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Compost bin

Mark Rayner suggests you keep your compost well aerated with this nifty space-saving raised composter made from fence palings and chicken wire.

You will need: Six 1.8m treated fence palings, 4.4 metres of 50mm x 50mm treated timber, chicken wire, stainless steel or galvanised hinges, catch, 50mm galvanised nails, galvanised staples, hammer, saw, screwdriver, sandpaper, set square, paintbrush, paint stirrer, pencil, tape measure, tin snips or wire cutter, Exterior PVA glue. Resene Woodsman tinted to Resene Grey Green.

Top tips for great compost: Position your composter in a sunny spot and prevent compost from becoming too soggy in heavy rain by placing a square of carpet across the top. When filling your composter, make sure you alternate twiggy layers with leafier layers (such as grass clippings) to ensure a better breakdown of the organic matter.

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Step 1 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 1
Measure and mark each of the fence palings into equal 600mm lengths.

Step 2 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 2
Cut the fence palings into 600mm lengths and cut the 50mm x 50mm timber into four lengths, each measuring 1.1m. Smooth any rough edges with sandpaper.

Step 3 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 3
Fix a piece of fence paling to one of the 1.1m lengths using PVA glue and 50mm nails. Use the set square to ensure it is at right angles.

Step 4 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 4
Fix two more pieces of fence paling to the remaining 1.1m lengths to form the base of the composter. Again, use the set square to ensure corners are all at right angles.

Step 5 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 5
Attach two more pieces of fence paling across the base of the composter with PVA glue and nails, and two pieces across either side.

Step 6 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 6
In the same way, continue attaching pieces of fence paling to form the front, back and sides of the composter, “staggering” each piece. Leave an opening at the front base of the composter to accommodate the hinged door.

Step 7 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 7
Fix these four pieces together to form a rectangular frame. Use the set square to ensure corners are at right angles.

Step 8 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 8
Fix these four pieces together to form a rectangular frame. Use the set square to ensure corners are at right angles.

Step 9 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 9
Carefully stir the Resene Woodsman with a paint stirrer.

Step 10 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 10
Apply two coats of Resene Woodsman to the composter and door frame, allowing 24 hours for each coat to dry.

Step 11 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 11
Cut pieces of chicken wire to fit the door frame and line the inside of the composter.

Step 12 how to build a raised compost bin

Step 12
Fix the chicken wire into position with galvanised staples. Fix door into position with hinges and fix the catch to keep door closed.

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