Mini Cordwood Build: Building the Clay Sifter

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We need a lot of clay and gravel for the cordwood build.  We are going to have to collect and sift through all the clay we need to not only get the smoother clay, but to also get all the gravel out of the caly so we can use that as well.  We’re going to need a big sifter.

I have plenty of roundwood laying around, so that is what I will be building the sifter with.  I will also need some screws, 1/2″ wire fencing (hardware mesh), and some wood staples.  The whole thing cost less than $20.

Step 1: I got a small tree, about half inch diameter and cut the four sides of the sifter out of that.  I want my sifter to rest on top of my wheelbarrow, so my dimenions match the wheelbarrow top.  I cut 2 sides at 2′ and two sides at 3′.

 

Step 2: Notch the ends of the logs to make the corners.  I cut my notches with the chainsaw and a chisel.

Notched pieces in place, one log is turned to show the notches

Step 3: Line up the four corners and pre drill the holes for the screws.  If you don’t, the log ends may split.

Step 4: Screw the pieces all together.

Complete frame with fancing in place

Step 5: Stretch the fencing across the frame and staple in to place.  A screwdriver used for leverage to tighten the fencing onto the frame works well.  I forgot to get a picture of this, but basically you put the screwdriver through the mesh near the unstapled end.  If you then push the flat end of the screwdriver against the wood you can use the handle as the leverage to pull the fencing taught.  Then staple it in place.  You can add some wide headed screws to really hold the fencing in place.

Stapled underside

Step 6: Sift!

Wet clay is less than ideal for sifting
Beautifully sifted, with gravel left over

Here are some more sifters:

Countryside Network

House Alive

Build Naturally

Pure Living for Life

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