Compost Sifter

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Project by daltxguy posted 04-06-2013 03:44 PM 4864 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I seem to make a lot of these – everytime I change continents. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it has proven worthwhile enough to keep reproducing this simple design and the materials seems to be universally available.

Simple construction : 2×4’s nailed together with galvanized nails and then 1/2” (12mm) galvanized mesh formed neatly over the bottom and nailed on with galvanised fence staples.

Sizes may vary but usually I size it to fit across whatever wheelbarrow I have at the time and somewhat narrower than it is long, so it is relatively easy to pick up and shake back and forth (If it was much wider, you would have to hold out it out too far.)

You can screw on some handles on the side if you wish. I think the first one I built had handles but i haven’t bothered with later versions.

To use, place across the wheelbarrow. Shovel in some finished compost – then either shake or stir with your gloved hands ( to keep the galvanised mesh from wearing your hands down to the bones). Whatever doesn’t go through the mesh, flip back onto the compost pile. What’s left in the wheelbarrow is a nice fine compost.

If you need it to be even finer ( for starting seeds for example), make another one with a finer grid, or use a kitchen stainless steel sifter for a second pass.

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

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882 posts in 2997 days
hardiness zone 4a

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6 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


14694 posts in 3899 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-07-2013 02:44 AM

well isn’t that smart!!!!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile


4312 posts in 3162 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-07-2013 03:59 AM

Looks practical and easy to use, Daltxguy.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View jroot's profile


5121 posts in 3529 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-07-2013 05:39 AM

I have had two a little smaller than DaltXGuy’s for the past 35 years. One is a course screen, and the smaller one is a finer one. I have handles on both of them made from old broom handles so it is easy to shake. I had thought about making a larger one attached to chains hanging above my finished compost area, and when I saw DXG’s I thought that was what he was doing until I saw the dimensions on his note paper. I still might do that as I find the shaking is sometimes difficult, as I “mature”.

I encourage everyone to make something like Daltxguy’s. It is an admirable garden tool to have. There are many other uses for it as well – even removing stones and clay chunks from existing soil.

Thanks for sharing, DXG

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View justjoel's profile


1063 posts in 3280 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 04-07-2013 03:51 PM

I need to make me one of these, and now I don’t have to design my own!

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View daltxguy's profile


882 posts in 2997 days
hardiness zone 4a

posted 04-07-2013 04:54 PM

Feel free to steal my design – I am sure (I know) I stole it from somewhere else – probably from the compost class I took 20 years ago.

jroot – that’s a good idea that you have! I do find the shaking to be harder these days! Luckily I don’t do it that often.

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

View Jimthecarver's profile


111 posts in 2424 days
hardiness zone 8b

posted 04-07-2013 08:18 PM

I find these are very useful tools in the garden.
Good job

-- JTC

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