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Intheswamp posted a topic in Collecting GearFirst regular post here and sorry that it's a more or less redundant post.... I'm trying to figure out a floating sifter and have looked here and elsewhere at them until my head is spinning. (Mind you, it doesn't take a lot these days to make it spin!<g>) It seems that many of you are using the floating pool-noodle/pvc sifters with good results. Whether wood or pvc it appears a constant is the use of pool noodles. I've been using a little "baking basket" about 16"x10"x2" / 40cm x 25cm by 5cm in size. The mesh is an elongated square (diamond?) shape, something like 1/4"x3/16" or 6mm x 3mm. I like the 2"/5cm lip of it for washing the matrix back and forth. I've got a piece of 1/8" hardware cloth laying inside the baskets. It has worked well, but I've only worked at the edge of the creek where I could sit it down in the edge of the water as I fill with matrix to sift...it didn't have to float. If I move out into toward the center of the creek this isn't going to work. For now, I figured that I could zip tie a pool noodle to both long sides of the basket and see how it works. When I got to Walmart, though, there were three different sizes of pool noodles. I ended up picking up a "medium" 2-7/8"(7cm) and "large" 4-1/4" (11cm). The large size is pretty substantial...maybe overkill? I figure I can take back the one I don't use if I don't hack it to pieces. Is bigger better? After thinking about it, it seems that noodles on the narrow ends might help keep it from pulling a Titantic plunge should the screen be loaded too heavily at one end. The reason I ask is that having a noodle on the ends will make it more difficult to hold onto...the same reason people build an extended handle onto their pvc screens, I suppose. I'm figuring on loading this small screen with two full shovel-fulls at the most. We have to walk a good piece to our hunting areas and the basket weights very little, which is nice. I'm looking at later building a slightly larger screen which I know will weigh more but hopefully be more efficient. I'm torn between pvc and wood. I really like the walls that the wooden sifters have over the more flat screens of the pvc...they can be worked back-and-forth vigorously without loosing anything over the edges. But, the pvc screens appear to be a bit lighter in weight for carrying. I take it that with the pvc sifters that the noodles are attached snug enough to create a "wall" of sorts to hold matrix in as it's be worked back and forth...??? It just seems like there could possibly be space/cracks that stuff could fall through between the pvc/wire-mesh assembly and the noodles. It must work ok, though, being as I see many people using them successfully...I just can't wrap my head around that aspect. It's probably something you have to see in action to understand. A wooden screen will be somewhat heavier but the big hang-up for me is how to protect myself from the sharp edges of the wire mesh and how to keep the screen firmly attached to the bottom. What do most people use to attach the hardware cloth/mesh? Pneumatic stapler, spring-loaded stapler, screws...straight against the bottom edge or wrap it around the sides??? Edge protection...just fold over the edges and hope for the best or add some trim to it? Maybe the pool noodles help cover the edges? We're going to head to the creek in the morning. There are supposed to be thunderstorms moving in tomorrow but the bulk of the storms are supposed to be later in the day and into the night so hopefully we'll beat them. We're gonna be wet anyhow. I thought I'd try to get the baskets and noodles squared away today. We will probably still be at the edge of the creek but it'll be a good time to do a "test voyage" and see how the flotation works out. Maybe I'm overthinking this? (I've been known to do such things! ) Thanks for any feedback, if you've made it this far into my post then you are definitely dedicated! Ed