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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > How-To Articles > Build a ChoiceDek® Compost Sifter

Build a ChoiceDek® Compost Sifter

Home composters know the many benefits of composting. They also know that not all of the material in the pile decomposes at the same rate. The fine, rich material, which is ready to use, must be separated from the larger pieces which still need to "cook." Separating the material by hand can be a time consuming task. Speed the process dramatically with a homemade compost sifter. All you need are some common tools, a little hardware cloth and some rot resistant ChoiceDek material. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.

Tools & Materials


  • Circular saw
  • Drill/driver with bits
  • Staple gun
  • Tape measure


  • Hardware cloth
  • One 12' piece of ChoiceDek decking
  • Four 1 1/4"x1 1/4" ChoiceDek balusters
  • Screws
  • Staples
  • Wood glue

Cut List

Two pieces of ChoiceDek decking - 22 1/2" long - for short side pieces.

Two pieces of ChoiceDek decking - 24 1/2" long - for long side pieces.

Four pieces of ChoiceDek baluster - 22 1/2" long - for frame.

Assemble the Sifter

  1. Cut half-laps in the ends of each of the 22 1/2" ChoiceDek balusters and assemble them with glue and screws.
  2. Cut a 24" x 24" square of hardware cloth. Fold the edges of the hardware cloth over the outside of the ChoiceDek baluster frame and staple the hardware cloth in place.
  3. Secure the 22 1/2" pieces of ChoiceDek decking to opposite sides of the frame with 2" screws.
  4. Cut out handholds 1/2" down from the top and centered in the long side pieces.
  5. Secure the 24 1/2" pieces of ChoiceDek decking to the two remaining sides of the frame.

Half-laps add strength to the corners.


Size the handholds to fit your hands.

Good idea: You can also use your compost sifter to sort bulbs. At the end of the season, carefully remove bulbs and soil from the planting bed into the sifter. Shake gently to locate and separate the bulbs, especially the ones that need dividing.

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Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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