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Thursday, March 14, 2013


I found this article on how to make your own compost.
I really like the idea and I'm going to ask my
wonderful husband to make me one.  
This would make it easier for me in composting.

Thanks to Instructables for providing the directions for making this.

composter 001.JPG

Step 1: Materials

3 2x4 x 8 pressure treated
1 galvinized chain link fence post
4 3.5inch 1/4 bolts with washers and nuts
6 or 8 6" 60d nails
one 55 gal barrel (must be food grade)
4 latches
one piano hinge
one box of 10-32 3/4" nuts and bolts ( make sure they fit your hinges and latches)
paint if you want.

Step 2: Assembly

composter 005.JPG

first cut 2x4s in halfTake 2 2x4s measure and make a mark half way down both of them . Then center them and bolt ( you can use nails but bolts work better) them together. Repeat for other side. You should have two giant X'sIt doesn't matter which way they go, so pick one side as the bottom measure up 3 inches from each foot for the bottom braces. Now attach your other 2 boards with nails or screw them together. Your frame is now done and you can start to work on the barrel.You can cut your bottom braces a few inches longer than the barrel for a better fit but you don't have to .

Step 3: Post hole

Now get a hole saw to match your post and drill in the center of each end of the barrel.drill a hole and put a bolt through the end to keep it from sliding off the frame. You'll also need to trim the post to length.

Step 4: The lid

composter3 001.JPG

This is the most difficult part of the whole project take your time to cut, drill and line everything up. Use 4 latches because the heat from the compost can warp the lid and the plastic is somewhat flexible anyway. the piano hinge adds stability also.  Start by marking the door out. using a carpenters pencils, it's a little hard to mark mark on the plastic.  Then drill 4 1/4" holes in the corners. Cut out door with a jig saw. Make it big enough for the shovel the fit in just use good judgement and don't make it to big or small. First drill and bolt the hinge to the barrels first. Now drill and bolt the lid on.  Drill two holes and bolt them together first just on case they don't line up. The drill bit will try to slip on the plastic so start your drill slowly.  Make a handle out of what ever, a simple finger hole would work.  Now drill and attach the bolt side of the latch first then slid bolt open and use it to line up bolt receiver. Close each bolt when you go to install the next one so the stay lined up. Take your time and it should be ok

Step 5: Ventilation holes

On the opposite side of barrel from the lid mark off 4 evenly spaced 1/4 holes across the barrel.then measure 6 inches down from each hole till you all gone all the way around. just make sure it has some ventilation. this would be a minimal amountNow randomly drill some hole for the spikes.  Drill a hole a little smalerl than the spike and just nail them in. These help brake up the material when you rotate the barrel speeding up the composting.  You should use 4 to 8 spikes what ever works best.  You can always pull them out.

Step 6: Add compost!!!!

The only other thing you could do is paint it black . They make paint that will stick to plastic.  The advantages of this barrel composer are quite a few. it's quick, cheap and effective. No bugs or rats, almost no odor. You can use it in a very small yard and not bother the neighbors. 


  1. Great post! I have always done it the old fashioned way buy this looks a little easier! Come check it out,