Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Entry for April 09, 2008
Yet again yesterday, work was a bust, so I came home and dove into more projects. I started to clean more odds & ends in the garage, and kept looking outside at the two emtpy 55 gallon plastic drums that were sitting in front of the trailer. Thats it, I decided, I'm making my compost tumblers. It actually went together pretty easy. I marked the center of the top and bottom of both drums, measured both end to end, and added 2". I threaded a piece of 2" pipe to that measurement, and slid it thru the drums, threading a floor flange at both ends, and bolting the flanges to the barrels. Then I added 4" to this measurement, and threaded a piece of 1-1/2" pipe to that one, then greased the whole outside of the pipe, and slid it thru the 2" piece. At either end, I threaded on a 90 degree elbow, and measured for the legs. I wanted it +/- 4 feet off the ground, so the total measurement was 7 feet. (with 3 feet buried in the ground) I didnt want to have to buy any cement, so I just stood the whole thing in place, stabled it with a ladder, and started hammering the pipe into the ground. The hammering part took a while, and my arms still feel every swing this morning as I am writing. I got it set in place, and made sure it was level and gave it a spin. Woooohaaaaaa this thing spins like it's on bearings! I had cut out the doors on the face of the drums before I set it, (12 x 24" each) and for a day or 2, I'm leaving them off so the drums can totally dry out inside. The forecast calls for rain for the next 3 days, so they'll get a good washing too. For some reason, though the axle is centered, it wants to lay with the doors straight up, that was an easy fix with 2 eyebolts and a short piece of chain to make a makeshift holder to keep the doors in front. Now, just unhook the chain and give it a spin. I'm also going to mark the top and back in a grid pattern, and screw in a bunch of stainless screws that will penetrate about an inch and a half inside the drum. Its my thought that these will help shred the compost material inside the drum with every spin, I guess I'll see how that works. I also drilled a series of holes along the bottom so any excess moisture can run out. I want the bins to stay moist, but not wet.
I dug out the last of the landscape timbers that were laying around, and layed them out at the top end of the tumbler (towards the street) and ran them to the top end of the leaf bin I made a few days ago. I'll fill this whole area with rakings from under the pine trees as mulch so I dont have to mow or trim under the thing. All thats left is to pick up a couple of piano hinges for the doors, and pop rivit them in place, and then some paint.
It was an all day project, but a really good one. If this rain hits today like we are expecting, I'll change the oil and tune up the tractor and tiller, and work on some more cleaning & organizing in the garage. Hopefully by the weekend, I can give the garden a good tilling and lay out the beds with stakes & string.

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