need ideas for feeding a trommel sifter

Hi,
Here's a motorized compost trommel sifter I built:
http://steveandlizthompson.shutterfly.com /
It works great, but after loading two yards through it with a shovel,
I looked at my tractor with a FEL, and thought that there must be an easier way!
But I'm stuck. How to create a system that is loaded by the FEL to feed the sifter? Conveyor belt, corkscrew in a trough, modified small grain silo? I'm a hobby welder with no industrial experience, and I don't know where to look for ideas.
I've got a pvc pipe, 6 feet long, 18 inches in diameter, 1/2 inch walls, that I could rip to create a trough. I even thought of modifying a post hole auger, but it's not long enough. Any ideas feasible for a DIYer would be appreciated.
Thanks, Steve
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On Sep 15, 5:26 am, snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com wrote:

I would use the front end loader to get the material up high and into a bin. Then an auger in the bottom of the bin to push the material out of the bin and into a chute that empties into the trommel. If the bin has three sloping sides, the auger would not have to be very long. Alternate would be air driven ram with the piston pvc pipe for the cylinder.
If I remember correctly, there was something about making augers in sci.engr.joining.welding a good while back. Ernie was probably the one who posted how to make them. Or part of a grain auger.
Dan
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wrote:

Trommel sifters we used for gold mining had a feeder end and an output end. On the feeder end was a cone shaped feed, then a 90 done with several bends that fed into the center of one end. The trommel was made to tilt so that when the trommel was filled with oversize, it was tilted, and the oversize material came out the other end. It operated at a slight tilt so as to take materials from the feeder end to the discharge end. Most times, at the right angle, it was almost automatic, as it would feed on one end, and when full enough, the rocks would tumble out the other end, fines going through the mesh.
HTH
Steve
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wrote:

I would use the front end loader to get the material up high and into a bin. Then an auger in the bottom of the bin to push the material out of the bin and into a chute that empties into the trommel. If the bin has three sloping sides, the auger would not have to be very long. Alternate would be air driven ram with the piston pvc pipe for the cylinder.
If I remember correctly, there was something about making augers in sci.engr.joining.welding a good while back. Ernie was probably the one who posted how to make them. Or part of a grain auger.
Dan
huh! if i may be so bold as to offer my two cents. i think if it were me i'd build a 5 foot wide "U" shaped trough on the infeed side, dump the material into the trough with the loader and push it in bit by bit with a hoe (or some other custom made implement). probably with lip of the trough protruding two or three inches inside the trommel, probably with a close fit so the material won't dribble out between the trough and the drum. maybe with a (short, 6 inches?) sheet metal extension on the infeed side of the trommel drum? as you're suggesting the lifting and loading of the material is probably the hard part. i'd imagine simply only just removing the lifting and loading by use of the front end loader would substantially reduce the effort. oh, and of course put the trough on an incline so the material more or less kinda wants to go into the trommel anyhow. i'd think it would be very difficult to completely automate the feed on such a small scale. it would seem to me it would need some sort of feedback mechanism, too much material, too little material, etc. but then i'm not a trommel designer/builder. btw, very nice impressive trommel. good luck with it in any event.
b.w.
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On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 21:26:02 -0700, the infamous snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com scrawled the following:

Hey, that's a great idea. Howcomewhyfor you no paint de frame, mon? ;) A quick wirebrushing, cleanup with lacquer thinner, and spray bomb away. Take ya half an hour.

Perfect. Create a stand with box for a FEL bucket's worth of soil, a foot or 18" higher than the base of the sifter barrel, somewhere between waist and chest high.
Make the trough and connect it to the stand so it feeds the barrel.
Use a regular garden hoe to scrape the dirt onto the trough.
Alternatively, build a PTO and create a worm to auger the soil into the trough slowly but automatically.
Submit that to Farm Show magazine, too, if you like. It's worth sharing, Steve. Kudos.
-- "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." -- Thomas Jefferson
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On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 21:26:02 -0700, stevethompson wrote:

My trommel! You designed it for me! Thanks, man!
To start, I'd make a bin large enough to hit with your front-end loader, with a trough that extends into the end of the trommel. Dump compost into the bin and push it through the trough by hand -- you won't be lifting it, so it won't be nearly as much work as shoveling.
When you get tired of that, someone suggested an auger, which is probably an excellent second step.
--
www.wescottdesign.com

