This one's for James Alexander-Sinclair (Blogging from Blackpitts Garden) who was apparently inspired by the automatic compost screeners featured in my "Shake yo' compost screen" post earlier this week. But he wants something "bigger and better," he says. His brain on fire, he is all pumped up to turn his many talents to the question of large-scale screening.
Well, James, in support of your efforts, I decided to share with you these possibilities.
This one's quite cute, and will fit in the back of your pick-up. However, since it has no moving parts, it's not entirely clear how the dirt you dump on top is supposed to make it through the screen (especially a screen at that angle), but I'm sure you'll figure something out: maybe instead of shaking, you can take up jumping. Of course, you can always buy the "Optional Vibrator Package" for a mere $1,400.
Portable Soil Screener. Portable as in slip it into your back pocket? The site has a video of it in action. If you have had a very dull day, check it out.
Then there are the Box sifters, a model of simplicity:
This one speaks for itself. A man's machine.
Below, we see one that may have been competing with the little red fellow for Cutest Sifter on the Block prize. Realizing that it would never make it, its designers gave it a name meant to close the gap. People, meet–
–the "Shaker Buddy." Who could resist? (If you don't believe me about the name, click the link.) I just wish I could tell how much of that stuff off to the left in the photo is actually part of this little buddy. It looks a bit like the spaceship in 2001 going on–and on–and on–
Now, if those are still too small-time, we can move up a grade to the drum sifters, like the one below. For some reason these are called "trommel" sifters, a term uncomfortably close to "trauma"–perhaps a reminder of what you would experience if you unfortunately got caught in the drum, which would pommel and perhaps pulverize you. Come to think of it–
–this one comes with an optional pulverizer.
If you really want to go big-time, check out the fellow below. I was deeply tempted by the offerings in the "Scalper" series, but realized that those were more appropriate on this side of the Atlantic, so finally went with this one:
It's probably a good thing this picture is blurred; if we could see it clearly, we'd have nightmares.
So, James, that's the lot. I figure they'd drive a lesser man to take refuge under his bed, or to drink. But I expect them to drive you outside, hammer in hand, defiant of wind and weather as you fashion the compost screener suprême, the sifter of sifters, the quintessential shaker. Plato, surely, will have to concede, when he sees your construction, that this once an essential form has been realized on earth.
Go for it.