Reduce waste and fertilize your garden this spring with a compost bin! For more tips on composting including what to compost and how visit http://eartheasy.com/grow_compost.html.
We opted to build our bin using 3" wide fence pickets to give it an up-cycled look. You can use any wood material less than 3/4" thick for this project. Overall, we made the inside of our bin 2' tall, 2-1/2' wide and 2-1/2' deep . To get started, you'll need to create corner posts for your bin. Therefore, we cut down our picket into eight 24" pieces. Measure and mark 2' lengths on your picket. We first started by removing the sharp edges from our pieces. Mount a SM500 Wood and Plastic wheel onto your SM20. Plug the tool in and follow the notch at the front of the tool to cut along your marked lines.
We started by removing the sharp edges from our pieces. Mount a SM500 Wood and Plastic wheel onto your SM20. Plug the tool in and follow the notch at the front of the tool to cut along your marked lines.
With your eight corner pieces cut, it is time to create four corner posts. Fasten four sets of two "L" shaped corner pieces. To make one set, first clamp two pieces together in a flush "L" shape. Next, create 4 pilot holes along the edge of the front-facing picket. To create your pilot holes, insert a 150 drill bit in your Dremel 4200 tool. Set the tool to high speed and plunge into the adjoining pieces of wood. Finally, drill 2-1/2" wood screws into the four pilot holes.
Next, you'll need to create your 2-1/2' slat pieces for the sides of your bin. The amount of slat pieces you cut depends on how closely together you would like your slats placed. We opted to place 5 pieces of slat up each of the four walls of our bin to create enough space to allow the compost to breathe while still holding material inside the bin in place. If you wish to use the same amount of slat on each side, you'll need to cut a total of 20 pieces at 30" long. Measure and mark 30" lengths along your picket. If you are using 6' tall picket as we did, you should be able to get two slats out of each piece of picket. Cut along your marked lines using your SM20 tool and the SM500 Wood and Plastic Wheel.
Evenly secure 5 slats between two of the corner posts to create one side of the bin. Fasten the slats into place using your drill and wood screws. Be sure to leave a space the thickness of a picket on each side to allow the front and back walls to fit in snug.
(FIG 6A) Using 5 of the cut cross slats, attach the two complete sides together, forming the back of the bin. (FIG 6B) Repeat this step to build the front side but only attach the two bottom slats, saving three for the next step.
Before completing the front of the bin, you'll need to create a bottom platform. To do this, first create cleats for support. We fixed 1x2" cedar cleats along each of the 4 walls of the bin. Therefore, you'll need to measure and mark 4 pieces of 30" cleats on your cedar 1x2. Cut along your marked lines using your SM20 tool and the SM500 Wood and Plastic Wheel. To make the cleat attachment easier, we flipped the bin over and used a hammer and 8 d finishing nails to secure the cleats flush to the bottom slat of the bin. To make this process even easier, clamp cleats as you secure them.
Next, assemble the base of the bin. Now that your cleats are in place, measure the length of base board you will need. If you followed our measurements exactly, you'll need 29" pieces. We spaced our base slats about 1/8" apart so we cut 7 slats total. Cut the slats using the same method as previous steps, using your SM20 tool with the SM500 Wood and Plastic Wheel. Test the slats for fit as you go. Lay the slats down and hammer into place securely. Finally, set your remaining front side planks into place.
Next, line your bin with chicken wire to prevent any large debris from spilling in between your slats. Measure and mark the length of chicken wire you'll need to line the inner parameter. Cut the wire to size using the Dremel 4200. We decided to use a shield attachment here as we anticipated a fair amount of sparks. To use the shield attachment, first remove the nosepiece of your tool. With the nose off of the tool, seat your EZ Lock Mandrel into place. Now, screw the shield onto the front of the tool where the nosepiece was and place the EZ Lock cutting wheel onto the EZ Lock Mandrel. Set the speed of your tool at 25 and begin cutting along your desired cut line, holding the wire taught. If you notice chattering or feel you need to apply more speed, set your tool to 35. Staple the wiring into place inside of the bin.
Finally, you are ready to complete your bin by creating a hinged lid. To do this, you'll need to start by cutting your top slats. We used 1x3 cedar for the top and spaced them closely together. In total we used a Saw-max tool to cut 9 slats at 30" long for the top. The center slat serves as a rail for the hinges to fasten to. Leave the center slat out for now. Create the two halves for the top by joining 4 pieces of slat together with 1x2 cleats. Measure and mark 3 cleats per side that will span across your 4 slats. Here, we spaced our slats closely together so we needed to cut a total of 6 cleats at around 13" long. On each half of the lid we stacked our 4 slats flush and secured a center cleat first then two outside cleats for support.
Once each of the top halves were complete, we secured them to the center rail using our drill and wood screws. Finally, secure the center rail to the top of your bin and your project is complete!