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Thread: Dirt sifter for range lead?

  1. #1
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    tomme boy's Avatar
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    Dirt sifter for range lead?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le-Nm...eature=related


    What do you guys think? I want to try to make something close to this, but with a gas motor to be able to take to the range. I think it will work great. Just need to get moving an start building.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I had great success with a cat litter scoop. 110 lbs in a half hrs. The trick was to be out there on the berm in the heat after a good long time with no rain. The dirt was dry enough that it didn't clump together & sifted very easily.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I like the Idea But watch the size of mesh or you might sift out the smaller bullets like the .22, .224 etc.

  4. #4
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    tomme boy's Avatar
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    I have a wood frame with 1/4" mess right now. it catches everything. The dirt has to be pushed threw the screen. It is very hard and clumpy. Thinking something like this might help speed things up.

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    Boolit Master
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I96MM...er_profilepage

    Here is one I had built to sift compost and dirt yes it will be sifting boolits someday when my backstop fills up I always though those bike rims one were way to weak this is built from truck rims and the steel connecting bars really break things up the hydraulic motor is friction driven to the rear drum set the skid steer as low as the idle will go and two guys shoveling can barely keep up

    I have changed the screen setup since the video to make screen size changes I pop riveted hose clamps to the screen so you can simply unscrew them and switch screens

  6. #6
    Salty Dog

    DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    I have a group buy discussion for a commercially made sifter I use.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=120437

    I am currently using one of their machines. One of the neat things about it is that it's very easy to change screen size. It comes standard with a 1/2" screen.

    However, for recovering bullets from sand banks, the 1/4" screen allows the sand to fall through, and the bullets to stay on the screen.

    The machine uses two wheel barrows. One goes under the main part of the machine, and catches the falling sand. One person, shoveling with spade can fill that wheel barrow in no time at all.

    The other wheel barrow goes under the front edge of the machine, and catches the bullets that fall off the front edge.

    Two of us recovered 2600 pounds of bullets from a sand bank in 5 hours, including some time for a lunch.

    The sifter folds up neatly, and is easily transported to any site. It uses a 1/3 HP electric motor which could be driven by:
    1) connection to extension cord, or
    2) connection to 1200 watt inverter, or
    3) connection to any small portable generator.

    It's the third option that I have used on remote cleanouts.

    The company making the screeners in in the Northeast part of the country. I picked mine up locally.


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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Here is mine simple and fast, five scoops of dirt and scrap, pick up and twirl around then dump into another bucket. I loose the 22 boolits but not that many in the berm anyhow. Cheap effective and easy to transport.
    Last edited by Freightman; 11-12-2011 at 02:46 PM.
    Frank G.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Sonnypie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightman View Post
    Here is mine simple and fast, five scoops of dirt and scrap, pick up and twirl around then dump into another bucket. I loose the 22 boolits but not that many in the berm anyhow. Cheap effective and easy to transport.
    You do realize that bucket will never hold water again, don't you?

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I use my fingers. It may be slow but it handles out clay soil well.

    So much of what you use is dependent upon the composition of the berm you are working.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Sonnypie's Avatar
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    My understanding is the commercial guys use air to blow the dirt up and out.
    They call it air cleaned lead.
    God Bless America!

    Sittin here watchin the world go round and round...
    Much like a turd in a flushing toilet.

    Shoot for the eyes.
    If they are crawlin away, shoot for the key hole.

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I've been wondering about this too, but like btroj, live on heavy clay soil.


    Are there any good options other than fingers for this?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    If, and that is a big if, I had access to power and running water I have often wonder how a small cement mixer would work..
    Shovel in dirt and lead. Add water, mix, then run more water while beginning to "dump" the mix which would allow you to flush most of the dirt away from the much heavier lead.
    I see the biggest problem to be the need to remove material from the berm and the muddy mess you would be making.
    I just stick with picking it up by hand. Between my father in law and I we figure we get over 100 pounds a year of clean lead. We shoot more than that annually but it means we are getting some of our lead back free.
    I suppose I just look at berm lead as a bonus. I will get most of my lead elsewhere- this is just something I pick up when at the range anyway.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I go to two ranges. One has a mainly sand and loose dirt backstop; for that the sifter pan that I got with my tumbler from midway does just fine. The other is mainly clay. I rarely bother but... what I do if I do bother is shovel a few buckets of range dirt into 5 gallon buckets, take it home, dump about half a bucket into another 5 gallon bucket with holes punched in it, and turn the hose on it until most of the dirt is washed out. Then the pressure washer for the final rinse off. Make sure to let dry and heat from cold, don't add to the molten mix.

