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Author Topic: Composting toilet  (Read 2976 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Composting toilet
« on: May 29, 2021, 06:53:29 PM »
   A year or so back I built a 4X4 building as a bus stop and have since advertised them as a small shed, outhouses, composting toilets and even built one, although a little small IMHO, as a deer blind. A lady across the state line in Covington VA ordered one as a composting toilet so I have been building my first one and it is a learning experience. To keep the weight manageable for one person and for ease of construction, disassembly and reassembly I build the floor/base as one unit then pre-fab the 4 walls then build a 6X6 metal roof. I lag screw the sides to the floor then together then slip the top/roof on and it holds everything together. Everything can be disconnected into the basic components and reassembled on site.

  I always figured a toilet would just be a matter of adding the box with a hole cut in it and a container to hold the waste and sawdust if a composting toilet or a hole in the floor and a lined chute if a deep pit head. I figured I'd build the seat to fit across the sides and connect to the back. I'd have to remove to take the building apart to move it. When I started building I found it was actually much easier than that. What I'm finding is the seat can be built as a free standing box that can be removed as a separate and independent unit. A plastic tote can be added underneath and the front can have a pair of doors or a simple removeable front panel. No sides or back are needed.  

Completed size is 40" wide, 17" high, 22" deep. That is a 20" ash board in the middle with the cut-out, 1X10's on each side, a 1X4 nailed to 4-2"X4"X16" legs and 1X4 stretchers on the back and maybe the sides but not on the bottom at the front. I traced the cut-out from a factory toilet seat/ring and cut it out with a jig saw. Pretty tedious but it turned out well. And I have the cut-out piece set aside a a pattern for next time.

The opening underneath is 12" high from the bottom of the 1X4 but it could be tilted back and a tote up to 16" deep could be used as a catch basin.

 The top stretcher is a 1" X 4" X 20" on the sides and 1"X 4" X 40" on the front (1) and back (2). I may add 2 more stretchers on the sides closer to the bottom but it seems plenty stable right now.

The top is made from boards 22" long with 2" past the frame on the back to accommodate a factory toilet seat, ring and lid if desired. These only cost about $10 at Lowes. Or a wide board could be cut and hinged as a cover if no factory seat is used. This one one is for a lady customer so I figured we'd keep it a little more upscale than for a bunch of hairy-legged hardtails.

  I'll close that gap under the front with a couple of hinged 1X12's or a single removable 1X12 panel to access the tote underneath. Now I need to find a plastic tote about 12"-16" tall X 18"-20" front to back and 30"-36" wide to fit the space underneath.

   You can see part of the floor, including lag screws holding the sides to the floor, and part of the framing. I'll nail 6" wide boards with 3" battens to enclose it.

   If I ever get caught up I figure I may pre-fab one or two of these to keep in stock. The nice part about the design of this composting box is it just fits in a shed so it can be added or left off as needed if the customer just wants a bus stop or shed.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline peakbagger

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2021, 06:37:09 AM »
I am surprised you dont have a vent stack incorporated in the design. Generally the box is sealed from the rest of the shelter and a vent pipe is connected to the top of the box and run through the roof. The vent has a grille on it to keep critters out I have also seen people who buy solar roof fans and install them on the vent. When the seat is open, the vent flow is down through the seat and out the roof.

Offline bitternut

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2021, 06:54:35 AM »
I attended a woods walk once that had one of those composting toilets located in a separate enclosed room of a small building. You know, much like a regular bathroom. It definitely had no vent. You knew where it was the minute you opened the door. :o :D

The men present opted to use the woods. The women I think opted to tough it out. :laugh:

Best make plans to incorporate a VENT!!!!!

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2021, 07:18:08 AM »
I generally dont use this part of the Forum, but Ive ALWAYS been interested in the composting toilet ideas. Itd make it nice for me & my bride for da woods in which we hunt. Please continue with the post, just so that I have more ideas & information, PLEASE!
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Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2021, 07:48:45 AM »
My understanding is if a composting toilet smells, it needs more sawdust. 
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2021, 08:55:56 AM »
  A year or so back I built a 4X4 building as a bus stop and have since advertised them as a small shed, outhouses, composting toilets and even built one, although a little .  
. That is a 20" ash board in the middle with the cut-out,  (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Yes, butt what kind of wood is it?   :o :o   :) :)   :D :D    one key is to recommend minimizing the liquid.  best to pee outside if you can.  many porta pottis have a separate urinal.  At Philmont, you were not to void into the out houses.  It is the liquid that evaporates and makes the smell. It also fills the tank/bucket faster. that is what the saw dust attempts to do is coat and soak up and seal the stool.  I would recommend at least two buckets so they can be changed out for dumping.  fine saw dust works the best.  A trauma surgeon friend likes my table saw dust the best.  he has an off grid cabin made from walnut.

