DIY a Shark Tooth Sifter for Your Beach Trips!
We recently went to visit some family in Florida and spent a day on Manasota Key. There were so many people looking for shark teeth with these fancy little contraptions that I had to see what it was about.
Many of the locals told me that I could buy them at local stores, but quite a few people had handmade sifters including my aunt. It was basically a wooden frame with a screen on the bottom to let the water and sand fall out, but to keep all the goodies inside.
But those wooden boxes were pretty heavy for my kids to hold so I came up with something much lighter for them to drag along and hold themselves.
You will need:
2 pool noodles
a roll of 1/4" wire screen mesh
about 20 zip ties at least 8" long
1 - 10ft long 1/2" pvc pipe
4 - 1/2" pvc pipe 90* elbows
a wire cutter
a pvc pipe cutter
Start by deciding on a size for your sifter. You want it big enough, but not too big or awkward to hold. I made mine about 15" x 18". This was a good size for an adult to hold as well as my preteen kids. Measure out your dimensions on your pipe and then use your pipe cutter to cut them to size.
Once you have everything measured and cut, use your elbows and attach all of your pipes and elbows together to make the frame.
Next, take out your mesh and lay it underneath your assembled frame. Cut your wire mesh just larger than the frame itself, but making sure that the wire does extend just past the outer edge of all sides of the frame.
Then use your wire cutter to cut out the piece of the wire mesh. I like to cut right along the edge of a line to try to keep it from having the sharp edges poking everything. Don't worry though, those edges will get covered up completely.
With your mesh cut to size, use your zip ties to attach the mesh to the frame. I used a zip tie at each edge of the frame and one in the middle just to make sure it was nice and secure.
When you have all the zip ties on you can use your wire cutter to trim off the long end.
Then take your pool noodles and use a utility knife to cut them to fit along each side. Once you have all the pieces cut, use your utility knife to slice a a slit down the entire length of each pool noodle. When the slits are cut, you will just slide your pool noodle over top and around the mesh and the pvc pipe.
Once they all fit nicely and are in place, use zip ties on each end to secure the pool noodle to the pipe.
Then you're ready to find some beachy treasures!
We live along Lake Michigan and the kids love using these sifters to dig for sea glass and fossils and it works great for that too!
Can you spot the piece of sea glass my daughter dug up?
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