Friday, September 15, 2017

A Soil Sifter

In two earlier posts, I've dealt with a couple of gardeners' tools -- a seed row compactor and a seeding tool. I so enjoyed those two projects that I was moved to go casting about for another gardening tool to build, and make a threesome of it. I found a plan for a soil sifter that looks like it might be useful. Here are scans of the article from the book "Build It Better Yourself", by the editors of "Organic Farming and Gardening", published by Rodale Press of Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

Following are a few notes on the version of the thing that I constructed.

a) I made the length and width bigger by 1/4", so that the snaggy edges of the hardware cloth screen would be set back a bit from the frame's perimeter.

b) Frame corners are joined with plugged pocket screws and Gorilla glue.

c) No finish is needed, but I gave the frame an application of tung oil.

Here's a dimensioned sketch of the end pieces' shaping and handle cut-outs.

d) The book calls for 3/4" staples for fastening the hardware cloth screen to the frame. 3/4" staples strike me as an oversize, awkward fastener for the task. I used No. 6 screws with flat washers. Here's a view of that.

And here's the completed sifter out among some comrades.

Bill of Materials
  • Qty 2: 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 18 1/4" SPF for frame sides.
  • Qty 2: 3/4" x 5 1/2" x 10 3/4" SPF for frame ends.
  • Qty 1: 12" x 18" rectangle of 1/4" mesh hardware cloth.
  • Qty 8: Kreg No. SML-C125, No. 8 x 1 1/4" screw.
  • Qty 8: Kreg No. P-PNT, paint grade pocket-hole plug.
  • Qty A/R: Gorilla glue.
  • Qty A/R: Tung oil.
  • Qty 20: No. 6 x 1/2" pan head screw.
  • Qty 20: No. 6 SAE flat washer.

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