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I got tired of all the grass roots from the pasture that got into my garden. Seems that it always grows back. Too much trying to get rid of it & choked out my garden. I made a hand shake dirt sifter but it wore me out but solved my weed & grass problem last year. I restored an old Edko 2 wheel walking tractor & decided to manufacture a one of a kind attachment for it. I used angle iron, an old spindle & pulley & belt tensioner system from an old Snapper mower deck, 1/4" & 1/2 inch wire screen. I cut off the blade attachment bar to accommodate the pivot bushings from the napper steering so when the pulley on the spindle turns, it lifts the screen 3" up & down at a fast rate. The 1/4" screen will let the dirt sift through but keep all the grass & weed roots out of the garden & the 1/2" screen will sift heavy dirt & allow the tons of rabbit poo fertilizer to drop through to the rows as I sift. This is my original powered dirt sifter Idea... out of my head build. The pictures show the build but I have not finished the unit yet & I will update pictures & the build soon...It bolts onto the front of the Edko & so far, it has tested very well.The front of the frame will have air filled swivel casters to make the unit steerable as well as balance the tractor. The 2 screens will have a pivot hinge pin system so the sift tray will be held in place so it won't shake off & keep it in place as it shakes.. It will be interchangeable to which screen I want to use. Since the gear reduction on the motor has a double pulley, I am able to use the tractor along with the sifter together. Tool Wood Wheel Motor vehicle Plant
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Old Tractor Addict
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Neat idea and nice fab job Howard!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hope to get it done soon since I am running behind on getting the garden in... the only cost so far in this project is a spool of wire for my welder. I will also do a video of it working on you tube & I will post the url when I post the video. I have always had a keen knack of creating things that have moving parts. my last build was a carousel with 18 horses that worked & looked like the real thing with lights & music. Won best of show at the county fair. It also was made of old scrap junk I found. This project already has been some what tested as far as the drive system & all worked great.
 

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Accumulator
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That a pretty interesting piece of equipment.
 
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Cool sifter! Pretty neat idea! Good luck with it!
 
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Tractorholic
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Can't wait to see it in action , I have a piece of HD 1/2 x 1/2 wire screen maybe seeing yours will give me some ideas on making one , Al
 
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The dimensions of the main frame is 32" square, this is the total width of the tires when fully out on the axle. I added another piece of angle iron to the part that bolts to the tractor to make it more ridgid so it does not flex. This was important due to the belt tension changed when it flexed & also keeps it from breaking the welds. The sifter trays fit inside the main frame with 3/8" spacing around the frame, this will let the screen clear bolts that attach the main frame. The shaking of the screen should help keep the bottom edge of the main frame some what clean of too much dirt build up preventing the screen from going all the way down though periodic cleaning of the main frame may be required to prevent the actuation drive rod from jamming up, I may add a spring between the rod to give a little leway for the rod. I have yet to complete the screens but they will be made of those steel bars that go in chain link fence for tightening them. I will use 8 of them per screen, 4 for the bottom, then add screen & the other 4 on top. Welded together on the edges to make it solid but the screen will be riveted inside the frame so they can be changed when worn out. since the dirt & grass/weeds will shake to the pivot end, I am adding a piece 6" tall piece of heavy tin from an old washing machine to the edge to prevent the roots/weeds from falling off the sifter back onto the ground. I am also adding a lever to the unit to engage/disengage the belt drive to stop the sifter durring clean out of debris. This will be connected to the belt tensioner from the spindle pulley assembly & not the tractor. I am welding 2- 3/8" bushings to the trays to lock down the pivot points of the screen tray to put a rod through them with pins to lock down the tray to keep it from popping out & make the screen pivot up & down evenly. Adding a couple of washers to each bushing will center the screens evenly to the frame. Critcal support rods/rebar were added for stability of the frame to keep it ridgid but keeping them in an area where the screens can be changed without getting in the way... seen in picture.... Harbor freight has 10" air filled swivel castors that will fit great for each corner of the main frame to make it sit stable, level & allow it to roll forward as I move the tractor. They will also allow the tractor to be turned without raising the unit off the ground... this is just an option since you can also use 2 feet instead but have to raise the sifter to move the tractor. I figure all put together, it should weigh in around 50lbs or so. This can also be used to sift rock out of your dirt if you have rock problems in your garden but for me here in Texas, we just have sandy soil. You can always make other screen sifters with larger screen size to sift rock to desired size. If the sifter goes to fast, throttle down the engine to slow down the sifting action..... Keep in mind, this is an out of my head & not on paper build & trial & error will be expected but good reasoning during the build will make the job go smoothly without too many problems.
 

