Step 1: The Problem!
(The image shows it on top of the concrete base ring I made for it)
Step 2: Original Size
Step 3: Making the Concrete Ring.
If you do it, I recommend doing it on flat ground and moving the ring into place later. (Have someone help you)
Step 4: Bricking Up Higher
If you do it, put a piece of ply across the front so you can bring the front bricks exactly flush with the plywood. I finished it off level on top. I went 8 bricks high and this has worked very well for me (6 ft one high). I think for average people 7 bricks high is good.
My original heap was on a concrete pad that was already there but it sloped to the back and made wet compost. I added concrete inside so that it sloped slightly to the front so no more drainage problems!
(I smoothed it flat after I took the photo).
The brickwork was laid on a mix of 3 parts fine sand to 1 part type s cement. It is made to a consistancy like stiff pie mix. You can trowel a "wave" onto the mix in the wheelbarrow and it will stay up. (Wetter than that and the bricks tend to sink).
In a pinch you can use type 10 cement or type n.
It will not be ideal but if you have a little that is going to waste, use it!
It is only a composter!
You could also make the bottom of the composter from stone with any of the different cement types in your mortar. 3 sand to 1 cement mix for this job in stone too. And you can have the mortar a little drier if you use stone. (Brick sucks the moisture out and drys the mix quick), stone does not suck the moisture out much.
Step 5: Wire Mesh
Step 6: Placing the Concrete Ring.
(If I do it again, the mesh would go in to the concrete ring as I make it!)
Step 7: Adding the "door" and "lid"
It could be quite a problem!
I ended up attaching it with a bit of clothes line wrapped around the back of the bricks. The clothesline has a tightener that you twist to get it really tight. Let off the tension a little to remove the door and take away your finished compost. (I made the door from an old pallet) The lid was a piece of plywood. Luckily it slipped under the front of the concrete ring a bit! It is not attached to the door but is held in place because it slipped in so nicely under the ring. If you loosen the door a little, you can easily take off the lid as shown in picture 2 and picture 3
Step 8: Using the Composter!
then close the doors,
stand on the lid
and mix up the top compost a bit, ready for adding more material.
It has worked well so far composting is quicker, and getting fresh material in my finished compost is no longer an issue.
I now have almost 3 times the capacity and probably 3 times the throughput too!
And my compost is nicer.