How to Build a Wooden Compost Bin (Part 1 of 2)

What You'll Need
Chop saw
Drill bit

A wooden compost bin can provide you with a way to break down household waste materials into nutrient-rich compost. You can then use this compost on your yard, garden or houseplants as a great fertilizer. The process of building a wooden compost bin is relatively simple if you know what you are doing. You need to make a structure that is dimensionally stable so that it can hold everything together for an extended period of time. Follow the simple steps below to effectively begin building your wood compost container.

Step 1 - Find the Wood

To begin, you must find wood that will work for this job. It needs to be a sturdy wood that does not have anything structurally wrong with it. Many people like to use reclaimed wood for this type of project. This is an environmentally friendly option as the wood is "reclaimed" from old buildings and barns or other demolition sites. If you choose to use this type of wood, first make sure that it is not rotten and does not have any termite damage.

Some people also like to use pallets for this type of project. You could simply get 5 separate wooden pallets that will form the basic shape of a cube without a top. Then you can attach the pallets together to create a nice wooden compost bin. 

Avoid treated lumber for this project. This type of wood is not good for composting bins because the chemicals that are used in the treating process can pass into the compost and then potentially damage the plants on which you place it. 

When choosing a species of wood, you should most likely look for cedar, redwood or some other type of wood that is not susceptible to decay. Keep in mind that the wood will be subject to lots of moisture and must be able to withstand this process.

Step 2 - Prepare the Wood

You may need to prepare the wood before you can begin the construction process. If you have reclaimed wood, you should cut off the parts that are rotten with your chop saw. Parts of the wood may be damp as well. You will need to leave it out to dry for several days before you can begin the job. If you do the job with damp wood, it will expand and contract after you put it together, and it will most likely come apart.