compost tumbler

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Re: compost tumbler

Postby Sam » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:49 am

It is good that she's gone near it again. I'm sure my younger one wouldn't go near it for ages if it had done that to her.
“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian, wine and tarragon
make it French, sour cream makes it Russian, lemon and
cinnamon make it Greek, soya sauce makes it Chinese, Garlic
makes it good.” Alice May Brock, Alice’s Restaurant Cookbook.
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Re: compost tumbler

Postby Pam » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:04 am

A tip, Jack: just saw your picture. Your tumbler will cook far more efficiently if it's left in the horizontal position, as the compost will receive the maximum heat that way.
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Re: compost tumbler

Postby jack » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:45 am

i tried that way, the shape tends to make things drop towards the lid, so always ends up at the angle of the photo. it may sit different when nearly full, but yep at half full likes to sit vertical
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Re: compost tumbler

Postby jack » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:47 am

pam you got me thinking :-? this morning, been out try to see how horizontal i could get it, not much joy. but if you look at first group of photos, ie with no child holding bin, that is about where its happy. it has holes in both lids to allow water to drain as well, so with maths and geometry not being my best subject i would say its happy at a 20 degree angle.
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Re: compost tumbler

Postby GoldenWattle » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:33 pm

I had a look at both the B and M10 stores during the week and saw the Tumbleweed model for $200. Has anyone seen them for less? To put things into perspective, I bought some black 60L bins about a year ago for $10 each. Take two of those and throw in a metal frame at $40 tops for a total of $60. I can understand them asking a premium over a normal compost bin which you can get for around $65, but honestly, $200? I'd probably consider buying one for $130, but I wonder how many people would be buying them at the price they're asking. Anyway, if anyone has seen them for a more reasonable price, I'd love to hear from you.

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Re: compost tumbler

Postby Getafix » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:11 pm

Yes, they do seem to be pretty expensive. I've seen other brands for a bit less, but still over $150. I wonder if the extra cost is due to storage/shipping. Most of the "standard" ones stack very easily so take up minimal space, whereas i assume the tumbler ones come in a box and would take up much more warehouse/shelf space
Check my garden out on MyFolia:

http://myfolia.com/gardener/Getafix
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Re: compost tumbler

Postby jack » Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:37 pm

home hardware and mitre 10 in wheatbelt had them just on 400, i got mine from perth bunnings.
don burke has a home made one, using a plastic drum and then make a frame to spin it on, i am going to try this when i next see a large lidded plastic drum going cheap
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Re: compost tumbler

Postby goldbullion » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:42 pm

GoldenWattle wrote: but honestly, $200? I'd probably consider buying one for $130, but I wonder how many people would be buying them at the price they're asking. Anyway, if anyone has seen them for a more reasonable price, I'd love to hear from you.

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I paid $200 for a used model that was still under warranty. It sells for nearly $800 new direct from the manufacturer in Wollongong. It is a solidly built unit--crankshaft handle and all. Will last me easily 20 years. You have to see it as an investment in your soil. It's the best thing I've ever bought for the garden.
Think about how much they charge you for premium garden "soil"-- $50+ per cubic metre here. And I can tell you the stuff I put in my green bin, I wouldn't want going into my soil.
If you are handy the Don Burke DIY model will work well.
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Re: compost tumbler

Postby jack » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:47 am

mine ready to remove compost now, but i do think a crank handle is a good idea, its really heavy to turn. i always a inventor/mad scientist at heart, so will do some thinking on how to modify the tumbler to make it turn easier
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Re: compost tumbler

Postby GoldenWattle » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:46 pm

I bit the bullet and finally bought one this afternoon when I happened across a model with the design I was looking for at Bunnings. I wasn't keen on the end over end model. The one I got reminds me of the raffle drum and the image below just gives an idea of the type of tumbler. Mine came in two half drums with a hatch which are screwed into place. The brand is Saxon and the capacity is 190L. The assemble drum pivots on a central axis which has protruding arms to aerate the composting material when you spin the drum.

I would have liked a bigger one, but the price seemed reasonable at $180. The alternative Tumbleweed end-over-end tumbler has a 220L capacity and sells for $200. By the sound of it though, I'm guessing most people never use it to full capacity due to difficulty turning it (too heavy to turn when more than half full). The model I have has disc and pin system - you pull the pin back to spin the drum and when you let the pin go, it'll catch on the next hole in the disc. Additionally, the model I bought has wheels at the back so that you can move it around. I'll probably attach a photo tomorrow.

Now to find out how long I can realistically expect to turn around a load of compost... :mrgreen:

Image

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Re: compost tumbler

Postby GoldenWattle » Tue May 10, 2011 10:21 pm

GoldenWattle wrote:I bit the bullet and finally bought one this afternoon when I happened across a model with the design I was looking for at Bunnings. I wasn't keen on the end over end model. The one I got reminds me of the raffle drum and the image below just gives an idea of the type of tumbler. Mine came in two half drums with a hatch which are screwed into place. The brand is Saxon and the capacity is 190L. The assemble drum pivots on a central axis which has protruding arms to aerate the composting material when you spin the drum.

Here's a photo as promised... so far it's not generating any heat. I did add commercial bagged chook manure and vermicastings from the worm farm, but I reckon I need fresh manure to generate the heat. The horse manure worked a treat in my open heap last winter...

Image

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Re: compost tumbler

Postby karyn » Thu May 12, 2011 12:25 pm

Please keep me informed, I nearly bought a tumbleweed the other day...
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Re: compost tumbler

Postby GoldenWattle » Sun May 22, 2011 4:42 pm

I added horse manure to the tumbler on Thursday arvo and it's already started to generate heat. I have to say though, it's not easy to spin. My better half has joint problems and I think she'd struggle to do it. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how long it takes to break down into compost...

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Re: compost tumbler

Postby GoldenWattle » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:07 pm

karyn wrote:Please keep me informed, I nearly bought a tumbleweed the other day...

I try to remember to turn the tumbler every day, but sometimes I forget. I usually open the hatch to have a look inside and check on the progress. I was very surprised to see a fat, juicy worm crawling on top of the compost this afternoon after rotating the tumbler. I don't know how many might be in there, but I guess they must have gone in when I emptied the driveway storm drain into the bin. I suppose once you have a few in there, they probably reproduce quite quickly. Since the tumbler has no contact with the ground, the worms wouldn't come up from below like in a typical compost heap, so it's good to see they've come from the introduced compost matter.

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Re: compost tumbler

Postby Pam » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:45 am

Those black ones are fairly low, aren't they GW? I don't imagine that would make the job of turning any easier? Once your bin warms up your worms will probably no longer be there, but then, your're after compost, now worm castings, so that's the trade-off, I guess.

We found horse manure to be very effective in ours.
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