Fireplace Compost Bin

Compost bin made from the front of a fireplace I found in the neighbors trash and a free wooden skid.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

Tools needed: Drill, pilot bit, phillips head bit, hammer, angle grinder with cut-off blade, tape measure, and a circular saw.

Supplies: Screws (I used 3" deck screws i had layin around), wooden skid (free at lots of businesses), front off an old fireplace (free from my neighbors trash), a good location (i had a good spot already at my house with a brick bottom and concrete blocks on three sides from an old building), and wire.

Step 2: Get the Free Wood

Take apart the skid. A hammer doesn't work very good for this, because the wood just splits. The easiest way I could think of was to first check for nails sticking out. Then go down both sides with the circular saw. Flip the skid and repeat. Then use those pieces for the corner posts.

To free the cross boards from the middle board use the angle grinder to cut the nail heads off. Use a hammer to knock the boards lose from the nail shafts. After you do this use the hammer to knock the pointy nail shafts down so you don't got poked.

You now have your free lumber!

Step 3: Make the Three Walls

Set up your corner posts. Use the cross boards from the skid for the walls. Start form the bottom up. Put the board where you want it. Drill a pilot hole through the crossboard and into the corner post. Then screw it in place. Repeat until you have your three walls. You can use clamps to hold the boards in place if you want. Space your boards an inch or so to allow air flow.

Step 4: The Fireplace Front

Add the fireplace front. I wired the two glass doors together then tipped it on its side. This keeps the door from slamming down on your foot. I just wedged it in between the walls. It's easily removed for turning the compost. My hopes are that the glass in the door will create more heat in my compost pile.

Step 5: Fill It Up

Fill it up with different layers of greens and browns watering each as you go. Make it about three feet deep. Thats it, just turn it about once a week. Wait a few months to a year, then you will have your very own free compost.

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    5 Discussions

    A good name

    10 years ago on Introduction

    This causes the compost pile to lose heat. Then again it doesn't even look like you have a top to your compost bin so you probably don't care.

    3 replies
    cbennett811A good name

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    How do you figure that? As long as the pile is 3x3x3, the temperature is fine. Mine is a 3x3 square and 4' deep. No top is needed.

    A good namecbennett811

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    A top is needed, and it's ideal for it to be painted black or another dark colour. This helps it absorb the thermal energy. If it's open, the thermal energy isn't trapped, and the heat escapes. The heat is what helps decompose things.

    cbennett811A good name

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    A top might speed up the process, but is not necessary. The heat is trapped within the pile itself. It is also created by the micro organisms eating the stuff in your pile. That is why it needs to be at least three feet deep. You can make your own compost without a bin at all with a just pile or heap. Also I save water without having a top on my bin. Where I live it doesn't rain to much or to little. There is no need for me to water my compost because the rain takes care of it for me. There are hundreds of ways to compost. It occurs naturally in nature. This is just one way.


    I think that this is a cool idea. That way you can also see what is going on in your compost.