Introduction: Composter (Drum Style)

This composter rotates so that compost matter can breathe (which should also minimize odor) and break down a little faster. I created this prototype in about 2-3 hours. This project applies the fine art of meatball carpentry--emphasis on function NOT aesthetics. The materials should run about $10-$15. I don't know what the weight limit is for the compost matter.

UPDATE: There was some concern that the compost mass would be excessive (someone estimated 300 pounds). Currently, the cylinder is full with composting leaves and kitchen discards and it weighs roughly 35-50 pounds.

Step 1: Materials/Tools List

2-Plywood 2' X 2' (This will be cut into a circle Radius= ???)
Fence wire 3' X 62 (Try to use a fine mesh--mine is ~1/4")
1--2 X 4 X 92-5/8"
1--1 X 4 X 48"
PVC 3/4" X ~35"
~49" Rebar
Nails, staples, glue

Measuring tape
Circular Saw
Sabre Saw

NOTE: I will update this soon with more specific info

Step 2: Stage Materials

Note: Your setup may deviate from mine. If so, recalc the dimensions. For the most part this project uses very basic pieces so, for example, if you use a circle that is larger you can re-measure the vertical supports and go from there.

--Cut the plywood into a circle with 10 1/2" radius. (Try not to notice that my circle cut was a little lopsided :)
--Cut 2--2 X 4 to 26"
--Cut 2--1 X 4 to 24"
--Cut PVC to 35"

The wire mesh I used was 3 feet wide and ~62" long.
The crossbeam that goes over the hub should be cut to size based on the size of your drum.
If you are going to use a pan to catch compost that falls thru the wire mesh then increase the height of the 2 X 4. Then adjust the hole in the 2 X 4 so that the drum is higher off the ground, allowing more clearance.
NOTE: I will add more details (e.g. dimensions) soon.

Step 3: Build Stand

Nail and glue 2 X 4 (vertical support) to 1 X 4 (footing).
(refer to photo)

Step 4: Create Drum Section

Run rebar thru round cut plywood, PVC and thru stand (refer to photo).

Staple wire to round cut plywood.

Measure the size for the cross beam and nail/glue it to the vertical supports.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

You will need an opening to facilitate adding organic material (and later removing finished compost). The wire mesh is sharp at the opening so wrap it with duct tape or make some other accommodation to avoid cutting your hands. Also, you may want to fashion a door for this purpose. With a door, you should be able to completely rotate the drum.

NOTE: I am working thru how to do this step. PLEASE chime in if you have ideas.

Step 6: Using the Composter

The composter should be positioned where it can drop small compost matter on the ground or in a pan. The compost should heat up during the composting period and cool down as it completes the process. The main idea is to shorten the amount of time for creating compost so take any steps that will hasten this end.

Here is a list of basic compostable material:
--coffee grounds
--tea bags
--vegetable and fruit peels and clippings
--egg shells
--grass clippings

DO NOT ADD...meat, dairy products, metal, slow composting matter

Make sure to rotate the compost using the attached arm. Also, make sure to keep the compost moist.