Create a Compost Sifter in 8 Easy Steps!


Step 6: This is a pretty simple structure. Use 2×6 lumber, but 2x4s should work fine too and will be a little lighter. My side pieces are 34 inches long and the ends are 19 inches long which leaves a gap of 16 inches in the middle.

Note that one end needs to be ripped down 2.5 inches lower than the other because the drum needs to overrun the box slightly so that the coarse materials spill out of the drum. If you use 2x6s (1.5 x 5.5) your spillway end piece will be 3 inches wide. If you are using 2x4s (1.5×3.5) then your end piece will be one inch wide.

If you use different size rims then you will need to modify the dimensions to accommodate your particular arc.


Step 7: To align your rollers place the finished drum onto the roller box and then mark your roller positions. You may want to attach the rollers first with simple drywall screws to test their positioning and then drill and bolt them later once you are happy with the alignment.


Step 8: Once the roller box is complete you are ready to try the trommel out. Just make sure the output side of the trommel is slightly downhill from the input side.

If you have a large quantity of material to screen you may want to find a buddy who will keep turning the drum while you continue shoveling material.


You may find that if you pile a couple of shovelfuls of material in the uphill end of the drum some of the coarse material tends to spill uphill and out of the drum. To solve this problem make a simple partition out of plywood to prevent this from happening. It will not be a problem when operating the trommel with a buddy since the material will not build up into such a large pile as you have when working alone.


This is indeed very simple equipment that would help an average gardener make compost. You could copy this project as it is or you can use it as inspiration. Be creative, look around you. What do you have in your garage or storage you think you could use to make compost? Would you build your own compost sifter?

A big shoutout goes to SteveGerber for providing invaluable insights and tips for this fantastic compost sifter project!

Gardener’s DIY Dream

Create a compost sifter in just eight easy steps and transform your gardening experience. This DIY project will help you efficiently separate valuable compost from larger debris, enhancing the quality of your soil and promoting sustainable gardening practices.

This step-by-step guide makes DIY-ing your very own a breeze. You’ll be able to effortlessly piece together a functional compost sifter with hassle-free instructions. In practically no time at all, you’ll be able to enjoy the remarkable advantages of nutrient-rich compost, which will undoubtedly breathe new life into your gardening endeavours.

Bid farewell to the laborious task of hand-sifting or shelling out a hefty sum for a motorized sifter. Instead, say hello to an efficient and gratifying composting venture with this DIY compost sifter!



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