Sunday, August 14, 2011

If you (say they can) build it, they will come...

Sector clear! Start
your power tools.
Today Matt and I met Jim and Leigh at the garden, both of whom had come with their own power tools (impressive!) to build the composters we bought materials for yesterday (see previous blog post.)

Carrie came over too and weeded the area by the arch very meticulously, while we hauled all the wood we cut yesterday to the garden, and set about preparing the site. Oh dear - what a messy site.

Leigh gets stuck in.
We managed to remove all the debris and old compster and still save the compost in it. We'd got some gravel recently and we used that as a base for the composters - we hadn't planned to, but with nowhere to move it to it seemed like a good idea at the time. And it'll provide good drainage for the bins, so a win-win all around I think.

The site is overflowing with the massive compost heap, which as you can imagine is impossible to move, so we made the composter system so it can be nudged backwards, downhill, over time, when the massive heap diminishes and we put more stuff in our new bins.

Nudging the back
and right side into place.
We started screwing together all the parts for the three bay compost bin system I'd devised, starting with attaching the heavy 12" wide, 9' long lumber back panels to the two 4"x4" back posts. Next we added the two ends, also made of 12" lumber, to a height of 4 feet.

Anyone who was there will tell you my drawings, coded in multiple colors of pen, were models of exactitude! Well, maybe not, but we are building a compost bin, not an MRI machine, so tolerances of up to 1/2" were allowed.

The left side goes on.
We put a 9 foot long long strip of 2"x4" along the bottom front edge to stabilize it all, then started adding the two dividers made of 3/4" thick plywood in the middle to create the bays. These needed to be attached using metal L-brackets but we didn't have the right length screws - something to finish up later.

Later or we were joined by Nate who took over from Leigh in the operation of power tools, level, measuring tape and so on. Yes - it really takes at least three, and preferably four sets of hands on a job like this - doing it with just two people would have been quite tricky and would have taken a lot longer.

Nate is dangerously
close to that drill...
The front of the bin has redwood slats that slide into runners made of 1" x 1" wood - Jim and I cut those into lengths 3'10" long. We got all those screwed to the composter, and also the two 4'x4" posts that support the dividers at the front of the bin were attached firmly too.

Lastly we slotted in the redwood boards for the front of the bins - turns out we miscalculated and need another board to complete that part, as well as ripping a few inches off the top board so they fit flush with the lid. Oh yeah... the lid. We haven't finalized plans for that, so it's a task for another day too, though the composter will function fine without it for now.

Ta-dah!
After about 3 hours the end result is a really sturdy thing. The basic structure is done, and with just a few quick additions the new composter will be open for business!

Great job guys - thanks for all your hard work!

1 comment:

  1. You all rock!
    I can't believe I leave for one weekend and you build the composter. Thanks for not including me, really, thanks ;)

    ReplyDelete

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