Composting is a natural process by which soil microorganisms break down dead organic matter into nutrients that can be used by plants. Gardeners have discovered the usefulness of compost for replenishing nutrients and increasing the organic matter found in the soil, which improves nutrient and water retention. Because composting is a natural process, it is easy to use in the garden and, while garden suppliers sell prefabricated compost bins and barrels, making a basic compost bin is a relatively simple DIY project. A wood and wire bin offers the additional advantage of being easy to move when turning or using compost.
Cut each piece of 2-by4 lumber into four 3-foot pieces. You should end up with 16 pieces of wood.
Saw lap cuts 3/4 inches deep and 3 1/2 inches wide at both ends of each board. Make sure the cuts are on the same side of the board. Lap cuts remove part of the thickness of the board and will help attach the boards together to form square frames.
Connect the boards at the lap joints to form four square frames and attach with carpenter's glue.
Drill four 1/8-inch holes on the front of the board at each lap joint. Insert screws into the holes to attach the boards at the lap joints.
Use the tin snips to cut the hardware cloth into four sections, each roughly 3 feet per side. Bend each edge back approximately 1 inch to provide some extra strength.
Center each piece onto the back of a frame and attach it with staples approximately every 4 inches.
Connect the frames in pairs using the hinges. Opposite the hinges, add the hooks-and-eyes to the top and bottom of the frames to join the two pairs of frames together, forming a box.