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Gravel Screener

 
Posts: 92
Location: Madison, WI
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I'm looking for a way to screen gravel for use as a growing media for aquaponics. Anyone know where I can find plans to make a DIY gravel screener? I'm looking to screen out pieces less than 1/4".

Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Hardware cloth ? I think you may have to find the manufacturer to get the size and then through him find out who has it locally, You want to create a shaker table
(my word choice, not an approved term ) like the Archeologists use to screen out dirt/soil on a 'dig' site, if this did not give you a clear picture of what I mean, call a
college professor in an Archeologist department and ask for help -they are all closet greenies any way ! For the craft Big AL

Late note : If you want to work really hard look up Homemade rock crushers images , or Dolly Pots images ! A.L.
 
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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I got some 1/4 inch hardware cloth on amazon.com if are unable to find it locally you can try ordering it
 
gardener
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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I don't have plans, but for heavy-duty screening what you want is not hardware cloth, but a piece of what they call "expanded metal". Basically a sheet of metal is filled with little slits and then pulled in an industrial machine until it expands, creating diamond-shaped holes of whatever size and giving you an extremely durable metal screen with a lot of texture to catch and break up your larger clods and chunks. This is the stuff that wash plants at gravel pits and gold mines use, but you can probably get a chunk anywhere commercial steel (rebar, I-beams, angle iron) is sold.

My father arc-welded a garden screen for my mother from expanded metal and salvaged angle iron, just eight pieces of iron forming a square with legs, and the expanded metal covering it like a table top. It just fit over a galvanized tub; shovel the dirt or gravel on top, work it through the screen, rake the big stuff off one side, haul away tub of screened material. It was so easy to use that an eight-year-old could do it, which I know because my mother turned it into a chore/task for all her children when she was pioneering a raised-bed garden on sub-arctic permafrost back in the late 1970s.
 
                    
Posts: 238
Location: AR ~ozark mountain range~zone7a
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I am reusing an old 'refrigerator radiator' that was on the back of the old fridge. It is basically mild steel with a 1/8" steel tubing winding back N forth from one in to the other, it fits nicely over my wheel barrow. The holes in the mild steel are perforated slots about an inch long and about 1/4" wide. I sometimes use the 'rabbit cage wire sheet' 1/4"X1/4" over the refrigerator radiator, sometimes I use window screen over the radiator.

It helps a lot if you have a frame to hold up your screens. With the refrigerator radiator it is light & easy to move on & off of the barrow, I can get 3 full shovel fulls on there without any sign of caving in, even while pushing dirt & rocks.

I did spend some time opening up the slots of the radiator with a big flat screw driver.

james beam
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use rabbit cage or window screen, or use no screen
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reused refrigerator radiator
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Jeremiah Robinson : I think we all have been guilty of assuming what you need, a little like the blind men describing the elephant ! All are good suggestions !
About how many Cubic Yards/feet of material do you think you are going to need to handle and move ? !!!

I was thinking you might have to go to 5/16ths to screen out all the 'fines' up to 1/4 inch, the larger sized Hardware cloth gradually uses larger galvanized wire, I
was not worried about the zinc, only tree screening size ! Big AL !
 
Jeremiah Robinson
Posts: 92
Location: Madison, WI
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Hey Allen,

Good thought. I wasn't very clear.

I'm hoping to go to the landscape yard and get them to pour the rock onto the screen from their front end loader, so it'll tumble onto my 4x8 trailer. I'll probably get a yard a trip. So, yeah, it needs to be beefy. I think hardware cloth wouldn't work. The thing I am having a hard time with is whether I need it to shake and - if so - how? I've seen designs using a sawzall, but them seem a little small for the front end loader.

Jeremiah
 
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Location: Fennville MI
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Jeremiah Robinson wrote:Hey Allen,

Good thought. I wasn't very clear.

I'm hoping to go to the landscape yard and get them to pour the rock onto the screen from their front end loader, so it'll tumble onto my 4x8 trailer. I'll probably get a yard a trip. So, yeah, it needs to be beefy. I think hardware cloth wouldn't work. The thing I am having a hard time with is whether I need it to shake and - if so - how? I've seen designs using a sawzall, but them seem a little small for the front end loader.

