A friend offered me some crates recently which came with a delivery of garden slabs, suggesting that I could make my own compost bin. So I said yes, of course, and the image above is the finished item. Thanks Mike!
I’m quite pleased with it. It’s rustic and functional, and is made from the crates along with some old broken lap panels from a fencing reclamation project. The panels would have ended up at the tip, so finding a new life for them was satisfying.
Originally, I had planned to make a hinged lid, along with splitting the front panel into two horizontal slotted pieces which could be removed when taking the composted material out. Mike tactfully suggested that I was over complicating things. Why not just tip it over when you need to? He had a point – sometimes simple is best. So I screwed up the sketches I’d made and got to work.
I hadn’t realised how liberating it can be to cut wood without worrying about accurate measurements or using a try square. Perfection wasn’t my goal, and trusting your eye and lifting one piece to judge against another was quite relaxing. Too small? Cut another piece, or live with it. Too large? Cut off a little more. I re-used as many nails as I could, and wood screws where necessary. Making the outer cladding was like a jigsaw, as some pieces were warped, or wider at one end than the other. The inside is clad with lap panels, and some were also used on the makeshift lid.
The hardest thing was disassembling the original crates: whoever put them together had done so skillfully, and with no intention of them ever coming apart. Wrecking something is easy. It’s a more delicate job when you plan to re-use everything.
It’s great to make things with your own hands. Even better when you are recycling stuff. So after I’d finished and taken the picture, I treated myself to a nice cup of tea. Ok, I lie. It was a cold beer.