Stainless Steel and Cedar Seed Cleaning Screens, Set of 8
(Seed Sorting Screens, Sieves) Set of 8 graduated screens, each 12 inches by 12 inches and 3 inches tall. The screen sizes graduate from 4 strands per inch (coarse) to 70 strands per inch (very fine). The screen used is industrial grade stainless steel, and we have chosen the most robust stock. The wood used is clear grade Port Orford Cedar, which is bioregional to us, is the hardest of all Cedar species, has a hardwood-like pattern of grain, and emits a delightful aroma, especially when newly worked. The wood itself is antiseptic, repels bugs and is quite weather and rot resistant.
How to use them. In a myriad of ways: for drying small samples of fresh herbs, for grinding dry herbs and removing stems from them, and mainly and most importantly perhaps for cleaning seeds. I’ll tell you a little about that (skip this part if you already know how to do this). Choose the sizes most applicable to the task at hand. Find the screen that is just barely bigger than the seeds, put the very fine screen underneath it to catch the seeds, and then shake the seeds through the big screen into the small screen. Next, find the screen that is just slightly smaller than the seed, and put the seedy material into that one, and shake out the dust. What you will have left, if you did this right, is the seed and a small amount of chaff that is the same size as the seed. Luckily, this chaff is probably much lighter than the seed also. Notice that when you jiggle the screen, the chaff rides up on top of the seeds. Still shaking, work it over to the inside forward lip of the screen by tilting the screen down in the front. Do not spill the seeds. Then blow across the top of the seed with a gentle and controlled breath and blow away the chaff. What you now have in the screen is pretty likely pretty clean. Further separation may be useful, and this can be done by wind winnowing the seed onto a sheet. (Also, there are many seed species that require specialized cleaning methods, which will cause you to wax inventive or otherwise cause you to separate the seeds on a table, one by one, or make you realize that using uncleaned seed is really not that big a problem…) The screens are of assistance during wind-winnowing, as they can be used to shake seed out slowly, like salt out of a shaker, so that it will better be cleaned by the wind wafting around them as they fall solo through the air, in many cases resembling a germplasm hang glider, ejected ball-bearing, wounded butterfly, or other anthropomorphism generated by your imagination or mine.
Care and handling: Keep the screens under cover, and if used for wet applications, wipe and dry them after use. Do not put excessive palm force on the screens when using them to grind herbs or trying to push seeds and chaff through them, especially when the screens are grounded on a table (instead of hand-held in the air). This kind of abuse can punch out the screening, and the frames are made so strong that they are hard to fix if this happens—so please, go a bit gently.
I find that I use the screens a great deal, and handled with a little respect, they last many years. I hope you enjoy them immensely. Clean seeds are long-lasting seeds!
Screens Weigh 24 lbs (in the box)
Here are the opening sizes for the screens (the distance between the wires), expressed as decimals of an inch:
#1 screen .203
#2 screen .132
#3 screen .090
#4 screen .065
#5 screen .055
#6 screen .051
#7 screen .030
#8 screen .015