At Thousand per Hour we believe in sharing as much information as possible. A well informed and attentive operator can make all the difference in the world. As I have said in previous posts, and I have stressed in phone calls with my customers: Feed stock preparation is 90% of this job. If you do not shred and screen your feed stock to a 1/8-, you will NOT be happy with the results and your handle time per piece will go up dramatically. The guys at Neo Farms make a fantastic shredder screener but not everyone can afford the price tag. With that in mind, I offer up a simple DIY make at home classifier which does a darn fine job of getting your feed stock down to the proper consistency.
You will need:
A decent sent of hand tools specifically a wrench and socket set as well as a nice selection of screwdrivers.
A set of nesting classifying screens from Amazon. Here is what they look like:
They come in a variety of sizes from inches to microns. It really doesn’t matter what set you get. What you are looking for is a couple sizes above and at a minimum, ending at 1/8″ screen. They nest neatly into a 5 gallon paint bucket. Which brings us to your next item.
You will need a minimum of 2 (ea) 5 gallon paint buckets. The reason you want two is that one will be bolted to the shaker motor, the second means you can remove your screened material without removing the bucket from the shaker motor. You want these buckets to be new, not used, as your feed stock will be dropping directly into it. You also want to make sure they nest inside themselves as well. Very important.
The final item you will want, again from Amazon or, if you have one near you, Harbor Freight (price differential reflects shipping) is a lapidary polishing bowl of sufficient size. This is your shaker motor.
Start by removing the black bowl from the shaker machine and discard. This is done w/ your socket & wrench. Once the top bowl is removed, center one of your nesting paint drums on the platform. It will be important to get these holes as close to centered as possible on the paint can. Mark the holes from the shaker motor to the bottom of the paint bucket. WIth a 1/4″ drill drill holes where the mounts need to be. Once the holes are drilled, attach the paint bucket to the shaker with the hardware used to mount the bowl. It would probably be a good idea to put a washer both above and below the mounts. This will relieve stresses upon the paint bucket and increase the service life of your classifier substantially.
Once the bucket is secured to the shaker motor, nest your second bucket into the first. Nest your panning screens into the top of the second bucket with the 1/8 screen on the bottom. You want at least one, if not two larger size screens than the 1/8″. The end result will be four classifications of feed stock. The larger screens can either be broken up and re-screened or sent of to blasting. The good stuff, the material you want to use for your pre-rolls is in the bucket.
A couple of heads up. When you mount the bucket to the shaker motor you will see that the springs are very loose. You will think it much too loose for the job at hand but as soon as you turn the shaker on, it straightens right up and is firmly attached. The second user comment is that you will want to finds ometing to break up flowers in the larger screens. That can be your hands or perhaps a glass jar jar to press flower through the top screens.
I can make this unit for you, but you would feint out at the price and to be honest w/ you, I would feel just a little weird asking you to pay that much for what you can make for yourself for less than $300.
I still believe that shredder/screener by Neo Farms is the superior unit and the only one to consider if you have serious weekly delivery requirements. It will shred and screen 5# of feed stock to a 1/8″- in less than 15 seconds. Amortized over 5 years, it is the only way to go. But not everyone can afford that. Just because you can’t afford that doesn’t mean your requirements aren’t real. Let this be your inexpensive alternative. You still have to shred it, and that will can take time, but the classification will go by pretty fast.