Building a Composter

After nearly a year of wrestling with a compost tumbler that I bought far too hastily on Amazon, I gave in and decided it needed to be retired. The only thing left was to find a replacement. All ready to pony up for a new composter, I noticed a Rubbermaid bin in the trash pile, and the gears started turning. After patching up the holes I cut in it to use as patches for various and sundry other things, I was left with a (mostly) structurally sound container.
Only problem, it held not only compost, but also water, which was not helpful. So I drilled some holes.
Holes drilled along the bottom of the bin. The main problem with my old composter, was, in fact, drainage. No matter how many holes I drilled, they would get clogged as fast as I could drill them. So I needed to make sure that the compost wouldn’t clog up the holes on this new design. I decided the best way to do this was to create an area free of compost where (Hopefully) only tea would gather. I came up with the following design:
Side view of bin. The spacers would make space for water to drain out of the compost and out of the holes without giving the compost a chance to clog the holes, the chicken wire would support the weight of the compost, and the landscape fabric would drain the water. Now, what to use for spacers? Cranberry juice bottles of course!
My high tech spacer. Putting a hole in the top and bottom of the bottle gave me a way to mount it to the sides. I used a grippy-reacher (I think that’s the technical term) to deposit the bolt in the bottom of the bottle.
grippy-reacherTo secure the spacers in place I used lock washers and nuts arranged like this:, which was easily the most complicated part of the design.
The fender washers keep the nut and lock washers from exerting too much force on the container and breaking it. I ran the chicken-wire over the bottles for structure, running the bolts through the chicken wire to hold it in place:
FinishedI then put landscaper’s fabric over the chicken wire to filter out the water into the area under the chicken wire, thus keeping my compost nice and dry.

The composter with some gunk in it, because I forgot to take a picture before I put the compost in.

The composter is now in use replacing the tumbler. I dump it out once a week or so to mix it up and aerate it. After a summer of use the composter is still strong, and I expect to harvest my first load this winter.finalproduct

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