    I have more compost than I need so when I return I dump a few buckets of compost topsoil to replace that which I took.

    I get about 10 lbs of lead per 5 gallon bucket on average at either place, just the sandy one is so much easier to deal with.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master RoGrrr's Avatar
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    Youse guys are makin it too complicated.
    Go to this (long) thread and read all the way thru to make gathering ore a bit easier. Lots of good info there.
    I plan to make GEN 2,3,4,whatever, of my sifter basket so I can more efficiently gather ore.
    And I'll post pics when I fini whatever my "proof of concept" is.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...machine+screen

    Normally I smelt anything I have handy. The other day I decided to clean the last batch of range ore but it was REAL DIRTy so I put it into my dump bed trailer to wash the crep\dirt off of it. I spread it out on the floor of the trailer and proceeded to wash it with my garden hose. With the trailer inclined, and the ore in the upper part, I was able to wash the dirt and let the water flow take the dirt downhill. Seemed to work well. After I did the thousand pounds I had, I spread it out and inclined the trailer and let the water drain downhill. Next day it was dry so I collected some of it and put it into my smelter. So far, so good....
    I ended up with a couple hundred pounds of clean ingots.
    Went to bed. That night it rained. I didn't realize this.
    Next day I started up where I had left off.
    I brought in a bucket full and put it in the smelter and lit the propane fire. All good so far.
    Poured several ingots and dumped some more ore into the pot. I use a kitty litter scooper so the ore doesn't SPLASH directly into the melt. Nothing different this time. WAIT ! There WAS one thing different - when I lowered the ore into the melt, it started bubbling/BOILING/EXPLODING all over the freakin place !
    WELCOME, TINSEL FAIRY ! !
    I ALWAYS wear safety glasses so the TINSEL FAIRY wasn't able to CLAW OUT MY EYES !
    That saying about smelting - 2 types of smelters - those who have met the tinsel fairy and those who WILL meet the tinsel fairy !
    I MET THE TINSEL FAIRY !
    Lots of silver (!) all over the immediate place with some on ME ! I am now sporting several scabs on my lips and chin from molten lead. I wore a cotton hat, cotton shirt and cotton pants so I have no other trophy scabs ! I peeled some lead off my attire....
    I still have several hundred pounds of ingots with many more pounds of ore to smelt.
    I also donate the residual copper jackets to my invalid neighbor who lives on (or should i say, EXISTS on what's left of) social security and heats his trailer year round with wood I cut for him. So far I've given him several hundred pounds of copper jackets. I just hauled another batch of jackets to him today.
    Last edited by RoGrrr; 04-04-2013 at 11:38 PM.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    It sure doesn't take much mosture to bring out the tinsel fairy either. An object doesn't have to be "wet" per se. A few rust spots on a steel spoon can appear dry and yet contain enough moisture to make a pot of molten lead spit at you.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master RoGrrr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oreo View Post
    It sure doesn't take much mosture to bring out the tinsel fairy either. An object doesn't have to be "wet" per se. A few rust spots on a steel spoon can appear dry and yet contain enough moisture to make a pot of molten lead spit at you.
    Oreo
    TELL me about that ! I thought I was immune to that. I'd smelted damp ore in the past but she got me this time....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TC2xTCb_GU

    Have you ever heard of an anchor holding SLOW ?
    As far as some of us on this forum, we don't bite; We shoot !
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  17. #17
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    tomme boy's Avatar
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    I made a similar one to the link. I used a 6.5hp motor to power it. How complicated is it to roll it up to the hill and start the motor and start shoveling. I can get about 400lbs an hour. And that is hardly even breaking a sweat. Hardest part is setting the speed so everything is not blown out the end.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master RoGrrr's Avatar
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    This - http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...nge-gold/page2
    is where I describe my new method for sorting and cleaning the ore. I did a batch last week while it was about 45 degrees. I didn't get all wet like I used to when I washed the ore in the sifter basket. That wasn't too bad during the summer but it isn't always warm here in Ohio so the trailer method works out better. Then I can let it dry and keep Ms. Tinsel away.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TC2xTCb_GU

    Have you ever heard of an anchor holding SLOW ?
    As far as some of us on this forum, we don't bite; We shoot !
    To see my images at imgur.com
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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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