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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Building Another NZ Compost Bin(s) Part Two Material Preparation

The first step was to assemble the raw materials close to the workshop entrance for easy access.

This is the tool of choice with a ripping blade. The gap is set to rip 15 mm boards

After removing nails and other metal fragments from the recycled hardwood they are run through the rip saw. I'm using an old blade in the saw because no matter how careful you are there are always a few nails buried in the timber.

I'm ripping all different sized timbers down to 15 mm thickness. I've chosen 15 mm thickness to minimise the waste from the ripping operation. 15 mm is the minimum thickness for structural integrity with hardwood. You could go thicker but the thicker the boards the heavier the final structure.

The width of the board is not critical as the final product will have a rustic look using different width boards on the sides. The frame will be a mix of 50 x 50 and 75 x 50 timbers. These I've put aside already.

Ripped boards

The ripping process is a bit messy. I have an exhaust fan running and another fan to try and blow as much dust out of the workshop. But I also wear a dust mask.

After I've ripped a swag of boards I start loose assembly to see how much more ripping needs to be done. The ripped boards are cut to length.

I love the intense red and cream colours of the aged  hardwood. I wish I was making some furniture with it and was able to preserve the colour

Stacking the wall sections

The final compost bin will be two boxes with a common back wall. Just to confuse everyone I'll swing back to the old measurements. The common back wall will be 9 feet long while the sides will be 4 feet 6 inches.

The boards are screwed using Tek screws. You need at least two per board at each end to stop it rotating.

Each side is an independent panel bolded to its neighbour with two galvanised bolts. This provides for any future decision to move the compost bin. These hardwood bins are very heavy by being able to separate the sides they can be moved easily to a new location.

The front panel consists of loose boards so that as you fill the bin the front wall can be raised gradually. To make it easy there is a slot using the 50 x 50 timbers at the front end of the two side panels.

The boards used for the front panel have two screws on one edge to provide a 15-20 mm gap. These screws are all recycled old screws that were salvaged from various projects.

Because the boards forming the front panel are not fixed there could be a tendency for the U shaped bin to widen particularly at the top as the weight of the fill material increases. This simple sliding board with blocks screwed to the ends at the correct width provides support.

There will be one more post on this at a later stage when the final assembly takes place in situ. The entire double bin will also be painted with recycled sump oil for added protection at that time.

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