Compost bins aid gardeners in making their own compost, so their plants will thrive with unlimited amounts of free organic fertilizer. They are relatively easy to construct with a little handiness and the right tools. This compost bin is flexible and can be moved easily to turn a pile or build a new one. Most importantly it can be used as a stationary unit and works well in small areas.
- 1 12’ 2” x4 “
- 3 12’ fir 2”x4”
- 12’ of 36” wide ½” hardware cloth
- 100 1 ½” galvanized no. 8 wood screws
- 4 3” galvanized butt door hinges
- 150 poultry wire staples or power stapler
- 1 10 oz. Tube exterior wood adhesive
- 4 large hook and eye gate latches
- Handsaw and chisel,
- or radial arm saw with a dado blade,
- or circular saw
- or table saw
- Caulking gun
- Small carpenter’s square
- Cut each 12’ 2”x4” into four 3’ long pieces. Cut a ¾” deep and 3 ½” wide section out of each end for a total of 32 lap cuts.
- With a handsaw and chisel cut ¾” down at the 3 ½” line; cut a ½” deep grove into the end of the board.
- Place a thick wood chisel into the end grove and split the wood with a hammer to the 3 ½” cut.
- If you’re using a radial arm saw, circular, or table saw instead of a handsaw and chisel, set the blade to ¾” depth and make multiple passes until the entire section is removed.
- Create four 3’’ square frames from the lap-jointed 2”x4”s. Use enough construction adhesive to fill the gaps when the lap joints are fitted together.
- Use four screws to affix each joint.
- Use tinsnips to cut the hardware cloth into four 3’’ square sections; bend the edges of the cloth back over 1” for strength. Lay one onto each of the four frames, center, and tack each corner with a poultry wire staple.
- Tension the cloth to prevent sagging when filled with compost.
- With two hinges, connect each pair of frames. Place the hook and eye gate latches onto the other ends so that the sections latch together.
Tips and warnings
- Once you’ve completed your compost bin, do research on how to make valuable compost and add it to your bin.
- One of the most common issues you will face with having compost is the odor; if your compost begins to smell very strongly, you could be putting too much water into your bin or too many scraps–try to find a balance.
- Never put meat into a compost bin; it will attract rats and other critters and give your compost a repugnant odor.
- When the scraps are fully decomposed, from top to bottom, wait a while before using it. Newly decomposed compost still contains heat that can kill plants instead of helping them to flourish.