Trommel / Rotary Sieve

After some relative success growing tomatoes and french beans last year we decided to try and grow more of our own food this year. however this will mean removing quite a lot of stones and rubble from the soil in the area allocated for vegtables. I tried removing the stones with 12" hand seive but it was slow and back breaking work.

A quick google and a few youtube vids later I had a design in mind for a rotary sieve or trommel. So I aquired 2 old mountain bike rims from Eastleigh recycling centre, a roll of wire mesh from B&Q, some fixed castors and cable ties from Screwfix, and I was good to go.

I started by removing the hub and spokes from the wheels just to leave the bare rims. I then cut a section of wire mesh equal to the circumference of the rim and started threading cable ties through the spoke holes to attach the rims to the wire emsh to forma hollow tube. Next I then constructed a wooden frame and mounted the castors to fit the distance between the rims. When assembled the completed trommel looked like this:

The frame was mounted on some temporary legs with one end a couple of inches higher than the other. I then fed soil into the higher end of the trommel and rotated the trommel until all the sieved material had fallen through the mesh and all the stones had passed out of the lower end of the trommel. It works really well.