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DIY Screening for Homestead

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

  1. Jonas302

    Jonas302 Senior Member

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    I like reading your postings of course lots of us have or can think of different ways to accomplish the goal I just love out of the box thinking and trying out what you have to work with
     
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  2. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

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    aidhead...Thank you. But even if you don't have need for something of this size, smaller versions can be made on the cheap. I'm working on a garage now that the neighbor is using the soil removed from making the concrete pad to fill low spots in the yard. My machine is too big for the smaller yard tractor. Scaling my design down would be easy for smaller loaders than I have. Mine is a Case 480C. Mine is small compared for many other machines I have seen since I built mine. I tried to give examples of design changes I would make if I made one again and think they could also be scaled down...even to a shovel load motorized sifter, though a single screen would most likely be needed only.

    I plan to build a rock crusher in the not so distant future...I have a thread started, I just need to be able to free up enough time to work on it. I'm thinking maybe a 12 x 6 jaw opening and a 1-1/2" final size. I mostly need it for rubble trench, drain and driveway. Fines will be sifted for topping the driveway.
     
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  3. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    Well, a neighbor, as noted in a different thread, has turned about 30 acres of trees and brush into an enormous pile of trees and brush and has flipped the field over in what appears to be an effort to farm it eventually. The wife and I have nosed around a bit and found there to be a ton (figuratively) of rocks in the soil. Probably plenty for my pond project. I really can't imagine I'll go to these lengths to make a screener but it's lovely to know you've provided some insight to how it could be done. I have a 2 acre field in the back that I could likely talk someone into plowing, just to flip up some rock to harvest, and then I'd let it grow over again, but it seems unlikely I'll do that.
     
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  4. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

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    I had a 2 1/2 acre lot before buying this property. There was a pile of soil someone left where it didn't belong. I assume there was about 3 yard of material. While living there I was confronted with several seemingly small rocks poking out of the ground. I was bored one day and being a person who was tired of hitting rocks with new mower blades and also wanted a nice lawn for others to enjoy looking at. Boy was I naive! Anyway, I grabbed a shovel, 6 foot piece of drilling rod for a pry bar and proceeded to dig up the offending stones. I tell ya, after the tenth stone, I wish I hadn't started the project. Not a one of them were under 20 lb and a couple were 50 lb or so. They left large holes in the yard. I began filling the yard trailer behind the lawn mower with dirt from the old pile. I quickly found that I would be filling the rock holes with more rock! I wasn't exactly thrilled. While the rocks were smaller, I knew the frost would be bringing them to the surface to be struck by the mower. NOT ON MY WATCH!!! I made a 4 legged frame large enough that I could place near the pile and back my little trailer under with my mower. I got pretty good at backing that short little thing! I made a 2x4 frame just a bit smaller than my trailer. I wrapped 1/4" hardware cloth across the bottom and up the outside where they were fastened to the 2x4s with screws. I then hung the sifting tray from the 4 legged frame. I could fill the tray with a shovel and manually shake the tray. In no time at all I could sift out all rocks and vegetation in a matter of 10 seconds. It would take several cycles to fill my little trailer, but I was busy and outside in the fresh air doing my lawnly man tasks!

    Use medium sized open hooks and chain large enough to accommodate them in hanging your sifter so that you can easily remove the sifter tray to dump the waste rock and debris and return the tray to the frame for another load of soil for sifting. I would say that this small sifter can get heavy with stones and other debris so depending on the rock to soil ratio, plan your load to make it easy to lift your tray to unload your rocks.

    I remember very well the amount of work I did to make my lawn presentable and to not hit large rocks with my mower. But my new project is much larger and I needed something on a sub-commercial scale to help me get the work done. While not as fast as having rock delivered, it certainly has been more fun and economical. Plus, my wife and I built it together!

    Please play safely!
     
  5. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    Hmm... I'll have to consider this. Even in a small 10'x10' space I imagine there is more dirt than I want to move via a shovel, but I may be able to find a compromise. Free or close to free with some manual labor may be worth it for an endless supply of rocks.
     
