Sand washer 1st october 00
I will be adding to and changing this page a lot in the next month or so
Masonry sand is a valuable material and in many areas of the world
it is expensive or difficult to obtain a quality product.
In Ireland I often built walls with gravel cement mix (concrete!) and
rocks of course in the middle and the masonry sand on the outside
in the joints. This was because sand was so expensive.
In a sandy area, you can often dig up lots of apparently good material.
On closer inspection, you discover that it contains large quantities of
fine silt or clay. Clay is an enemy of masonry. It is a fine material which
bonds to the fine cement particles to produce a weak final product. The
answer is to wash the sand and separate out and remove the clay.
Behold the sand washer!
The sandwasher is powered by airlift. Airlift can be provided by a
compressor, a wind powered air pump, a pulser pump or other source of compressed
air. This is only a small working model. If you want to make one, you should
contact me first. I have made some improvements to the design. They are
small changes but they make for more even delivery of sand through the
Wow, Complicated! But much of the system cannot be seen here! It is
even more complicated!
It is actually fairly simple. Air comes from the pulser pump (out of
picture) to the airlift piece (on the right underground).
The air causes airlift in the black pipe which sends water to the plastic
container at the top. (that water comes from the small blue barrel on the
The water drains in 2 directions from the container, into the cut half
barrel on the wall and a small portion drains a different way to the large
barrel. The water draining into the half barrel washes sand out of
it. The sand falls through the counter current of water into the big barrel
and the silt is carried into the small barrel where it falls to the bottom.