Here you'll find directions to build an
inexpensive, compact, and light weight hand
trommel. It is designed
to classify quantity material for your
dry-washer, sluice, pan, or garden, and can also
be used as a worm harvester. The cost of
construction is around $50.
Shortens dry-washer run time
Helps dry damp material for dry-washer
Classifies so material carried to dry-washer or
sluice is not large, heavy rocks
Excellent worm harvester and compost sifter /
Tumbling shakes and separates gold from rocks
Compacts for easy storage up on end or light
enough to hang on the wall
Built from easily available materials
Can be used for gardening / composting /
Readily replaceable parts
Quickly classifies large quantities of material
Take many buckets of classified material home to
Sturdy and weather proof
Is adaptable to high banker, hanging sluice, and
recirculating water use
Allows material to be re-run as many times as
Plans are free (the right price!)
Email if you need assistance
No electrical or gas engine parts
Ergonomically designed with an upgrade idea
Saves buckets from early death due to rocking
bucket type classifiers
Can be used by yourself or accommodates teamwork
You don't get tired or sore from rocking buckets
or shaking classifying screens
It's also fun to build!
2 Five Gallon Buckets (.75 mil or
1 roll #19 gauge 1/2" Mesh Screen
20' X 1" PVC Pipe
6 PVC 1" Elbow Fittings
5 PVC 1" Cap Fittings
1 PVC 4 X 1" Cross Fitting
5 PVC 1" T Fittings
1 PVC 1" Coupling Fitting
4 HYCO 12" Pipe Strap Bar
2 Bags #8-32 X 1/2" Machine Screws
(comes 8 pack) (need 16 bolts with nuts)
Washers (comes 30 pack) (need 16 #8
washers or larger
2 Bags #10-32 X 2" Machine Screws (comes
4 pack) (need 8 bolts with nuts)
1 Can PVC Cement
3 Hose Clamps 1 3/4" (Optional)
1 Old Bicycle Tube
$ 5.61 ea
$ .57 ea
$ .54 ea
$ 2.34 ea
$ .57 ea
$ .42 ea
$ .78 ea
$ .98 ea
$ .98 ea
$ .98 ea
$ 4.44 ea
Total $47.33 + Tax
Drill and Bits
PVC Cutter or Hack Saw
Needle Nose Pliers
1/2 round File or 1 3/8" hole drill
Emery Cloth or Sand Paper
Cut 11 pieces 1" PVC X 6" Spacers.
Cut 1 piece 1" PVC X 41 1/2" Axle.
Cut 2 pieces 1" PVC X 29" Sides.
Cut 2 pieces 1" PVC X 14" Front Legs.
Cut 2 Pieces 1" PVC X 21" Rear Legs.
Cut buckets 7" from top.
Cut bottoms from buckets to leave material for
Cut screen 24" X 39" leaving long wire ends on
sides to connect by bending.
Attach wire screen to outside of upper bucket
and inside of lower bucket using 4 bolts with
Cut 8 Strap Bars 6 1/2" long and bend 3/4" at
ends to 90 degrees which leaves a distance of 5"
from axle to bucket.
Drill offset axle holes at 90 degrees about 4"
from front axle end and bolt barrel supports.
Drill offset axle holes at 90 degrees about 13"
from rear axle end and bolt barrel supports.
Glue the coupling to rear axle.
Assemble and glue handle assembly using cap,
three six inch pieces, and two elbows.
Sand 2" of forward axle to easily fit "T."
Connect and bolt axle to barrels checking for
1/2" clearance at front.
Bearings are front "T" fitting and rear 4 X 1" Cross
fitting. They are drilled, liberally lithium
greased, and bolted, not glued so they can easily be
replaced when worn out. File or drill the
inside of 1" X 4 fitting until handle assembly
slides easily though to connect to axle's coupling.
Assemble frame and check for clearance.
Do not glue legs to "T" fittings on frame. In the
future legs can be stored inside of trommel or
bungeed to stay in place. Glue frame and set
legs slightly outward for added stability.
Slide handle assembly through greased rear bearing
and into coupling. Drill and bolt handle
assembly to coupling and also where bearings attach
Cut each remaining bucket material down the
side from top to bottom. Overlap the two
pieces by 2". Drill 5 holes then bolt
together. (Or buy another bucket and use half
to have a smooth hopper slide.)
Drill and bolt the hopper assembly to frame
checking for clearance from struts and close fit so
rocks can't slide under the hopper. Trim using
snips being sure to round edges where it enters
Legs come apart
with an interior bungee threaded through 1/2"
holes and knotted. There are 45 degree
fittings glued to 1" X 2" nipples on the front
legs giving more room for tailings to
pile. Couplings of 1 1/4" X 6" PVC
pipe have been glued to 1" X 3" nipples
from "T's" to slip-attach legs. The legs
have been extended and a bucket flume ( 1
bucket with bottom cut off and sliced down the
side) is added to allow buckets to be filled
under the trommel. Front leg extensions
are now 21" and the rear legs are 24
1/2". On a side note I have cut screens
of different size mesh to sleeve over the
barrel. The size of the screens are 22"
X 38" with 3/4" folded over on each end
of the 38" length so to thread smoothly around