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auger for moving compost?  RSS feed

 
Stewart Hung
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Hi Permies,

I have a question about augers and use in composting. I have noticed that the White Dragon composter requires constant mixing. I was going to build a system for composting that uses an auger to move the fermented (Bokashi) material to the trenches for burying and aging the composted material. Does anyone know where I can buy a 4" auger, or even better, where can I find some plans so that I can build one myself? Thanks in advance!

Best regards,
Stewart
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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you can build one with some thin flat steel for the screw, pipe for the axle, a welder to put the two together, two pillow blocks then you need a chainwheel, chain and motor or crank to turn it. Note: a bicycle will provide all the drive gear. other than these items you just need some sort of trough to put the auger into so it can move material.

be sure to build a cover for the trough so you don't loose a leg or arm (it has happened to many in the feed industry).
 
chad Christopher
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Used posthole digger. If you have a tractor. If not...a steel pipe, drill lateral holes, put in nail spikes, in a double helix. A long draw bar is surprising efficient, given you have 2 people and it's only compost. If you can't turn the compost, your problem is not a lack of power, it is the wrong system for you.
 
Stewart Hung
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Thanks for the idea, Bryant. I will have to learn how to weld. There is a maker lab near me, so I will check to see if they have welding equipment.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Farm supply, a real old fashioned one. Or order here http://www.jetflowauger.com

Not cheap.

Harbor freight sells a small "post hole digger" that may work, I think they sell the auger fairly cheap.

Making auger flighting is not simple. Pipe and tube and drive, yeah; but not the flighting.
 
Stewart Hung
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Hi R Scott,

Thanks for the links. The 4" auger from Harbor Freight is the right diameter, but I don't need the gas powerhead. Was thinking of a manual hand crank design. It's only compost, after all.

I am getting closer to a solution to my problem, though.

 
S Haze
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Location: Southern Minnesota, USA, zone 4/5
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Where do you live Stewart?

Here in the mid-west 4-6" auger flighting (the screw part) and tubing can be found for scrap price or less. Check auctions or salvage yards. To move compost something oversized like 12" or larger might work best to prevent bridging, just gear it way down so it can be turned by hand or slowly by a motor.
 
Stewart Hung
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Thanks for the info, S Haze.

I live on the west coast, in Vancouver, BC at the moment. I will check the scrap metal yards and see if I can find one there.

I just picked up a 2" flex auger flighting (about 60' worth) from a small brewery. I will have to get a 2" PVC pipe and find a way to weld a hand crank on one end.

However, I am still looking for a 4" flighting. The quest continues.
 
R Scott
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Don't forget craigslist! I found some cheap, hopefully will pick them up tomorrow. Use searchtempest or crawler to search all the surrounding area, getting into the farm country.
 
Stewart Hung
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Thanks, R Scott.

I have been checking Craigslist for that along with a whole bunch of other supplies, like IBC totes and rain barrels. It's amazing to see the offer prices vary so much for these valuable commodities.

There is a very large Fraser Valley farming community near me, but I don't know where they are listing their items for sale because Craigslist is quite sparse. I will have to keep asking around.

Thanks again!
 
R Scott
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Maybe still a paper paper, like we used to have. I think it was called the thrifty nickel, nothing but add. Or a lot of them just park it along the road with a sign.
 
Robert Fairchild
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Location: Kentucky, USA
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How about an ice fishing hand auger? The carbon steel ones come in 5", 6", 7" and 8". Plenty on ebay. There's a StrikeMaster Lazer Synthetic Hand Auger 4-Inch with stainless tip but a lot more expensive, even at Amazon. Just do a google search for sources. Maybe craigslist in the great white north.
 
Travis Johnson
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Flight augers are really old technology and difficult to do yourself, but chain augers or cable augers are far more do it yourself, especially if you layer plywood for the making of the sprockets and cable clamps to secure the discs. Bridging will be your biggest issue, but that can be done with rotating disks timed to your chain/cable auger at the feed box. I looked into this extensively when I was considering automating my sheep barn for feed silage, but ultimately realized if I am going to tractor-fill a hopper box to feed a conveyor system, why not tractor-fill the sheeps managers and eliminate a lot of expense. But just because it would not work for me does not mean its not a great conveyance method.

 
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