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Building a new bin based off utility sink
http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1058
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Author:  jf371 [ Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Building a new bin based off utility sink

I'm currently running a bin loosely based off Jerry's Bio-composter, but I'm having trouble with adequate drainage. I realize this is due mainly to my [arrogant] departure from his design. I didn't expect coconut coir to be quite as fine as it really is (I was hoping for mostly long, coarse fibers), and I've also got an accumulation of silty leachate that is making matters worse.

So - time to build a new bin so I can begin phasing out the first one (and hopefully find a way to fix it).

I decided that I wanted to try one based on a plastic laundry utility sink: http://www.mustee.com/product-lines/laundry-utility-tubs/14.html

I figured this thing is built to drain - and I won't have to cobble together another drain spout from the side of another storage bin.

The plan is to cement a [filtered] perforated pipe straight up from the drain hole to increase the surface area of the drain, and use a lighter, coarser bulking agent than coir, like pine bark or expanded clay. I'll have to fabricate a hinged lid, larvae barrier, and migrating ramp(s).

I searched for other people using utility sinks for compost, and came across this: http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/2203471/compost-tea-from-outdoor-utility-sink-worm-bins
This person is using a screen-gravel-sand strata to filter the bottom of her sinks, which sounds nice for its simplicity - but she's doing vermicomposting and I rather like the flood/drain cycle for spurring migration of BSFL. I suppose I could still accomplish a flood with that setup by just cementing a ballcock to the underside of the drain, but I'm wary of getting BSFL substrate wet again without a SURE way to effectively drain it... I'm worried this might clog as well.

I'm interested in any input during design phase, but I really want to get the drainage and substrate right this time - thanks for reading my ramble.

Author:  BorealWormer [ Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a new bin based off utility sink

jf371 wrote:
...use a lighter, coarser bulking agent than coir, like pine bark or expanded clay. I'll have to fabricate a hinged lid, larvae barrier, and migrating ramp(s).
Not sure if all pine bark is the same but you should read Jerry's thread WARNING: Problems with pine bark (link)

Author:  jf371 [ Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a new bin based off utility sink

I had read that, but thank you for posting.

I think no matter what I use for substrate, I'll have to have an easier way to turn it over every so often. The drain system I have in my first unit coupled with the large irregular chunks of charcoal made it so I had a 2.5" layer at the bottom getting silted in and smelly - not going to make that mistake again.

My first idea for a bin was to use a blue plastic drum set up concrete-mixer style, so I could tumble the entire contents to keep it loose and airy. I may eventually come back around to that...

Author:  BorealWormer [ Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a new bin based off utility sink

Folks have had BSF colonize rotating composters so the tumbling shouldn't be a problem for your herd.

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