How to Make a Sifter Box for Hunting Fossils and Sifting Soil: 9 Steps to Create Your Own

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If you are a treasure-hunter or into collecting artifacts like shark’s teeth, and you haven’t tried using a sifter yet, there are easy steps on how to build it. You have the option to just go to the store and buy a sifter box that is ready for use, but it would be nice if you build it yourself. It will not cost you that much, anyway.

Things you need:

  • Knife
  • Wire cutter
  • Wire storage drawer/basket
  • ¼ inch galvanized wire mesh
  • 4-inch cable ties
  • 17-inch cable ties
  • Swimming pool noodle
  • A rope adjusted to your height


  1. Cut the galvanized mesh that fits the size of your storage drawer. There should be some overlap on every side of the sifter to prevent the fossils from falling.
  2. Sit the basket in the middle of the mesh. Cut the wire from its corners up to the corner of the basket.
  3. ​Fold the edges towards the middle of the wire mesh. Make sure to fold any protruding triangles inwards as well.
  4. ​You should now have a piece, which you can put at the bottom of your basket.
  5. ​Unfold your mesh at the bottom of the storage basket. You have to be careful, as the edges of the mesh are very sharp.
  6. ​Once all the edges are already unfolded, fasten the wire mesh into the basket using the 4-inch cable ties.
  7. ​Cut the pool noodle into 4 pieces matching the edges of your basket.
  8. ​Fasten the noodle pieces at the top half of your basket. It should be above the mesh, yet under the lip of the basket. All sides should have one piece of noodle attached. Add more cable ties to make it tighter. This will prevent the noodles from falling off.
  9. Attach your rope to the corners of your sifter box.

Finished! Now that is a helpful tool that you can use in your fossil hunting.

You can also watch this video, which shows how to build the sifter box:

Aside from sifting artifacts, you can also use a sifter box for your garden. If you are an avid gardener, you should know that the soil sifter is one of the most essential tools for gardening. It is used to separate and remove trash, rocks and plant debris from the soil.

Cleaning the soil is one of the best ways to refine the foundation and maintain the beauty of a garden. When the large particles are gone, the soil becomes loose resulting in better air and water penetration.

This helps the seeds to germinate well and your mature plants to grow even healthier. You can just buy a sifter at a store, but building is always more fun than buying.

How to make a sifter box for sifting soil

If you are going to construct your own sifter, keep in mind that it does not have to be creatively made. However, it should be sturdy enough to carry a shovelful of dirt, which needs to be sifted.

Tools and materials you need:

  • Circular or hand saw
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Pliers
  • Mesh wire screen (2 x 5 feet)
  • 2 x 3 wood (8 feet long)
  • 8 screws (2-½ inch)
  • A box of U-shaped nails/staples


  1. Using a circular or handsaw, cut the wood into 4 equal parts. Each part should be 2 feet long.
  2. Decide which pieces of wood should make the inner and the outer sides of the sifter. Drill pilot holes accordingly.
  3. Attach the frame together using the hammer.
  4. Cut the mesh wire screen to be of the right size for your frame. It should be long enough to bend outside the frame. Be careful, as the wires are sharp when trimmed.
  5. Attach the mesh screen to the frame with the U-shaped nails using the hammer. Don’t forget to bend under the edges of the mesh to prevent scratching your hand.

Well done on building your very own soil sifter! This will surely do a good job and aid you in your gardening.


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