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Howard ! im impressed to no end
what a neat idear ! i built a soil sifter from a old Plate Compactor, flipped it up-side down, drilled a bunch of holes in the plate, mounted in a frame with wheels and belt driven by a Briggs 5 hp.
sounds like it works great. Thanks for the thumbs up. Since the old Edko seemed to be a good prospect for building my own attachments, there may be no end to finding other things to build for it.... imagination at work....lol... I can also go bigger & make a 3 point sifter to work from the pto for my massey... the skys the limit....
 

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Sounds good, Howard! I hope all goes well with it, you've put a lot of thought into it. Good luck!
 
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i just had another brain storm, I could build my own trencher for the Edko to lay down irigation pipe in the garden or even to use for in ground sprinkler systems...rofl... the gear reduction runs the right direction....just need to use another riding mower deck spindle & make a cutting wheel.
 

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Here is an update.... I have been working hard on getting the dirt sifter finished. Today I will be finishing up the belt tensioner control, make the screens & possible change the idea of adding the washing machine tin to a lighter material that I have... 6" tall rubber like used in those cold storage entrances since I have a roll of it laying around. I am also planning a catch trough to catch debris as it falls to the pivot end & a bucket holder to place on the end of it to push the debris into it.... just a thought though but may be a good plan.... All the welding is done on the frame, ground down & a coat of paint for now to keep the rust from forming again... high humidity here as well as morning dew rusted the heck out of it & took me a while to re sand it. The color will be red & black like the tractor... so far it is going very well....I may change my plans on the swivel casters to an axle with front wheels off of the snapper rider. If this works, I will be able to put the tractor in very low gear setting, & with the wheels directed straight, I may be able to throttle it down enough to shovel, sift & keep the tractor moving in a straight line forward as it sifts... not too sure how it will work but it my require 2 people shoveling fast to keep up. At very low engine speed, the sifter functions still at a decent rate & the tractor creeps along at a very slow pace. Even with just a 3.5hp motor, I am unable to bog it down at all with the 6-1 gear reduction so running the motor at low idle might work great.
 

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Howard, that is a very impressive sifter. It looks like a nice fabrication job. You seem to have a clever design there.
 
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Howard, that is a very impressive sifter. It looks like a nice fabrication job. You seem to have a clever design there.
Thanks, well here is an update with some pictures of the belt tensioner, brake & lever I built onto the unit. The spindle use to have a friction brake but it was rusted away so I made the lever & even used the deck knob & some other metal parts from the snapper mower/deck. I used a couple of the cables that were on the mower & modified/welded them together for the fit. It took me most of the day to get this right so when the lever is set forward, the belt disengages & the brake is applied to prevent any movemet of the unit while cleaning it out ... safety first .... I added a piece of fuel line over the brake cable & around the drum & there is a lock to lock the lever while it is disengaged, this fits in the slot by the knob. There is a stop for the lever when the belt is engaged. The spring adds the tension when the tensioner is up/engaged & the cable spring stretches to accomodate the brake cable tension at the botom end of the lever when disengaged. All in all, it is working well & no real problems have arised...Now I am woking on the sifter screen actuation rod. I thought about adding a spring but since the swivel connectors are adjustable, I opted not to add the spring. I can adjust the lift of the screen by turning the threaded rod.It can be changed from a 2" lift to a 3" lift by moving the rod bolt to a diferent hole... there will be 2 lift settings. I didn't get as far as I wanted to since the tensioner & barke was a little complicated to getting it right. Wheel Tire Automotive tire Bicycle tire Tread
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Summer.
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You really are putting a lot of thought into this, right down to the break, this is turning out nice already, im realling like what im seeing
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You really are putting a lot of thought into this, right down to the break, this is turning out nice already, im realling like what im seeing
Thanks, when I custom build things, I try to go all out & make it complicated... it makes my brain work better....lol.... I never put it down on paper, I use my imagination to build mechanical stuff... lots of staring at it & thinking on how it would work if I did it this way or that....
 

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Howard, the thing about building things is it is a look into someones brain and shows how they think, your personality is shown through your hands and says a lot about yourself. There is nothing i enjoy more then watching or helping someone build something from scratch, it becomes unique and unique is different, a step away frome the normal day to day same old.
Looking great, im learning from this, thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I got the screen---1/2" built & mounted to the frame this morning before the rains came. In the pictures you can see the screen in the down position & in the up position using the drive sysyem. I did manage to get the unit mounted to the tractor & did a power drive sifting test... it worked very well... I tried several throttle speeds & even at the idle speed, the sifter preformed well. Next I will be adding the skirt on top to keep the debris from falling off the sides. I have it headed in the downhill direction & will have a catch trough for it to drop in.... I figured that it would bounce a lot but I was quite surprized that it was fairly calm .... so far so good! Mesh Automotive exterior Charcoal Gas Cooking
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so far so good!
 

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