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wrote:

O.P. here
Building a trough to hand push the compost would be too easy. This is my first motorized project, and I'm on a motorized roll right now!
In all the homebuilt sifters I've seen pictures of, everybody built the rectangular frame, and tilted the trommel inside the frame. It was pretty easy to set the trommel in square and then tilt the frame. I didn't know what slope to use, so I made it adjustable, 0 to 6 inches. If I were to make another, it would be fixed at 2 inches.
It killed me to have to buy new bicycle rims. I looked for weeks and just couldn't find any 26" wheels. When I started looking online for rims, I learned that since the late 80's, most rims are alloys. I found steel rims, with spokes and hubs for $15 each, plus shipping.
I've been researching augers, primarily grain type, trying to get some ideas. Too expensive to buy for this project, but I'll be watching Craigs list.
Tthere's an organic compost and vermiculture farm not too far away. I stopped to look at their setup. They have two commercial 15 foot trommels supported 7 feet off the ground, so their FEL can pick up the sifted material. To feed it, they built a 10 foot square platform on the input side. The FEL puts a couple loads on the platform, and then they SHOVEL IT IN BY HAND! Hundreds and hundreds of yards per year!
And I don't want to shovel 10-12 yards per year; I think I'm getting lazy in my old age!
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On Tue, 15 Sep 2009 21:34:57 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com wrote:

Forget auger and think conveyor. As in treadmill.
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On Tue, 15 Sep 2009 21:34:57 -0700, the infamous snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com scrawled the following:

Not too bad, $wise.

Build your own! <http://cgi.ebay.com/GARDEN-EARTH-SOIL-AUGER-TERMITE-PLANTER-TOOL-HD-1-75_W0QQitemZ280375296801QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4147ab8321&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

Our Josephine County composting facility (Jo-Gro) has a powered shredder which takes 3-yard FEL bucketfuls, shreds them, and conveyors the finer materials out for FEL distribution. It's a diesel monster 10x15x10' high. I haven't seen a trammel there, but I'll be there today and will ask for a tour if it's slow.
An overfull truckload costs me $11, so it's not worth it for me to build one of your trammel goodies, but it looks like that was fun to design and build. Questions: Do the swivel casters ever go wonky on you? Why swivel vs fixed?

I grok that in its entirety.
Then you should have designed the unit to work with the FEL in the first place, instead of the wooden bin underneath. Dump a bucketful into the top, reposition the FEL bucket under it, then auger it into the trommel to catch it in the FEL. Dump where needed.
-- "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." -- Thomas Jefferson
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On Wed, 16 Sep 2009 07:01:57 -0700, Larry Jaques

I had to buy the rims, pulleys, belts, and pillow blocks. Everything else came out of the "I might need this someday box". I lucked out that the casters were swivels. I happened to check the trueness of one wheel when they arrived; it was very good. After cutting off the spokes, and then welding on them, one of them ended up with more than a half inch of wobble. The swivel casters handle the wobble nicely. It was the fixed idlers on top that I had to play with. I ended up grinding them down both in width and diameter so they wouldn't drag on the out of round areas of the rim.
All right, so it didn't take you long to figure out the one weakness of my sifter that I'm not happy with, and that is how to handle the sifted product. I posted 4 more pix of the thing in action.
http://steveandlizthompson.shutterfly.com /
I picked the input height by swinging a shovel at a level that would be comfortable all day long (riiiiight, maybe 20 years ago!). So there wasn't much height available for the output box. And the clearances between box and sifter frame are tight. And if the ground isn't level, I can't slide the box in with the tractor, and etc., etc., etc.! The only good part is I can pick up the sifter with the forks, with or without the box in place.
So I guess after I figure out a new input system, I'll have to figure out a better output system. I think I'm going to try an auger input. Other than using a treadmill, I don't think I could build an inexpensive conveyor belt. HF has a 6 inch post hole auger for $50. It even looks cheap in the picture! But would probably be perfect for my needs.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber•973
I might as well say it before somebody else does: why the hell aren't there grab hooks on the bucket? Um, they've been on my to-do list for I forget how many years!
Nice to know? The forks are all 2x6 channel from an old trailer frame. They just hang from the top of the bucket where it rolls back. They've never fall off. Simple.
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On Thu, 17 Sep 2009 10:00:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com wrote:

I set the height of my shit shaker (eccentric operated flat screen) supports (saw horses) such that I can park my one wheel truck (wheelbarrow) under it to receive the screened output.

