Compost Bin Construction Instructions

Bin Building Guide

Waters School Composting Bins

Skill level:

The most difficult thing in building this bin is the use of table saw to rip 2x4s down to 2x2s.  Much easier is using the chop saw.  If you already have training and experience in safely using these saws, you’ll be good to go. If not, find someone who does who can cut those boards for you and then you’ll just need to use a portable drill/screwgun to assemble the bin!  Be careful. Do not use saws without full and proper training. For the wooden members we use 3.5 inch decking screws, except for the top, which requires 2.5 inch screws. The screen mesh is ¼ inch and secured with 1 inch plated .lath screws. Code requires that there be no openings larger than ¼ inch to prevent rodents from entering. So it important the the joints are tight and that the screening is attached without “bubbles”.

This bin has four identical (hopefully) removable sides for easy access to your compost.

The top is made of two 2X2 frames, one is a hinged door.

Be careful to keep the sides square as you screw pieces together.  

The sides screw into corner posts (4x4s).  With three long screws for each side.

Assemble it upside down, putting the base plates on the square of the assembled sides. These bottom plates are treated wood and the corners are mitered to 45 degrees. Set the base plates in place. They should line up without significant gaps. If the are gaps, gently shove two opposite corners of the box together to square it up. This should align the base plates. Screw it together with two screws at the end of each of the treated pieces of the base.

Flip it over with a little help from your friends.

The bottom fits snugly inside, seating on theledge of the the base, without need for screws.

Then on goes your lid. Screw down the larger piece. Place the smaller frame against the larger and mount hinges. The smaller frame overlaps a bit in front to provide a handle to lift the lid.

All of the components: the side panels, bottom panel, and two top panels must be fitted with ¼ inch hardware mesh secured with plated lath screws every six inches. The screening can be purchased in 3 foot width X 50 foot length rolls. This means all the side panel pieces just need to be cut to length. The top panels need trimming for length and width. For the bottom panel we usually overlap two pieces of 3 foot mesh. Some waste pieces of screening can be kept to use for use in repairs.

It’s done!

Yesica, Julie and Pete

Waters School /Community Gardens