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Discussion Starter #1
My wife would like me to build her a compost bin. She wants the roller type instead of the bin type. Not the type that you roll around on the ground, but the type that is on a stand and has a crank handle to roll the barrel. Does anyone know of plans available for this? Maybe something that used a 55 gallon drum for the bin or something?

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Wayne
 

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I remember seeing plans for this kind of composter a long time ago, probably in Mother Earth News. The principle was simple: get a pair of the old-fashioned roller skates designed to fit over shoes, a 55 gallon drum, and some lumber. The skates, separated and each bit on its own side of a stand, will act as the rollers when you put the barrel over it. Evidently, the rolled rims of the barrel act as guides to keep it in place as you turn it.

Besides the usual access door and ventilation holes, I'd also add some fins on the inside to turn the compost over itself as you turn the barrel -- think, inside of a dryer drum. From what I can tell from the expensive ones you can buy, those tumbling barrels also have fins inside for that purpose.

I acquired the skates at a yard sale (longer ago than I'll readily admit) and will someday build one for myself. Let us know if you build one and how it turns out!
 

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I made one for my ex wife by making a frame of 2 by 4 timber with 4 side post to hold a bolt ring collar lidded drum in place. I mounted roller casters in the frame for the drum to rest on. On the bottom end of the drum I inserted a length of pipe through the sides of the drum using drilled holes at 12 and 6 oclock to function as a two peg handle by allowing the bottom of the drum to hang outside the framework
 

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I considered doing this and did some research. It seems there is little to no advantage to these drums.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
mightybooboo said:
Just saw the plans in MEN,its issue 56,page 60.Three different plans.
BooBoo
Ok, you guys may get a kick out of this. Kind of embarrassing but I'll tell it anyway. I was a subscriber to mother earth news a long time ago. Kind of lost track of that kind of magazine over the last 10 or so.

First of all, I kind of thought it weird that a Mens magazine would have compost bin plans. But never the less, I travel off to Barnes and Nobel to look through the various mens magazines; Mens journal, Mens health, etc. Do you realize just how many magazines there are about men?

Not finding any compost bin plans in these magazines, duh! It finally dawns on me M E N Mother Earth News. So, I got a copy of Mother earth news. It is issue 206 Oct/Nov 2004.

How do I go about getting issue 56?

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Wayne
 

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Beeman said:
I considered doing this and did some research. It seems there is little to no advantage to these drums.
I think the advantages are
* you can include kitchen scraps without concern for nasty critters getting in it
* you can paint the barrel a dark color to extend the composting process into the colder months
* if the turning mechanisms work easily, it is a lot less work to turn a barrel than pitchfork an entire 4ft by 4ft by 4ft pile.

Wish I had one for the stuff I cannot feed to the farm animals.
 

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We built one of the designs with the rod through the middle. It got too heavy to turn and was not successful.
 

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Kitchen scraps are fine in any compost pile except for meat. If you put more than a couple of bucketfulls of scraps in one of these barrels it will not compost and you can't turn it. If you have a 4x4x4 pile it would probably take 20 or more fillings and compostings of the barrel. I personally know people that have built and bought these barrels and have had very little success composting unless composting is their life. I'm more into the passive pile with the occasional turning. If you smaller quantities that would work in this barrel use a more passive system like the worm composting and let the worms do the work.
 

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Wayne, If you want to make the wife happy build her one of the barrel compostors. If you want compost, continue with the tried and proven techniques. I made one of the barrel types and all it is good for is a conversation piece. It does not work as expected and I too consider it a waste of time and effort.
 
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