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Tips: Mineral Sifter
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Mineral Sifter

If you are like me and would rather crush your own minerals to add to your turning, but find it awkward to hold several sifters with different mesh sizes to separate the material, here is a solution.

First, remove the metal screens from the sifter handles that you have and flatten the screens. The size of each screen will give you the measurements to create a frame.

For my boxes, each has equal sides of 1½" × ¾" × 4" (40 × 20 × 100 mm) made from trim wood I had lying in the scrap bin. I used a nail gun and a square to put together each box. Make sure that the box is square since the boxes will be stacked on top of each other.

Stretch the screen mesh over the box, ensuring the screen makes it to all edges. To hold the screen down I used some narrow strips of trim that I held in place with help from a staple gun. Make sure you hold the trim tightly in place before shooting the staples. I made a box for each mesh size screen. (For future use, you may want to make a few additional boxes to the correct size if you acquire new screen.)

Next, place a thin 2" × 3" (50 × 75 mm) plastic strip on the bottom of each side of the upper boxes. These strips will keep the box aligned with the box below. The plastic strip should hang down at least a ½" (6 mm) below the box on all sides. Attach the plastic strip with medium-thickness CA glue. I used plastic from an old faceshield. It is easy to cut the plastic with shop scissors.

For the bottom box, I cut a larger piece of plastic and glued that to the sides of the bottom box.

To use, pour ground-up minerals into the top box, which should have the coarse mesh screen. Subsequent boxes will have less coarse mesh. Gently shake the tower back and forth and gravity takes care of the rest.

I use an inexpensive ketchup bottle from the discount store to dispense the minerals to my project. It has a great shape to direct the minerals to the projectjust don’t squeeze the bottle.

~ Chester Gelnet, Highland Village, Texas






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