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I need to go back out to the bison site and sift for the feet bones and fragments and whatever else I may find. I looked on Amazon to see what they had, but they were ridiculously priced. This was one of the cheaper ones. It is 22 x 11 inches. Mine is 22 x 15 inches. I asked around about people who might have a screen. I determined I could build one for the cost of gas to go get it. I don’t watch DIY TV shows. I don’t watch TV unless it’s with my kids. Granted, it may not be fancy or pretty, but it will be functional. This is a really simple project if you have the tools, material and time. My sifter is for sifting for bones and bone fragments. But if you’re sifting for stuff in rivers or for shark teeth, this would work, but you’d need a smaller size mesh. I went to Home Depot to get a piece of lumber. I chose a 2.5” x 3/4” x 8’ piece. I paid $1.88 I think. I have a Toyota Camry - not exactly the lumber carrying car, but the back seats fold forward so I folded one forward and slid the piece in the trunk. The end reached up to my gear shift by the console. Tools and Materials Electric drill 1/8” drill bit Jig saw and blade 1.5” wood screws 1” nails 19 gauge wire mesh 1/2 inch, 24” x 15” Tin snippers Hammer Pliers 2.5” x 3/4” x 8’ piece of wood Ruler or measuring tape pen or pencil I had everything, but the right size wood. So the screen basically cost me $1.88 since I had all the other stuff on hand. Plus about 45-60 minutes of time, most of which was messing with the screen. The screen I had was 24 inches wide. I wanted to fold the wire edges up on the inside of the frame so the edges wouldn’t snag, scrape, cut or gouge me, my car or clothes. So I determined I wanted my frame to be 22” long x 15” wide so it would be able to fit in my large backpack. I laid the wood out on the floor and measured 22” and drew a line across the width of the wood. I repeated that and then measured 15” and drew lines for that times 2. I’d needed to make 4 cuts. I took my jig saw outside to my patio and laid the lumber across the arms of a patio chair to make a makeshift sawhorse. I cut along each of the 4 lines I’d drawn. I came inside and drilled two holes in each end of the 15” pieces. I pre-drilled so that I didn’t end up splitting the wood since it is a bit narrow. I removed the drill bit to put in a Phillips screwdriver bit. I put the screws in and drove the tips out the other side, just barely poking out, maybe 2-3 mm. I lined up one end of the 15” pieces with the end of a 24” piece. I took my hammer and gave the end of the 15” piece with screws in it a tap to make the screws leave an indentation on the end of the 24” piece so I’d know where to drill. I did this for all 4 ends keeping straight which end would match up with which piece. The piece I used to hammer had to be the end I would screw in so the holes would align perfectly with the screws. I swapped out the Phillips tip for the drill bit. I drilled the 8 holes. I then switched back to the Phillips tip and screwed in the 8 screws. In maybe 20 minutes I had my frame made. Making the 16 drill holes is what took the longest for the frame building. My drill is cordless and the battery was running a little low so it wasn’t super powerful. Here is the frame. I am bad about doing these projects indoors and on my rugs. I don't want to damage the wood floors and it was below freezing outside. So, I have sawdust on the rug. I got my roll of 19 gauge wire and measured out 15”. Since the wire is like a grid it made it easy to follow the lines and cut the wire. The wire mesh is unwieldy though. The tin snippers are pretty powerful so cutting through the wire wasn't hard at all. It was the trying to bend it out of the way as I cut it so that I didn't gouge myself with the sharp ends of the wire. Here are the tin snippers cutting the wires. They worked really well. After I cut the wire then I cut the edges so that I could fold them in to fit inside the box. You can see the cut 2 squares in. I folded the screen up to a 90 degree angle 3 squares on the end and 1 square on the side. I tried bending the wire a few different ways. I tried laying under the edge of the frame and pulling it at a 90 degree angle. That kind of worked, but didn't get the 90 degree angle I wanted. I ended up using a pair of vice grips to bend it to the 90 degree angle. I worked quite well and was easy to bend. Like this: Once I got all the edges bent to a 90 degree angle more or less I pushed the screen into the frame. Then to fix it in place I nailed in 1 inch nails maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the way and then hammered over at a 90 degree angle to pin the wire in place. A staple gun would have been so much easier, but I don't have one of those. You can see my nails holding the wire in place, folded over. I think the screen part took me maybe 30 minutes, longer than cutting the wood and drilling holes to building the frame. This is my finished screen. Nothing fancy, but sturdy and hopefully functional. I might add some little metal handles on the ends. I hope to make it out to the bison site tomorrow. My daddy is not on TFF, but I'd still like to thank him for teaching me how to do so many things. Being able to build or repair stuff seems to be becoming more of a lost art. People don't seem to know how to do things anymore. Bless my dad for taking the time to teach me and insist I sit and watch him fix or build things. I did not always want to, but I am so thankful he insisted. It has benefited me enormously throughout my life and as a home owner. He also made me go fix stuff too. I didn't have to know how to do it before starting. I just had to learn and do it. He had me rebuild a carburetor once when I was maybe a sophomore in high school. I'd never seen it or done anything like it before, but he had taught me enough for me to wing it. I did it and it worked great after I rebuilt it.
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
Will be traveling from FL to SF Bay Area in April. Have the Weekend of April 22/23 free. Would like to hunt Shark Tooth Hill (or area) with fellow TFF'ers if possible. Most interested in shark teeth that aren't BLACK since I normally hunt the Peace River & other areas of SW FL. Will need some help as I don't know anything about hunting on dry land without water. Thanks in advance! Calvin
Message me if interested in shark tooth hunting the Edisto river next week. Thursday 11am. Searching for fossilized Angustiden shark teeth. The water will be 3 feet deep. Will use shovel, screen, sifter, snorkel.