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  6. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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  7. Anthony Friot

    Anthony Friot Active Member

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    Unfortunately, we are in an area that is depressed. Such machinery is held by private farms and contractors. As far as i know, there are no rental companies that carry rock harvesters. A neighbor who grows vegetables had one for sale when we bought our property, but I didn't know I would have a need for it. It was the first such device I had seen so there are not many near us. If I were to find a rental, it surely would be in excess of 3 hours from us and delivery and pickup would be cost prohibitive. I like making stuff anyway, though materials and time are coming harder to come by as I get older. Compromises must be made sometimes. Uh oh! I sound like my elders...
     
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  8. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Another alternative is a Skeleton bucket for a tractor loader, run at slow speeds thru a plot to pick as many as possible then move to another plot.
     
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  9. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    Bringing back a topic from the discussion of another thread, here, where it probably should have gone instead of Boulder Hunt...

    I didn't know what a skeleton bucket was until I saw one someone made on the ForestryForum. It's a neat little contraption. That being said I bought the beefy clamp-on forks for my backhoe, could I add a skeleton to that or am I just asking to wreck the forks? That sounds easier and cheaper than making a big screener like I'm planning. If I can just run gently through my piles and give a little shake to separate that'd be lovely.
     
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  10. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    So, I just bought some pallet racking to turn into a rock screener. It should be here in a week or so and I'm excited to get started with it. Here my work in progress drawing in autocad. I already messed up though because I have these uprights at 10 feet long but they are 15. While I don't expect to use that full height I do need to raise the low part of the screener deck up a bit. I'll have to carefully consider my cuts. I have two 15 foot tall uprights, which will be chopped up to give me my 4 upright poles, then eight 10 foot long rack beams, which should provide the screen deck, supports near the bottom of the frame (not pictured yet) and a rail that I can add some plywood to to shove the loader into to pick up rocks, and 6 wire decks (also not pictured yet), to use as the screen. I'll also not keep the sticking up beams on the front like it's showing. It wouldn't surprise me to find that I'll need some more robust screening, probably some angle iron like DMiller shows above. All in all, I think this will be a neat project and should be a fun build. I've never gotten into something like this but I'm really looking forward to it.

    It brings up another question... It seems silly to dig a hole with the hoe, then turn around and use the loader to dump the dirt on the screener, when I can just park the screener next to the hole and dump straight from the hoe to the screener, right? Then, I can move the screener out of the way and shove all the dirt back in the hole. Am I missing something?

    screen.jpg
     
  11. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    I'll post a picture of my little bedding screen. I made it light enough to move by hand, and it straddles a 2' wide trench. you dump the material very carefully over it, and the rocks roll away from the pipe and the suitable bedding filters through. It has no other purpose but has been used for years in jobs where we could not easily get bedding to the pipe.
     
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  12. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    I made the mistake of not drawing this thing up prior to ordering metal. So, once I started drawing I'm finding some stuff that I may have messed up. First, was I didn't order enough of the wire decks, so I got back in touch and doubled my order to 12 of them, maybe I'll have some spares if I need them. Second, I'll also have to contemplate the real measurements of everything. In the picture below I have to pretend that there aren't big gaps around the wire decking. I'm undecided if I should just shrink some of the dimensions (specifically the width) to match the screen? It's drawn to about 10 to 10.5 feet wide, but maybe I'll need to shrink it a foot or so. I was thinking of bolting a piece of plywood to the front over the three beams to shove into upon getting the sorted rocks but I don't think that will be sufficient and I'll end up either moving the whole thing or bending the crap out of it... Still thinking for a solution there.

    I've worked on the drawing a bit:

    screen.jpg
     
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  13. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    1/8" steel will work, is what have on mine.
     
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  14. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    My supplies! Unfortunately, it's supposed to rain for the rest of the week, so likely there it will sit.

    20211026_125310.jpg
     
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  15. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    I built mine from channel I bought at a good price. My 6" channels are set at 6" on center spacing, I'll estimate 100% pitch. I believe i have 2' tall vertical wall at bottom.

