I've been wanting to build myself a composter for quite a while now. A few months ago some family of friends gave me a bunch of these 15 gallon plastic jugs, so I set about a plan to put them to use. Due to the limited volume (I certainly would have preferred 55 gallon drums), I decided it would be best to incorporate several of them into the contraption to increase output while maintaining roughly the same footprint (maybe something like 2/3s what it would have been if I'd built 3 separate units, anyway). Also, I thought this would be more fun.
Oh, so, a description...
It's a three armed composter. Each arm incorporates an independent composting unit. These arms/units may rotate as a whole as well. The idea being that when one is full it can be shifted back and allowed to cook while the next one is brought forward and gradually filled.
Step 1: Obtain and Modify Your Containers
Right, so, this step, as described, is probably fairly unique to my situation, but it's also very common sensical, so I don't think you'll need to fret much over the details.
Basically, you just need to get ahold of some conatiners of some kind. I got mine from the parents of a friend of mine who were looking for a way to dispose of them. They run a dairy farm and the detergent they use to clean out their milk pipes and tank comes in these jugs. They had 15-20 of them so I took my 10 favorites to start experimenting.
To get these things suspended and spinnable, there needs to be some sort of axle, right? And that axle should emerge somewhere near the center of the both ends of the container. Luckily, the center of the top end of these containers is well marked by a big, black handle affixed with a plastic pin stuck through a little nub protruding from the body of the container. I tried a few different techniques to remove these handles and found that a little limb saw was small and flexible enough to get at the base of the nub.
Once that's cut off I used a "hole saw" on my drill to put a hole in roughly the same spot, corresponding in diameter to the pipe I planned to use for the axle.