Homemade Trommel Plans


A trommel is a cylinder with screened sides to filter objects by size that is used in prospecting, landscaping and waste-sorting. Building one yourself is challenging but cost saving.

Traditional Trommels

  • Trommels are expensive because they are usually motor powered. A homemade hand-cranked trommel can save you a lot of money.

Building Supplies

  • A steel drum is the most durable and affordable object you can use as the basis for a trommel. Find steel drums online or at a dump. Thoroughly clean the drum before using it. You will need a lever to serve as a hand crank, a screen and a stand to support the drum.


  • To assemble the trommel, cut the drum into thirds. Replace the middle third of the drum with the screen. Attach 6-inch metal rods to either end of the drum. Attach a lever the end of one pole to act as a crank. Build a stand with a rectangular frame large enough to surround the drum with the poles resting on the frame.


  • Use your trommel by loading the objects you wish to sort and cranking the trommel until unwanted particulates fall through the screen. Use water to wash out dirt.

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