Portable Wood and Wire Composting Bin
This composting unit is very flexible. It can be moved easily to turn a pile or to build a new one. Simply undo the latches, pull the sides apart, and move it. It can also be used as a stationary unit, and works well in small spaces.
MATERIALS - approximately $80
one - 12' 2"x4"
three - 12' fir 2"x4"
12' of 36" wide 1/2" hardware cloth
100 - 1-1/2" galvanized no. 8 wood screws
four - 3" galvanized butt door hinges
150 poultry wire staples or power stapler
one - 10 oz. tube exterior wood adhesive
four large hook-and-eye gate latches
Handsaw and chisel or radial arm saw with dado blade, or circular saw, or table saw
Small carpenter's square
Cut each 12' 2"x4" into four pieces 3' long. Cut a 3/4" deep and 3-1/2" wide section out of each end, for a total of 32 lap cuts. If using a handsaw and chisel, cut 3/4" down at the 3-1/2 inch line - at A in diagram at right. Then cut a 1/2" deep grove into the end of the board - at B in the diagram. Place a thick wood chisel in the end grove and split the wood with a hammer to the 3 1/2" cut. If using a radial arm saw, circular or table saw, set the blade to 3/4" depth and make multiple passes until the whole section is removed.
Make four 3' square frames from the lap-jointed 2"x4"s. Put enough construction adhesive to fill the gaps when the lap joints are screwed together. Fasten each joint with four screws.
Cut the hardware cloth with tinsnips into four 3' square sections. Bend the edges of the cloth back over 1" for strength. Lay one onto each of the four frames. Centre and tack each corner with a poultry wire staple. Try to tension the cloth so it will not sag when filled with compost.
Connect each pair of frames together with two hinges. Then put the hook-and-eye gate latches on the other ends so that the sections latch together.
This design sheet was originally produced for the Community Composting Education Program in Seattle, Washington.