Anyway, my wife and I are new to composting. Plastic drives me crazy (I won't get into that), so we're trying to do a wooden bin but we like the ease of being able to spin the thing.
I was thinking we could use an old galvanized pipe we have to lift the bin off the ground and spin the box.
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I've had an idea for a while about a huge cylindrical compost bin that is too heavy to spin. Instead it sits on the ground and to spin it you roll it over a few times. Then roll it back a few days later.
The frame I'm imagining would be the a steel utility wire spool. They kind of look like this with about an 8' diameter:
I guess this idea could work with smaller drums like an oak barrel as well. Rolling on flat ground is quite possibly easier than building a system to support and rotate it.
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
I've tried a couple of versions of this:
1. the picture of the barrels hung vertically - all the weight's at the bottom, so you need to be *really* beefy and strong to get it to spin - I could never get mine to work well, and dumping it was an all or nothing event.
2. I tried the "just roll the barrel on the ground" system and I recommend you install some veins like dryers to stop the stuff from just slipping around the circle instead of actually "tumbling". I still didn't have enough strength to roll it effectively.
3. I do like the concept of the wire one in the top picture - I think it's worth going to the effort of building it a stand and not under engineering it - wet compost is heavy! You may have liquid trying to drain out and it may be stinky, so consider having mulch under it and a bin of mulch to keep sprinkling over every few days if there's any smell or find a way to capture that liquid "fertilizer" and water it down and feed it to plants. (10 to 1 is the usual ratio I read about)
Wine barrels are generally made of white oak, which is a pretty durable/rot resistant wood. They are often cut in half and used as planters and they seem to hold up well. The vertical axis one pictured works with the structure of the barrel. Trying to put one on its side to minimize the leverage of the weight is a good idea - and I think the top & bottom could bear that weight- BUT the structure of the barrel depends on the staves being intact. You might be able to cut a door in the staves in between the hoops.
The hardware cloth version can also be built with bicycle wheels.
In any case - solid wood and open mesh need protection from the weather. The wood won't like being super wet, and the mesh version can render your compost a soggy mess in the rain. Even our plastic tumbler needs to be carefully positioned to keep it from turning into an elevated bog.
My composter is a 6 foot long. 2.5 foot tall metal cylinder. It's mounted up on wooden posts with a steel pipe running through the long axis.
I had to make a hand crank (like on an old-timey well) to turn it as it gets really heavy, but it does a pretty good job. It's a necessity because we are on a bear route, and there are so many dogs roaming free in the area.
I tried some trench composting this year and every morning I have a fresh crop of holes!