So - I've been grinding our own grains for a while now and trying to get us converted over because it's an affordable way for me to use organic ancient wheats but the big elephant in the room is all purpose flour.
Whole wheat flour is fine for breads (although I suppose my kids would disagree LOL) but sometimes I need white flour for lighter stuff. But hand sifting TAKES SO SO SO LONG and then your arms and hands cramp up. And then I buy it. Because in all my googling and asking around, everyone always said they did the same as me - use it whole, unless you NEED white flour in which case you just buy it. There is a flour sifter thingy on the market but it's like $250 and I figured I could come up with a cheaper option.
So the other day I had an idea and IT WORKED. I figured out how to do this automatically and aside from the sifters you probably already have what you need to do this suuuuuuper fast. I made a video to show you how it works - if you don't want to listen to me yakking at first, the actual "action" starts at 4:19 😂
Basically in a nutshell, I attached the blade of a reciprocating saw onto the side of my sifter and then just pulled the trigger which then shakes the sieve at rapid speeds.
In order to get a "white" flour you need to sift a few times with different sizes. Sieves have various mesh sizes and like gauge size, the smaller the number the bigger it is. Basically, how many "divisions" it has per square inch or something to that effect. I started with a 20 mesh sifter to get the biggest pieces of the bran, and ideally you'd then screen it through a 40 mesh and then through a 60 mesh but I only had a 60 mesh with my 20. I know WHY you graduate it - because it's kind of a waste to try and sift out all the big pieces with my little 60 mesh sifter - so I may try and get the 40 mesh to see if that makes things faster. I'd also like to get a larger 60 mesh sifter but I'll probably stick with this one for a while, especially if I can the 40 mesh sifter which means my 60 mesh could handle more flour at one time (since all the bigger pieces would already been sifted out).
But IT WORKED IT WORKED IT WORKED. I was so so happy about this. This is a game changer for us. I have been trying so hard to get us more on an ancestral diet of what our specific ancestors ate 500-1000 years ago and this will allow me to use those ancient grains but also still do special occasion white flour type things without compromising that.
Just me and my kids, off griddin' it - follow along our shenanigans at our YouTube Uncle Dutch Farms.
Soooo.... if you took a ginormous stainless hose clamp (or several smaller ones joined together) to go around the sifter and bent the tail of the hose clamp out at 90 degrees and bolted the blade to that, would it now be in the "center" rather than on the "edge" of the sieve and would that work better or worse? I'd be inclined to use the shortest saw blade that would still give the minimal travel needed so that you minimize the leverage, and being a cheap-skate, I'd try to use a broken or worn blade (I tend to be a bit hard on reciprocating saw blades!)
1) To attach it, drill a hole in the blade and the sifter and bolt them together. I'm guessing the blade is probably pretty hard so you might want to heat the area where you'll drill in a fire until it's red hot and then let it cool down sloooowwwly. That should make it softer and easier to drill.
2) To make it a bit safer, put the blade in a vise and use an angle grinder to remove the teeth.
If either of these is beyond your skill set, there's probably someone nearby that could do it for you pretty quickly. If they work on cars or have a welder, odds are they have the skills to do it for you...
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
Bethany, Another way to attach the blade to the mesh body is with a small c-clamp. Perhaps a hammer drill or palm sander could be used instead of the reciprocating saw for those that may have those tools instead. Great job though! Thank you for posting your idea.
Links are for picture reference, similar can be found in most hardware stores.
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