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My DIY pellet sifter

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Vinculum, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Vinculum

    Vinculum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    South Central PA
    I like to sift my pellets to get the dust and small chunks out. I know some people just say the heck with it, dump the bag in the hopper. My Quad CB1200 doesn't seem to like dust in the auger area, so I like to keep it clean as possible.

    Anyways, I built a passive screener, based off the $40 commercial design and similar to what one of the corn burners built. It sits on a 5 gallon bucket that captures the little stuff and the good sized pieces get deposited in the other 5 gallon bucket. Its built with some junk Chinese 3/4" birch plywood I had laying around. I had some 24"x24" panels already cut, so thats the size I used. The screen is 1/4" stuff you find at Home Depot. No glue, all drywall screws so i can take it apart if needed. I did this real quick and didn't really care about a precision job, so pardon the craftsmanship! The pellets I used for a test was a box of different pellets I had laying around that needed cleaned. A combo of Energex hardwoods and a softwood pellet. I just thought I'd share some photos with the pellet burner community. Let me know if anyone has any questions..




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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Very nice. I built a Pellet Sifter "Sucker" . It requires a Shop vac and some PVC tubing. But for less than $20 (PVC only) its worth every penny.. The Quads holloe spring is a sorry A$$ excuse for an auger..
    Not at home now, will post a pic of it later. There were quite a fee members that built one this year.
  3. Vinculum

    Vinculum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    South Central PA
    Thanx. It seems to work. I'll find out how well this season. Yes i thought about the PVC type as well, but I had all the supplies for this one on hand, so it was nothing additional out of pocket. I'd like to see that picture of the auger. I get "sediment" build up in the bottom of mine. Too much and the feed rate gets affected. Its a pain to clean out the entire hopper. Perhaps I won't have to do it as often if i pre-filter. Worth a shot!
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Just noticed you had the insert model. Yes the auger is like a Spring. Its not a cylinder and screw type auger. Will try and get a pic. Mine builds up and effects the feed rate also. Its either sift them now or vacuum the hopper. Either way its time consuming.. Only takes a second to sift.. I have to make sure the hopper is empty if I have to vacuum...
  5. Vinculum

    Vinculum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    South Central PA
    Yes I have the insert. It should be about the same as your freestander. Those Canadian softwood pellets I burned last year might have more dust & crumbs in them. I have 1 ton of them left, and 3 tons of Lig's Prestologs coming tommorow. I see you have some of those too. I couldn't beat the price of them ($197 - 10% off = $177/ton @ Home Depot). I hope they do well. I'll be burning the softwoods first tho.
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The only difference between the 2 (actually more/little things) is the access to the hopper and I have a High and Low switch for the convection fan. So with each setting, High, Med, Low.. You can change the blower to low or high..

    Here is my set-up... Right next to the pellet crib. 9 tons strong and growing.............

    Attached Files:

  7. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Nice craftsmanship on the sifter. It works as advertised, but as I see in the pic of the leftover "fines", there are a lot of larger pieces that actually would burn just fine in the stove.......lost BTU's, IMO.

    That's the nice part of the vacuum pellet cleaner....only the very fine dust and lightweight pieces get taken out (can be adjusted by amount of vacuum available)....the larger pieces still get to be burned.
  8. Vinculum

    Vinculum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    South Central PA
    Interesting. Nice setup. I like how you keep the area clean and organized. You're in it for the long haul!
  9. Skippydo

    Skippydo New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Butler, Pa
    If need be, I just use my wifes colender. Put in the pellets, a few flips, out comes the fines, and
    then I dump the pellets. When done, I clean and return the colender before the wife even knows
    it is missing. If she ever catches me, Oh S..t!
  10. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Just tell her the doctor said you need more fiber in your diet. ;-)
  11. Vinculum

    Vinculum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    South Central PA
    Just a small update on my sifter. The large opening had pellets flying all over the place. So I experimented with some smaller openings and kludged on a restriction plate. Much happier now!
    I've been keeping 4 buckets of sifted pellets in the house at a time (2 bags worth) and its been great. Less dust in the house, less dust in the stove. Yesterday appears to be the last of the warm days around here as we plunge into winter.

    Attached Files:

  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I see you have Okies.. I live in Ohio and have never got any. Where abouts did you get the Okies in Pa? For the right price I might make a road trip and see what all the "Hype" is with these pellets.

    No Super Premium pellets where I live. Not a bad selection. But I wish we had more.

    How are those Presto-Logs compared to the Okies? The Presto-logs are pretty good in the Quad. Not as good as Somersets. But I got mine for $177 too. So for the price, you cant beat it.

    Thanks for any info. BTW- That sifter looks great!
  13. Vinculum

    Vinculum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    South Central PA
    Thanks! It was a quickie project just slapped together, but it works and sure beats the kitchen strainer I was using last year.. it hardly takes any time to sift 2 bags, even if i make 2 passes through the device!

    Those softwood pellets are from last year, and were not available this year at the local Agway dealer, or i would have bought them for this season. No major complaints with them and they seem to produce less fly ash than the Energex's I had. This year I took my business to Lowes, mainly because the price was right ($177/ton). I'm glad to hear that the Prestos run good in the quad. I haven't burned any yet. I'm using my oldest pellets first. I probably should save the softwoods for the coldest months eh? I've used a dozen or so bags so far..

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