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Outdoor Cedar Compost Bin

In August 2002, Melissa asked me to build a new compost bin for her.  She looked around a bit until she found one she liked, and then sent me a picture to use to build this one.

Construction of the bin took an afternoon including going over to Lowes to pick up the materials.  The bin is made mainly of 1x4 cedar planks with 1x6 cedar slats cut from 10' tongue and groove boards for the front.  Additional materials include plastic netting (came with the house), some threaded rod and nuts (used to hold the slats in while still providing some "play" so they can be easily removed), galvanized metal angle brackets, and square-drive deck screws.  The only tools used were aDelta miter saw, a craftsman electric drill, and a hacksaw to cut the threaded rod to size.

The bin is three feet tall by three feet deep by six feet wide.

One note.  If you build something like this yourself out of cedar, make sure you pre-drill and counter-sink all the screw holes.  This is a good idea anyway, but I noticed that cedar splits very easily, so it is even more important.

Here is a view of the front of the bin.  The slats on the left side aren't sitting evenly because one of them is warped. I won't bother replacing it, though, as Melissa said she won't use more than maybe 6 or 7 slats at a time anyway :-)


Here is a fiew of the right side of the bin.  You can see the cedar slats and the threaded rod which holds them in.  In the center you can also see the double set of vertical supports, providing something for the slats to slide between.


Here is a 3/4 view of the bin.


There are two additional changes I have yet to make to the bin.  1) Include a partially-framed fold-back mesh "lid" to keep falling debris and leaves out of the bin, and 2) Put the plastic mesh in the middle to separate the two compartments (an oversight on my part. D'oh!)

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