Jeremiah



Seems to me in that situation it would make sense to shop for a supplier who has the material I want in stock, rather than going someplace and having them help you screen their product on their site with their loading equipment.
 
allen lumley
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Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Jeremiah Robinson ; Yes. o.k., I was thinking about you having a gravel pit you could go and get a 'jag' of gravel at, I know this is uncommon in a lot of places,
but a lot of places still have dumps that can be 'picked' while we have transfer stations that it is illegal to grab a 2x4 or a water jug out of !

I vote with Peter Ellis, phone around, you should be able to get an excellent grade of 'pea gravel' with little or no adulterants/inclusions Big AL
 
Jeremiah Robinson
Posts: 92
Location: Madison, WI
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So I've called around a lot, and the basic issue is that I'm looking for a very specialized gravel that weighs about 1/2 the weight of regular gravel. It's dramatically easier to work with. But I've yet to find any landscape supply house who's willing to screen it for me.
 
allen lumley
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Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Jeremiah Robinson : O.K., now we are getting serious, share with us what kind of stone you are talking about .

If everything else fails you can always set yourself up to be a hydraulic engineer, It is possible to wash the gravel, letting the water carry away the fines, through a
couple of settling pools and then re-pump the much cleaner water back onto the pile to carry more of the small stuff again and again. here i am assuming that you
would want to recycle the water, which you would if for instance you were on municipal/metered water service !

The biggest deciding factor would be what you can have for a pump, A mud or trash pump which uses a moving diaphragm to pump water can re-pump muddy
absolutely opaque water, these can be rented at home improvement stores ! A centrifugal pump which can generate higher pressures to more rapidly scrub the pile
will need much cleaner water to not score the impellers !

As a volunteer fire man fighter borrowing hose and fittings would be a natural and even a chance to help train new members.

You can get a lot of information about hydraulic mining and Mud pump well drilling with a Google Search for Mud pump well drilling, and Mud pump well drilling images

Or you can put them in suitable perforated baskets and set them under your eaves,and let mother nature wash them ! Where there is a will ,there is a way! Big AL
 
pollinator
Posts: 240
Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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It sounds like you are talking pumice or scoria. There are places near me that have 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", etc. screened pumice or scoria, but it is also mined nearby...

I would say keep looking for the material. Meanwhile do a search for DIY trommel screens. Trommel screens are a little more complicated than a flat screen, but they work better (especially when you want the 'overs' contained).

 
Jeremiah Robinson
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Location: Madison, WI
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Hey Guys,

The trouble with a trommel screen is that I can't figure how they would fill it with a front end-loader. I might see if I can talk a loader-driver into screening it for me. I would pay for all of it (including the fines) and the screening, and just take home the larger pieces. Still way cheaper than hydroton.

There are a variety of rock products that fit the bill I'm thinking of. One place calls it "rock bark". Another, tangerine-something. It is heavier than lava rock, weighing about 2000 lbs/yard. Just heavy enough not to float.
 
Ardilla Esch
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Posts: 240
Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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I think you are better off trying to find someone with the material you want and/or equipment needed to get what you want. It will be probably be cheaper for you than trying to build a screen sturdy enough for a loader to dump onto. Landscape supply places generally have the screened materials hauled in already prepared - so it is no surprise they aren't much help. You may have to go closer to the source of the material. How much material are you talking about anyway? If it is less than a truck load, you may have difficulty finding someone willing to screen something to a size they don't normally do.

FWIW the trommel screens used at gravel operations have hoppers or funnels for loading.
 
Posts: 3375
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Or figure out a use for the fines at home. Rock dust mineral source? Walking path fill? Driveway rock? Soil amendment for clay soil garden? Replacement for sand in a light insulative cob?

There has to be something. Building a loader-grade screen is no small task. Building a shovel sized one is fairly easy.
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Dammit, Dammit, Dammit to helland back ! -If I have said it once, -well, I have posted it with every Thread, Thread Extension I have made in the last 2 years !


L.@.@.K AT THE SIMILAR THREADS SECTION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. !!!

O.K., I call dummy, dummy, dummy on myself! I was Sooo eager to get my deathless prose down on paper I forgot to check "The Similar Threads " Again !!!

- Now that I have that out of the way ! Nature powered gravel washing station, though it had originally posted in the Organic Forum - it was 'linked to us,
for us via 'Similar threads' !

Check out the 2nd posting of the original poster Kay Bee, this post has a link to a very simple , but workable build- Also good follow up comments by Dale H.
and Erica W.

Technically missing this is due to ' Habitation ' our brain disregards what it SEEs every day, but this is such a great resource we all need to check it out !
for the good of the Craft ! Big AL

 
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