DIY Compost Tumbler

Introduction: DIY Compost Tumbler

FPS combines my passion for hunting and wildlife conservation with the overall need for self sufficiency.

Step 1: My Current Compost Heap Works Fine But Doesn't Break the Grass Clippings and Tables Wastes Down Very Fast.

Step 2: Here Is My 55 Gallon Steel Drum. Notice the 1 1/2" Holes Drilled Into the Side Using a Hole Saw.

Step 3: I Had a Scrap Piece of Conduit That Was Used to Go Through the Center of the Barrel.

Step 4: I Just Used Some Masking Tape to Form the Straight Lines for Cutting the Lid Opening.

Step 5: The End Blocks Are Drilled and Can Now Accept the Conduit.

Step 6: Using a Cutting Wheel, I Made My First Long Cut. Notice the Holes Drilled in Each Corner of the New Lid. This Gives Me an Easy Ending Point for the Cutting Wheel.

Step 7: Close Up View of the Hinges and Lid Corners Before the Rest of the Cuts Were Made.

Step 8: Here Is My Cut Off Wheel and (homemade) Wheel Wrench.

Step 9: My Next Cut Was the Other Long Cutting Line. Again, Install the Latch at This Point So Everything Stays Square.

Step 10: Finally the Two Short Ends Are Cut and the Lid Is Now Finished and Completely Square

Step 11: The First End Block Is Installed by Running Two Bolts Through the Drum and Cutting a Center Hole Large Enough for the Conduit to Slide Through.

Step 12: End Blocks Installed and Checking Conduit for Fit and Alignment.

Step 13: I Opted to Keep the Tumbler Above My Compost Heap. Very Easy to Load and Now All I Have to Do Is Spin the Barrel to Dump the Contents.

Step 14: Mmmmm, This Is the Good Stuff. Barrel Is Loaded With Clipping, Table Scraps, Cardboard, Newspaper and a Little Water to Keep It Moist.

Step 15: Final Pic of My Compost Tumbler. It Was an Easy Project and Something Your Kids May Enjoy Helping You Build.

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    3 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I have a store bought one (I know I know, but it was a father's day gift). It makes quick work of table scraps. Barrels like these keep animals out and invite insect larva (the good kind). The larva look like meal worms and the can eat what we don't in a matter of hours. Because of how quickly they devour food scraps, you can put meat, cheese, and other things you couldn't in an open compost pile. One word of advice to those who may try this, shredded paper products will offer much need carbon due to the high nitrogen levels of food scraps. I run newspaper, cereal boxes and junk mail through a simple office shredder and put a couple handfuls in when the compost gets too slimy. The paper breaks down in a week or so.
    To learn more go to
    The one I have, if anyone cares: Lifetime 60028 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I found out what the larvae were.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Whoa, nice! Composting newbies might appreciate some some info on the mechanics and ways to work a tumbler like this.