compost bins

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Bigbadfrankie

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compost bins
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2007, 21:18 »
Nice pair of bins mate :)
always have a target
and an objective.

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shaun

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compost bins
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2007, 22:41 »
it is a lovely pair mate it will be a shame to fill em  :wink:
feed the soil not the plants
organicish
you learn gardening by making mistakes

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Trillium

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compost bins
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2007, 04:29 »
Quote from: "muntjac"
-. .. . - .... . .-./ -.. --- /..  :wink:


= neither do I

yeah, right Munty.  :lol:

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Tinbasher

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Re: compost bins
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2007, 23:27 »
Quote from: "shaun"
here is my latest job on the plot all the timber was scaved out of skips at work and lying around just looking for a good home,Ive got my eyes on a couple of gabion baskets next to store manure and leaf mould in .


Good job that Shaun.  What are the sizes of the bays - about 4 foot cubed each?

I've just rented a plot (12 metres square) on a brand new site (14 plots total) set up by the local Council.  There's a 500 quid fund set aside for stuff we need to kick-start the project and some timber to construct compost bins (and leaf-mold enclosures) is on my list of suggestions.  I'm gonna volunteer (I'm one of the youngest at 44) to build a triple bay for compost and tack a double-bay system for leaf-mold on the end.  In effect a 5-bay system, each bay a 4 foot cube.  So a 20 foot by 4 foot ground area required, which we have available along the back fencing.

I do like the gabion idea though for leaf-mold bins, I know what you mean and it may be simpler and quicker.

Just a small point (eek) about the timber construction.  I'm going to site my perimeter posts (grounded I presume) on the outside of the planking rather than within.  This will keep them out of the compost and less likely to themselves rot.  It also avoids having too many corners and traps on the inside.  You can have smooth sides and a back and neater corners within.  The front division post(s) can also be planked over, either side if desired, with a single batten nailed to the rear to match the front post.  Battens (as you've done) side to side for the removable fronts.  Am I too fussy?  I'm a fabricator by trade and am always aware of water traps and weak spots and raised edges.

Great pictures though.

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muntjac

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compost bins
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2007, 23:31 »
sounds like a plan to me paul ,,, go for it ..id make em as big as possible if your sharing them ,l maybe a communal maure pile in a big bin would also be a good idea as your starting out
still alive /............

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Tinbasher

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compost bins
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2007, 00:53 »
Quote from: "muntjac"
sounds like a plan to me paul ,,, go for it ..id make em as big as possible if your sharing them ,l maybe a communal maure pile in a big bin would also be a good idea as your starting out


Yeah.  I hadn't thought of a manure pile by itself.  So that's six bays?  Though maybe better to site the manure pile way over there in the corner away from everyone.  Not sure how easy we can get fresh manure anyway at this stage.  I'll have to look into that as well.

I want a double pile for leaves.  I've done leaf-mold at home now for a few years and know it takes 2 years to rot properly.  Then again, maybe I haven't turned it enough, probably not.  But 2 bays - turn one into the other and back again for at least the 1st year, then 2 bays full from there on sounds ok.

I think 4 feet high is sensible enough for all the bays.  I know higher would be even better but it's a case of access.  We'll have OAP's and a few ladies and rumour is that a local school or two are negotiating a plot or two (to be added soon) for the children to come and learn.  A disabled group and a learning difficulties group has also been mentioned.  Four feet deep front to rear is also ok as is multiples of 4 feet in length.  It all fits 8' x 4' plywood sheets which is ok to use (in 4' x 4' halves) as roofs for each bay.  Not too heavy and hinged from a rear batten running crossways.

I'm thinking of 3"X3" for the posts, grounded about 24".  Planking will be 6" x 1" flat boards.  Battens can be 2 x 2 or 3 x 2.  All the timber to be pressure-treated.  Plywood can be brush treated and roof-felted.

It's admirable of course salvaging all the timber from skips and demo' (and new-build) sites and it's what I'd normally do where possible for myself, but time is of the essence with this site and the amounts required are large.  Buying it new will be a luxury but apparently funds are available.  Everything can be treated and at least it should all fit well.

What's the spirit level for though....?

