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make a compost bin


From Habitat magazine - issue 24

Turn your scraps and cuttings into plant food with this compost bin.

Homemade compost bin

You will need:

Tools and equipment: Compound mitre drop saw; cordless drill and bits; hammer and paint brush.

Materials: Timber (all H3.5 treated): ten lengths of 70mm x 45mm – four at 750mm long for corner posts and six at 650mm long for top and base frames; eleven 140mm x 18mm at 700mm long – five for the lid and six for the door (these will need to be trimmed to fit); four battens 40mm x 18mm at 1800mm for the bracing strips, door and lid frames, and guide rails. Plastic mesh, three squares cut to fit; sandpaper; galvanised and stainless steel screws and staple nails; Resene Waterborne Woodsman stain tinted to Resene Heartwood; one exterior-use handle for the lid.

Step 1
Step 1
Step 2
Step 2
Step 3
Step 3

Step 1:  Using the drop saw, cut the framing and corner posts to the lengths noted opposite. Mitre two ends of two pieces of the 650mm, and one end of the other four. Screw them together to form the top and bottom frames. Roughly sand the edges to get rid of splinters and rough edges. We stained the frame at this stage with Resene Waterborne Woodsman, but you can stain the pieces at any stage, as long as it's before attaching the mesh.

Step 2:  Attach the corner posts to the base frame, then attach the top frame to the posts.

Step 3:  Attach a bracing strip across the front of the bin – this adds strength but also allows you to half-raise the door. Attach the guide rails to the front, leaving a 25mm gap to allow the door to run easily.

Step 4
Step 4
Step 4a
Step 4a
Step 5
Step 5

Step 4:  Make the lid and the door by attaching the wider planks to two battens. Use two off-cuts for a handle and chock on the inside of the door, then stain.

Step 5:  Cut the mesh to fit the sides and staple nail to the frame, keeping the mesh as taut as possible.

Step 5a
Step 5a
Compost bin project
Finished compost bin
Finished compost bin project
Finished compost bin

Step 5a:  Cut the mesh to fit the sides and staple nail to the frame, keeping the mesh as taut as possible.

Step 6:  Apply a second coat of Resene Waterborne Woodsman stain to the entire structure. Collect your kitchen scraps and start composting.

Composting tips

All equipment and expertise from Hirepool. Visit www.hirepool.co.nz or call 0800 15 15 15.

builder: Andy Fraser
pictures: Mark Heaslip


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