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What you need:
  • One 8' length of 2"x4" lumber
  • One 8' length of 1"x2" lumber
  • Wire mesh
  • Permanent marker
  • Hand saw or chop saw
  • Drill
  • 1/8" drill bit
  • Eight 3" wood screws
  • Tin snips
  • Staple gun
  • Hammer
  • Sixteen 2" finishing nails
  • Two utility handles
A soil sieve is handy for starting seeds or mixing soil. It's quite easy to build one yourself and you will find many uses for it.
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To make the frame, you need two 18" and two 15" lengths of 2x4 lumber. Cut the lumber to size with a hand saw or a chop saw.
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Arrange the 2x4's to make an 18" square. Drill two 1/8" pilot holes through each end of the 18" boards. Fasten the 2x4's together with 3" wood screws.
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Now you're ready to cut the screen for the sieve. The intended function of the sieve determines what size mesh you should use. For preparing soil to start seeds, use mesh with an 1/8" opening. For removing stones and other debris from your soil, the mesh openings can be as wide as 1/2". Measure the screen by laying the wood frame over the mesh. Trace its outline with a permanent marker. Cut the mesh with tin snips about 1/4" inside of the marked line. This eliminates any overhang of the material.
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Lay the screen over the frame and fasten it in place with a staple gun. Use several staples on each side.
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Next, cut two 18" and two 15" lengths of 1x2 lumber. Arrange these pieces on top of the 2x4 frame, sandwiching the screen between the boards. Nail the 1x2's to the frame with 2" finishing nails.
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To finish the sieve, attach utility handles to opposite sides of the frame.