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shaun

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compost bins
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2007, 08:16 »
hi tinbasher and welcome,some good points there.I dont think it matters realy where the boards go cus in the end everything will be touching the soil or compost so a good coating of wood preserver every year is all you can do. buying new timber would make a big dent in your budget,Ive been thinking about a hinged roof and you have convinced me ply n felt it will be,
you could make the posts out of box section and weld small bits of flat bar pre-drilled to bolt your boards on.
got myself the gabion (pics to follow)
and you need a level to get everyhing square I know what you boilermakers are like you only use a 6" stabila  :wink:

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Tinbasher

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compost bins
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2007, 09:37 »
Quote from: "shaun"
hi tinbasher and welcome,some good points there.I dont think it matters realy where the boards go cus in the end everything will be touching the soil or compost so a good coating of wood preserver every year is all you can do. buying new timber would make a big dent in your budget,Ive been thinking about a hinged roof and you have convinced me ply n felt it will be,
you could make the posts out of box section and weld small bits of flat bar pre-drilled to bolt your boards on.
got myself the gabion (pics to follow)
and you need a level to get everyhing square I know what you boilermakers are like you only use a 6" stabila  :wink:


Yep, I knew I was being fussy.  As you say, the posts are susceptible to rot at some point, certainly at ground level, but enough preservative and decent section timber will give a few years service at least.  I made a double bin at home a few years ago (but abandoned it as it took too much room) out of old doors and salvaged 4 x 2 etc.  The problem with sticky-out bits cos everything was different thicknesses was all those raised edges and non-flat surfaces.  It wasn't so much compost gathering in corners as the spade or fork jarring against the sides.  Nothing worse than a sudden stop as a spade jars against an obstruction.  With an already aching back after hours on the land, it seems to shake your spine loose of everything else.  I promised myself that the next one I build will have smooth sides and crisp corners.

Top panels to form a roof for each bay is an essential, something else I struggled with before as all the doors were different widths so I had a staggered top edge by an inch or three here & there.  An angled cut on the top planks for the sides and divisions gives a slope to the roof.  A couple of inches fall on a 4 foot run is sufficient.

I thought about the box section construction (with drilled 1" angle iron rather than flats, welded to the uprights) but by the time you've done it probably comes close in cost to timber.  Metal is expensive now, even mild steel.  It's gone up in price horrendously in the last few years due I keep being told to 'the world situation'.  Expect to pay 30 quid (probably plus VAT) now for a length (24') of 2" x 2" x 3mm box section.  Then there's the angle iron, the drilling, the welding, capping the posts, lashings of paint and it all has to be constructed at work and transported to site.  All the timber has to be drilled fairly precisely and then you have a load of nuts & bolts to supply.  You can't just bash galvanised nails in where you please as with an all timber build.  No, wood is a luxury to work with after all week fiddling with steel so I'm sticking with that.

I noticed from your pics that you have gone for slatted sides and back - ie: with a gap between each piece, and understand this is because you are maximising air exposure.  Am I right?  I feel that keeping the heat in is more important and so am going for solid sides and back.  Air can always be introduced by turning the pile and it's easier to introduce air thus rather than keeping the whole thing insulated, which is a constant requirement.  I've also thought of laying a perforated plastic pipe (lengths of the yellow gas main stuff or modern large-bore water main) at ground level in each bay, through from the back, and stacking the pile over and around this.  An air flow into the pile should be available with this method.  I accept that each pipe should be able to be withdrawn when turning the piles occurs else you get the old 'jarring-spade syndrome' again.  You should be able to get 3 or 4 foot lengths of this pipe from salvage yards or building sites.

Technical eh and we're only after making muck?

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shaun

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« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2007, 09:27 »
your correct about the sides/gaps being open for air to get in tinbasher but its just on 2 sides cus the partition down the middle is made of ply.
fixed the basket up and it will be no good for leaf mould has the wholes are too big in the mesh but that can be sorted with fixing some some chicken wire.just need to cut a bit ply to fit inside the basket now put a few bricks on it to weight it down ,get some some slabs for a path in front and the jobs a gooden  :wink:




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Tinbasher

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compost bins
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2007, 12:09 »
Quote from: "shaun"
your correct about the sides/gaps being open for air to get in tinbasher but its just on 2 sides cus the partition down the middle is made of ply.
fixed the basket up and it will be no good for leaf mould has the wholes are too big in the mesh but that can be sorted with fixing some some chicken wire.just need to cut a bit ply to fit inside the basket now put a few bricks on it to weight it down ,get some some slabs for a path in front and the jobs a gooden  :wink:


Oh aye, those baskets look good, especially when ready made and easily salvaged, but as you say, the holes are a bit large for leaf-mold.  Galvanised too I presume.  Where did you get those from and were they free?

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muntjac

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compost bins
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2007, 12:11 »
nah he " found em "   :wink:

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shaun

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compost bins
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2007, 13:24 »
yes thats right I found em matey :wink:



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