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How to Make a Compost Bin
A compost bin makes a tidy home for your compost heap. It also helps to speed up the composting process. This is because it holds the mixture together, encouraging a higher temperature in the middle of the pile so that the mix breaks down more rapidly and efficiently. You can buy ready made compost bins in both plastic and timber. Some local authorities provide compost bins, either at a reasonable price, or for free! It's worth checking this out with your local council. Making a timber compost bin is an easy garden DIY task. Our compost bin has a removable front so that you can dig out the compost easily.
you will need
4 x pressure-impregnated timber posts 50mm x 50mm minimum, all of the same 1.2m length - tree stakes are ideal as they have preshaped pointed ends; 40 x pressure impregnated timber planks, 25mm x 100mm, cut to a length of 1m; about 3m of roof tiling batten timber; a spare bit of thicker wood; nails - galvanised for longer life; a hammer; a club hammer; space to build in a corner of your garden, screened from view if possible.
Make the first side - lay two of the pressure-impregnated timber posts a metre apart on the ground. Leave a gap of 10 cm, then nail the ends of the first plank across the posts. Use two nails at each end of the planks to attach them to the posts. Work down the posts, nailing another 9 planks to make a solid side 1m tall. Don't leave a space between planks - butt them together. You should have a 10cm space at the bottom of the posts.
Turn this first side upright to form the back of the bin. Position it so that it sits square in the space you've allotted it. Knock the posts into the ground with the lump hammer, using the spare piece of thicker wood to protect the top of the posts. The bottom plank should sit on the ground.
Use one plank on each side to measure where the front posts should go. Nail these planks 10cm from the top of the back posts. Then position the front posts where the side planks end. Hammer the two front posts into the ground as before. Check the tops of the posts are level by lightly nailing a scrap of wood from the top of the back posts to the top of the front posts. As you've used the planks to measure, there should be a gap of 10cm at the top of each front post. Finish nailing the top plank, then nail the other 9 planks to each side, finishing flush with the ground. Repeat on the other side.
Nail two battens inside each of the front posts for the front planks to slide between. Nail a plank across the top and bottom of the front to stabilise the bin. Then add a small piece of timber to each side to stop the loose planks sliding too far.
Check that the front planks slide easily between the battens. You may have to saw a little of the timber off the ends of these eight planks.
Hammer planks to the corner posts to make the sides
Put the back and sides of the bin in place
Fit the sliding front planks into place

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