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Composter Drum Rotates Automatically
"Two years ago I bought a used Garden Ways E-Z spin composter from someone who had grown tired of using it. After I had used the machine for a couple of months I could see why. You had to remember to rotate the drum every day, which got old quickly, and if you forgot to do that for a couple of days you were left with clumpy, inconsistent compost. I decided to find a way to rotate the drum automatically, using an electric motor controlled by a timer," says James Novacek, David City, Neb.
  He started with a 1/3 hp electric motor that he already had, and a 450 to 1 gear reduction box that he got from a friend. He built a metal frame to match the composter stand and mounted the motor and gear reduction box on it. The composter drum is made from heavy plastic, with three rods used to hold the ends together. He made a pair of light sheet metal plates and bolted them onto both ends of the drum to give the ends extra strength. He also welded a stub shaft onto each end of the drum, which now rides on pillow block bearings.
  A hinged metal cover protects the motor and reduction box from the weather.
  "A timer now takes care of turning the composter, which rotates at about 1 1/2 revolutions per minute, even when I'm not home," says Novacek. "I used scrap metal and other parts that I had laying around. My only expense was $15 for the pillow block bearings and some śrefreshments' in exchange for the gear reduction box.
  "My wife loves the compost for her potted plants, and it works great in our garden."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, James Novacek, 1219 11th St., David City, Neb. 68632 (ph 402 367-4275; jcnovacek @Alltel.net).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #2