Sunday, April 18, 2010

Compost Bin

I took advantage of the rainy weather today to build Michelle a compost bin. A project that is long over due. My compost ball from last year has indeed made some nice compost, but is nowhere near as handy as I would have hoped. The construction simply doesn't hold up to the weight of compost. There are plenty of similar "COMPOST NOW NOW NOW!" products out there, but of all the instant things in the world I don't need instant compost. I'm more than happy to wait.

  • 8 - 5/4 inch x 6 inch x 8 foot boards
  • 1 Sharpie
  • 1 Jigsaw w/ Wood Cutting Blade
  • 1 Drill w/ 3/8ths inch wood drill bit
  • 1 Tape Measure
The bin is made out of eight 5/4in. x 6in. x 8ft boards which cost about $40. They are pressure treated boards ACQ - Alkaline Copper Quat. I'm willing to potentially suffer a little copper leaching into the compost, though I know I wouldn't use CCA treated wood. I created a template board with the far end of the cuts being 3" in from the end of the board and just about 1" deep and 1.25" wide. On some my cuts were a bit wider than 1.25" the closer you are to tighter the fit, but precision doesn't really matter other than getting the distance between the cuts on the board consistent. That's why everything is based off the original template.

To create the template board and cut out all the others I started by drilling holes in the corner of the cut out. Then I used a jigsaw to cut out the pieces. The wood blade I was using was just the right size to fit into a 3/8ths inch drill hole. Once they were all cut out they fit together just like good old Lincoln Logs. I had made a couple of the first pieces with cuts that were 1 1/2 inches deep which lead to there being no gaps for air, which is why I moved to the 1 inch cuts for the rest.

No fasteners to rust, and though it isn't perfect it is easy to pull boards off to get access to the pile and easy to re-assemble after. After the solar pod work this was a nice easy project that didn't require a lot of precision. I did finish the solar pod on Saturday, but that's a much longer post. The short version is I'm very happy to be done, even with all the mistakes I made along the way.

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