Rotation Compost Bin Plan

This rotating compost bin plan is easy to build and will make batch composting easy to accomplish.  The rotating feature allows for easy turning and will allow you to quickly prepare compost.

Materials

  • 1 – 45-50 gallon plastic drum, make sure to use a ‘food grade’ drum
  • 4 – 40″ x 2″ x 4″ (frame uprights)
  • 2 – 29″ 3/4″ x 4″ (frame horizontals)
  • 2 – 40″ 1″ x 3″ (cross braces)
  • 4 – 23 3/4″ x 1″ x 3″ (corner braces)
  • 2 – 27″ x 2″ x 4″ (cross boards)
  • 2 – 7 1/2″ dia. x 3/4″ (bearings) plywood
  • 2 – 2 3/4″ dia. x 3/4″ (bearings) plywood
  • 2 – #1 0 or 2 x 2″ hinges
  • 1 – small hasp
  • 1 – 1/2″ x 40″ steel rod
  • 8 – 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ steel bolts
  • 12 – 1/4″ x 1″ steel bolts
  • 30 – #10 wood screws
  • wood glue

Construction

  1. Obtain a 45 or 50 gallon drum.
  2. Drill a 1/2″ hole in the exact center of both ends of the barrel to fit the steel rod.
  3. Next draw the lines for the opening in the barrel making sure to round the corners slightly. Drill a small hole somewhere along one of the lines to start the saw.  Attach the hinges and the hasp to the barrel and lid using 1 x 1/4″ steel bolts.
  4. From 3/4″ plywood, cut two circles 7 1/2″ in diameter and two circles 2 3/4″ in diameter. Drill a 1/2″ hole in the center of each and apply glue to the 2 3/4″ circles. Glue the 2 3/4″ circles to the 7 1/2″ circles. This can be done easily if the circles are temporarily slipped over the steel rod and clamped. After the glue has dried, remove the disks, insert the rod through the barrel and assemble, using four 1 1/4 x 1/4″ steel bolts in each.
  5. To build the support frame, cut the 2-by-4’s to length and, using a corner lap joint, assemble with two 1 1/2″ #10 wood screws in each joint. The uprights will also have to be added 23″ from the bottom to accept a 1 x 3″ board. To make a corner lap joint, simply remove one-half the thickness of the stock to a length comparable to the width of the stock, on both ends of all pieces.
  6. Half-inch holes to accommodate the rod will have to be drilled in the exact center of the top horizontal pieces before assembling the top portion of the support frame. Slide the steel rod with barrel attached through these holes and insert the cross members into the added uprights. Fasten with #10 wood screws. Next cut the 1″ x 3″ x 23 1/4″ piece at 45-degree angles at both ends, and attach with #10 wood screws across corners.
  7. For extra support, use 2″ x 4″ x 27″ cross boards on each side. Cut them to an angle as the upper end is at 14 1/2″ and lower end at 29″ from the top of the frame horizontals.
  8. Drill several rows of 1/4″ holes along the bottom of the barrel underneath the door opening to let out excess moisture.

This will produce a completely functional rotating compost bin.  The barrel can be painted black to help it heat up with sunlight.