With this you need the 4' length of 6" ID pipe from behind my shed.It was about all I wanted to load into the car from alongside the freeway a number of years back and haven't used yet.

Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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On Thu, 17 Sep 2009 10:00:29 -0700, the infamous snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com scrawled the following:

Ayup. It's time to go aloft!

Yeah, back when we had energy to spare all day long. Oh, to be that young again... <wistful sigh>

Forks?!? Oh, I thought that was some kluge you had for moving the box around.

A conveyor would drop more than it would move. Forget it, unless you use the auger to feed the conveyor, an added and redundant step.

Perfectamento! That's a bit large, so drive it more slowly. Build the top box with angled sides, sloping onto the top of the cutaway pipe the auger fits into, and it's self-priming/feeding.

Who cares? It's going bye-bye anyway. ;) Oh, I mean the sifter box, not the FEL bucket. Grab hooks would have been a 20 minute project which would have saved a couple hours the first time you used them. How on Earth could you have overlooked them or procrastinated on so needy a project, sir? <tsk, tsk, tsk>

Forks? What forks?
Oh, I stopped in JoGro today and what I thought was a shredder was actually called a Power Trommel! Their basket was 10' long and about 6' in diameter. I think it has a shredder built in under the feeder opening, though. You ought to hear that muthuh running!
So, what's the story on the missing paint job?
-- "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." -- Thomas Jefferson
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On Thu, 17 Sep 2009 19:43:02 -0700, Larry Jaques

Oh man, this is a tough crowd-welding's not enough, I gotta prove I know how to use a rattle can?!
Here's a roller I made, painted in not one, but TWO colors.
Here's my driveway gate in basic black. I thought the plastic bags on top of the posts for nearly two years, would be enough to have you shakin' your head!
http://steveandlizthompson.shutterfly.com /
As for painting the sifter, I figured it would spend most of it's time in the storage shed, why bother. Apparently, I better reconsider!
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On 2009-09-18, snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com

    [ ... ]

    Hmm ...
        "This page requires JavaScript to be enabled. _Help_"
Why should a private page require JavaScript to the extent that it refuses to show anything useful if you have it turned off (as I normally do)?
    I guess that I won't see your page. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
--
Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
  Click to see the full signature.
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wrote:

I agree with you, it's time to find another site to post pictures, as other forum websites won't accept links with executables. How does that song go, "Procrastination"
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On 19 Sep 2009 00:13:46 GMT, the infamous "DoN. Nichols"

Copy-protected images. They sell all the pics on every site.
-- The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. --Mark Russell
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On Fri, 18 Sep 2009 10:45:07 -0700, the infamous snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com scrawled the following:

Damn straight ya do.

Bogus gate. What are the plastic bags, the protective sleeves the lights came in, or what? Oy, vay!

Rightio!
-- The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. --Mark Russell
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On Fri, 18 Sep 2009 18:29:56 -0700, Larry Jaques

Protective plastic sleeves, maybe. Bogus gate my ass! I spent a lot of time trying to figure out a design. I finally found the right design, watching a video of U.S. soldiers doing a house to house search in Baghdad; there was a railing outside a house that struck my fancy.
Consider that my contribution to international diplomacy; with that, I'm outta here before Gummer shows up.
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On Fri, 18 Sep 2009 19:17:28 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com wrote:

My bad. We were having some fun, metal related banter, and I blew it by injecting politics. I hit the enter button prematurely; please disregard any political content in my above post; this is not the place. Besides, it's Gunner.... Freudian slip of my typing fingers?

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On Fri, 18 Sep 2009 19:17:28 -0700, the infamous snipped-for-privacy@mindlessspring.com scrawled the following:

Shoot, I was _hoping_ you wouldn't say that. Where's the organic feel, man? Put at least ONE curve in the poor thing, eh?

What was it, _60s_ Iraq? <dg&r>
-- The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. --Mark Russell
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