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Low cost but effective compost screeners

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by JDUtah, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    You know, after thinking about it, doesnt a dryer drum have little 1/4inch holes in it already, why savage just the motor.

    By the way,after taking another look at the pic, they did incorporate a jackshaft/pulley system for a gear reduction. I still think it was more for slowing the drum down than it was for torque.
  2. hunter

    hunter LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 254

    The best motor is going to be a dryer motor. They already have the torque for heavy loads and run at a slow speed. You could even use the same belt that wraps around a dryer drum to turn the separator.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Don't screen it at all ... 1/2" is acceptable IMO.

    Seems to me any "cheap" solution will not be very scalable or cost effective. I suppose if you only need to do 1 yard of compost per month, not a big deal .... 100 yards + of compost per month makes it an entirely different game.
  4. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    I understand that position, but still have reasons to get it a little more fine. I do plan on volume eventually, and want to build things that are capable of handling volume... learning from a trial one will help me build a better high volume one when that time comes.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Search for Trommel type screeners, and you will see commercial versions all over the place. Plans to DIY one are plentiful and the scale is up to you. Having a "small" screener gives you the opportunity to run tests without running the volume your production line machine should produce. Doing several yards per day with the machine pictured would be very doable. An in feed hopper with an adjustable gate would make this more of a continuous operation, even with only one person tending it. Some type of "paddle" on the in feed side to drag material into the drum would be beneficial. The size of the paddle would affect the in feed speed. Spinning the 55 gal barrel I have on a stand and less than 1/3 of the barrel is screen, I can screen a yard of sand in an hour. That is hand feeding the drum and no motor. A motor and hopper feed would get me to 4-5 yards of sand through 16 mesh window screen. Running compost through a 1/8" hardware cloth would not be any slower. A broom on the outside of the drum prevents the screen from clogging. Many commercially produced trommels have brushes on the inside top of the screen.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    This is similar to the unit I have seen at the landfill.


    Got Compost? ;)
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Been there done that, got the T-shirt and wore it out

    after you go through the 5, 6 or 7 iterations on the "machine" you will realize that it does not matter which machine you use but the water content of the compost that you are using

    as you go from 1/2 inch to smaller you need to inject a product that is under 12% to 10% moisture

    Then you start the other task, how do you reduce the water content? good luck on this I have beat this scenario up so many times it hurts

    give me a call, I can save you many many hours
  8. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    HA HA, this is so funny. I will hang back and chill then drop the bomb...................what really hurts is I spent the day working out another members tromel issues. freaking mud hole...............
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Ouch, moisture would be a problem for most of you.............I have screened sand here in small quantities a lot, but......um, the desert, you know :) As long as I avoid the "wet" season, I can screen sand from the local wash with a moisture content of less than 1%, and that is from depth, not surface.
  10. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    wow shite thats like 1.2 mil $$$used 500K$ and it looks like tires???

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