Ideas for sifting dirt.....

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Hello everyone!!!

Last spring when I worked up an area of my backyard to establish a new garden, I ran into a couple of things buried underneath the area and hit them with the rototiller. The first thing I hit was a concrete circle that looked to be like those edgers that get put around a tree. Those were easy to take care of. My issue is the clay brick fragments and the clay foundation from an old chicken coop that was buried after they demolished it.

My plan for this spring is to rent one of those mini excavator's and dig out that foundation and get it broke up and hauled away. My issue is trying to find the quickest, cheapest and fastest way to sift through the dirt and remove the pieces of clay as I dig out and break up the foundation.

Any suggestions or ideas or pics would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Hardware cloth boxes are pretty normal for sifters.

I use the hardware cloth for compost sieves. Its good to use 2 or 3 different sizes. I wrap mine into a barrel that I can tilt. I shovel stuff into one end and roll it such that debris only comes out the other end. Flat screens are usually shaken but when heavy its time for a sawsall or some vibrator.
 
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How much volume to be sifted? If you're renting an excavator do they also have a sieve to rent?

Sifting dirt or compost can be back breaking and take a long time.

Can you put a multi level system of panels where you can shovel (or drop a skid loader bucket) of dirt over and rake through? Maybe something like a chainlink fence panel over a woven mesh panel over a finer screen with cinder blocks separating the three levels?

Or fab a drum style sieve. Casters mounted to a wooden frame so the barrel can rotate then remove sections of the barrel and replace the voids with hardware cloth.
 
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Simplest way is to put some 1 inch chicken wire in a frame. Support it at about 45 degrees and throw the soil to be sifted at it, The big bits fall down the front and the soil goes through. My daughter and I did over 50 tons of soil this way at our last property. Works best with dry soil obviously, but then so does any method.
Sadly the pictures are irretrievable on Photobucket.
 

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