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Water Pump Powers Dirt Shaker
The reciprocating action of a salvaged single piston water pump provides all the action Joe Cogswell’s dirt shaker needs. The shaker breaks up clumps of black (high organic matter topsoil) dirt into small particles. It also mixes the dirt with worm castings produced in Cogswell’s vermicompost operation. The end material is essential for producing Cogswell’s wheat grass juice that he markets throughout central Nova Scotia.
  “We spread the vermicompost in shallow trays and spread the seed,” says Cogswell. “Our whole family is in the wheat grass business, and we couldn’t do it without the shaker.”
  A handy neighbor, Tyler Doherty, built the shaker for Cogswell. The corner posts are 2 1/2 by 2 1/2-in. steel tubing with 2 by 2-in. square tubing for most of the remainder of the frame.
  The 20 by 24-in. expanded metal, stainless steel screen hangs by 4-in. long springs from the top of the frame. It drops about 2 in. from the upper to the lower end with a plywood plate at the lower end. It directs stones and debris off the shaker. Raising or lowering the pitch of the screen speeds or slows the screening process.
  At the upper end, a 1/3 hp electric motor drives the Duro water pump. The horizontal, single piston shakes the screen.
  “We dump alternating 3 1/2-gal. buckets of vermicompost and black dirt on the screen,” explains Cogswell. “The platform below the screen holds 12 buckets that gradually fill with the mix for growing wheat grass.”
  Cogswell admits that he sort of fell into the shaker design. He previously built a small shaker out of wood, but it wore out. A friend gave him the screen complete with 2-in. high sides. The pump came from the garbage dump.
  “Tyler was about 14 at the time, but already a good welder,” recalls Cogswell. “I took him all the stuff, showed him what I wanted and he built it. It has worked great for about 10 years with no maintenance.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joe Cogswell, 321 Rawding Rd., Chipman Brook, Nova Scotia Canada BOP 1V0 (ph 902 538-9864 or 902 679-8688; jasoncogswell@eastlink.ca).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1