Building a Compost Bin

Easy to assemble and disassemble, this bin can adapt to the size of your compost pile

building a compost bin

My own homemade compost bin is easy to assemble and disassemble and works with whatever size compost pile I have at a given time. It is made of rough-sawn 1×12 hemlock boards, each 5 feet long. I cut the corners from both ends of the boards to create tabs. To keep the boards in place when they are stacked in a bin, I make the tabs into notches by screwing a foot-long 1-inch by 3-inch piece of wood across the end of each board. I make the notch slightly wider than the width of the boards to allow for some movement.

The finished boards stack tier upon tier, like Lincoln Logs. To assemble the bin, I place two boards on the ground parallel to each other. Then I slide two more boards into the notches to form a square. Each time I use a board, I put the opposite side inward; consequently, the boards have remained serviceable even after 10 years. A short piece of scrap wood held by a stake fills in the 6-inch gap at the bottom of the two sides where the boards are held above the ground.

easy compost bin
Boards can be added or removed depending on how full the bin is.

Creating the notches

Cut the corners out of each board to create tabs at both ends. Then screw a foot-long piece of 1×3 board across the end of each tab to create a notched end. The notches will keep the boards in place when stacked.

Assembling the bin

The boards that form the sides of the bin stack like Lincoln Logs.
handmade compost bin
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  1. amy1202 09/01/2020

    What are the dimensions for the depth of the notches? Also, how long is the 1x3 piece of wood? It appears to be shorter than the width of the board.

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