    If you are interested, I'll get the exact.

    If I did it again, I'd have NOTHING horizontal!!!!!!!!!
    The face MUST be parallel, or even wider spacing at bottom.

    Some of the $20,000. commercial screens have a secondary rack fits over the primary. This rack is movable & has a bump rail to hit with your loader bucket to free stuck rocks.
     
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  16. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean there, Willie? I'd love to see a picture of yours, have you posted it anywhere? (it's entirely possible you have and I replied to it then forgot, sorry, if so!)

    Thanks for the note about horizontal pieces, I'm contemplating some extra structure going under the screen, just to take some of the abuse, but I'm not exactly sure what I'll do there. I would think the only horizontal piece would be used to pick the whole thing up but maybe I can do that just from the top of the frame. I was also considering making the whole deck screen hinged to I could lift it and let it slam back down to unstick stuff, but then I figured that'd likely take some of the sturdiness out...
     
  17. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    I deal much of the time with mineral earth, not a lot of organic component. When I can I get some material from other places, that MAY include organic (sticky) soil.

    My screen, or grizzly began as 14' 6" by 2" C channels. with plates welded to each end. Each plate has 2 bolt holes. They came from some sort of carpet racking in a warehouse. A customer closed his Long Island carpet business, brought all this with him to VT. An ugly divorce ensued, & he had to empty a barn.

    I arranged the channels in a heavier channel frame & bolted them in place. It had two legs held to the roughly square frame so I could easily alter the pitch as needed.

    It worked OK, but staying at the same angle all the way to the ground wasn't ideal. It needed a vertical wall at bottom.

    After the violent flood of 2011, the whole thing was lost for months. I eventually spotted a small corner 2" tall sticking out of the rocks, otherwise it was buried. It then got a major overhaul. The ribs were cut at 2' & welded back together at 45 degree angle to create a vertical wall dirt could pile against one side, rocks on the other.

    If I had it to do over, spacing would be 4" at top, 5" at bottom. Rocks tend to wedge between, & i have to use a sledge hammer to free them.

    I have a cross brace of angle welded to each rib mid span. Junk, tree roots, rocks & occasionally sod collect on it & have to be removed by hand.

    I've tried chain link fence as a screen over the whole thing. It ABSOLUTELY does NOT work!

    I pick bushel sized rocks out before screening. the screen separates gravel from 5" & larger rocks. I would like a secondary screen to fit over it all to get rid of 5 thru 2" rocks. Each size has its application.
     
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  18. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    My main screen to separate smaller rock from soil or trash is woven wire screen, 1" squares, does OK but vibratory style would work better and should have built wider. Did end up placing 1/8" sheet on both sides to keep materials on the screen.

    IMG_2098.JPG IMG_2104.JPG
     
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  19. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    Looks great DMiller! I was wondering about adding some sides, I'd probably just do 2x6s or something. I'm expecting mine to be about 9 and a half feet wide. I want it substantially wider than the loader bucket, so that should do I think. I'll be interested to see how my grating or screen works out. I think the holes are like 1.5" or so by 2-3" but if I need to I can stack another layer on and offset it a bit. This decking, I'll have to get a picture of, has some ribbing on the underside of it to give it some support on a racking system, just a u shaped piece (I think there are 3 per deck) to stabilize things a bit. I'm wondering if it'd be a good idea to have the u's on the top side and maybe weld in some rebar to give them some strength and grizzly bar ability...
     
  20. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    All towns here have grizzlies to screen winter sand. The material is already screened in million dollar screen plants to 3/8" minus, then mixed with salt. The grizzlies only separate frozen clumps in very cold weather. They have all screen members arranged 2" apart at perhaps a 45 degree angle.
    They too get clumps stuck, but a less frigid day, the salt content melts it & it falls through. I do not believe you will be happy with a passive screen with any horizontal component.

    Look at Rock Tough, or their competitors, nothing horizontal.