Warren Dick is a super active gardener who needs a lot of compost for the huge gardens around his home. “It didn’t make sense for me to haul in several truck or trailer loads a year, so I built a double-barreled composter to make compost faster,” says Dick, who runs a bed and breakfast with his wife, Verna, on Vancouver Island in Canada.
Dick used scrap lumber, two 50-gallon plastic barrels, and a 1-inch-diameter stainless-steel rod. “I used stainless because I knew that compost could be corrosive to rolled steel. In the two years I’ve used the composter, there isn’t any corrosion on the bar at all.”
Dick’s double barrel setup is mounted about a foot off the ground on a rectangular frame. The verticals are 4-by-4 wood posts stabilized by 2-by-4 diagonal braces on the bottom. The braces and posts on each side rest in 4-foot-long pieces of channel iron that provide plenty of stability. A 2-by-4-inch cross brace extends across the top with corner gussets to prevent side sway.
Mounting the barrels was simple. Dick drilled 1-inch holes on the sides of each barrel and through the center of the posts about 30 inches off the ground. The stainless bar holds the barrels upright, and spacers on both sides and between the barrels keep them from sliding or wedging when they’re turned.
“The compost barrels are easy to fill, easy to turn, and easy to empty,” says Dick, who turns the barrels twice a week. It takes five to six weeks to finish each batch.
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