods I used were just 1/2" pipe welded to 1/2" pipe sleeves. They should be made from something less prone to fatigue as they broke close to the welds. Originally, I suspected there to be a lot of stress at the welds and they would fail, but the welds were fine. Each rod broke at a different location, but perhaps to the same reason. I think the heat from the weld changed the structure of the metal in the pipe enough that it became brittle. I will machine new sleeves from cold rolled rod and make the rod solid cold rolled as well.

    Also, while the snowblower transmission is working, I can tell from the heat being produced that it may not last as long as I would like. There is no method of lubrication like an oil bath, just bare gear to gear and the rubber wheel to steel disc to provide the variable speed. But now that I think I know what cadence I need for lateral motion I can devise a pulley system to obtain that speed. Or perhaps, I may find a suitable lawn mower transmission that can supply the rpm desired plus have the benefit of gearing in an oil bath.

    Other thoughts on the design. The whole unit should be maybe 50% wider than the bucket of the loader as rocks being screened at the high end of the screener push unscreened soil into the spoils. leading me to re-screen if I need clean spoil. The screener should be closer to the grizzly since rocks that fall directly on the wire cloth do dent the wire fabric when they fall onto it from any distance without a soil cushion. The grizzly should be a bit steeper. Most rocks to slide off, but those that are nearer the filter size tend to get caught, but perhaps that is just the nature of the device. Oh, the guy cable loops I attached to the beams either side of the fines cleanout had to be removed. The bucket consistently caught the wire and would move the unit.

    All in all, I'm pleased with it. I have not had the opportunity to use such a device or even to look at something like this up close. There are a few other minor changes like extending partitions and adding one at the rear of the screening tray to guide soil away from the edge of the tray so smaller rocks don't get between the tray and the partition behind it and fall though or get caught in between. For me, it's a light-ish unit that needs care not to drop a lot of soil in at once, but in an hour I was able to screen out as much rock as I had paid $200 for 7 weeks ago, plus, I have a heavy rock pile and a pile of dirt with no stones over 3/8" diameter.

    About 3 hours more work in the shop and I'll be back up and running! Thank you for reading. I will try to keep you posted.
     
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  14. Jonas302

    Jonas302 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Location:
    mn
    Check with those small gravel operators they will have piles of wore out screens that dont even make good scrap metal
     
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  15. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
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    7,920
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hermann, Missouri
    This is the Manure screen in fabrication. Got the angle cut to length and beat thru a day of cooking heat high humidity to get this far. Will finish legs tomorrow and front to back brace to keep sturdy. Just separating 4-18" rock from old building foundations from the feed lot manure. Free fertilizer and NOT gonna waste it.

    IMG_8160.JPG IMG_8161.JPG
     
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  16. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Location:
    Moose Lake, MN
    I seen a simple home made screen for home use the other day that attached to the top of a loader bucket. It was made from pipe and gravel screen. It was hinged at the back of the bucket and pivoted up when dumping. When laying on the bucket the front edge was 8" or so back from the cutting edge. This allowed the bucket to load the screen without undue stress on it. The screened material fell into the bucket thru the screen with a bit of rolling the bucket, the larger stuff rolled off. He said it worked quite well for small quantities for home projects. He did say he was going to add a hydraulic cylinder to it so he could tip it up out of the way to use the bucket in a conventual manner without having to remove the screen.
     
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