 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2021, 09:19:26 AM »
   I mentioned the two holer concept to the customer and she said if she had to do a #2 she'd go back to the house. The container is not sealed and build up of methane gas is not a big concern. I'm of the "Add more sawdust camp" or change it out if there is significant smell. I'll provide her plenty of sawdust initially and more any time she is passing by.

 Around 2003 my mailroom guy in Cameroon, Roger Mballa, called on the radio one morning "Help me. I'm wounded." I sent another co-worker, Louis Penda, who knew where he lived with a driver and they got to his home and found it basically destroyed. In Douala and other parts of Cameroon they build attached bathrooms with a deep pit head with no vent. He had stepped into his bathroom with a pan of water to take a sponge bath before coming to work and either flipped a light switch with an electric short or, since he smoked, he may have flipped a cigarette butt into the toilet and it blew up. He crawled out just before the concrete front fell behind him. I remember he had 2nd and 3rd degree burns so bad they cut his Achilles tendons to allow for the tightening of the skin on his legs. They later attached his tendons (Which I did not you you could do) and he walked with a cane for months and several years later I came back for a visit and saw him and he was pretty much back to walking normally.

  As to the wood type the framing is poplar and spruce, the flooring is ash on treated pine 2X6s, the box is poplar and ash. The wide ash board seemed perfect for this application so I used it. I even sanded the top (mostly to hide my saw marks from my 7-1/4" circle saw when I cut off 2" off the front for a better fit).
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2021, 09:41:17 AM »
Yes... Ash wood for the seat!   :) :) :)  looks like a good place to put your Ash...  wood. :D  for me it never gets old, sorry for the rest of you!
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2021, 09:50:07 AM »
An experienced sawyer could always empty the sawdust from his pockets as he dropped his pants.  :o
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2021, 10:09:35 AM »
Around 25-30 years ago we were on that road that runs through the mtns from near Ouray, CO over to Silverton, CO and this guy told us the solar composting toilet on the side of that dirt road was put in by the Feds for a cost of what I remember to be like nearly $300,000. Was bricks and made me think I'd like to build some for them next time around. Maybe Harold's about to cash in?  :)
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2021, 10:10:43 AM »
Or leave the pockets (as I've done) and be sent to bed with no supper...
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2021, 03:54:38 PM »
Doc,

 I was not going to fall for your butt log or ash wood jokes because I figured you would just suggest I turn the box upside down on the mill and cut the legs off like I do my benches like you tell me to do with everything else I make. ;)

EDIT: I just returned from town and I did find a plastic tote at WalMart I think will do well as well as a couple of 12" piano hinges and got a couple of pairs of 2" butt (No comment Doc) hinges so I can use either for the window or the front. I am inclined to just cut a 1"X12"X40" for and let them remove it every time they want to access the tote. Someone did suggest adding a little Rid Ex bacteria.

Doc,

  On the porta-johns if you look closely you will see the urinal hose runs right into the tank with the rest of the blue water. They are designed to to be emptied regularly and not sit there and compost or break down. Port-johns were the bane of my existence when I was in the USMC and had to order them for major exercises. I'd rent every available porta-john within 100 miles of Jacksonville NC and I had a desk drawer full of Camp LeJeune Base maps from the G-2 guys and routinely had to conduct map reading classes with fuzzy headed porta john truck drivers wearing rubber boots to show them how to find the 6 digit map reference where he was to deliver and pick up the porta-johns for the joint service exercises. On one exercise the guys pumper truck broke and we nearly had to shut down the exercise for medical concerns and the colonel was getting chewed on by the CG then chewed on me and I told him the guy was a civilian and all I could do was refuse to pay the rent on them. I could not court martial him. When I worked in Iraq and Afghanistan they remained a big issue and I grew no fonder of them there either. Have you ever plopped your already cold butt down a frozen, cracked plastic toilet seat in Bagram in the winter? There should be a FF restriction against ever mentioning a Port-John. dadgum you, Charlie!
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2021, 05:14:40 PM »
Did somebody mention porta-potties? I bought one of the tall ones, the pricey brand & never been used cheap from a lady in TN who sold her boat before she used it. It's gonna be the john in my off-grid cabin. 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2021, 07:12:23 PM »
   Is it vented? :D
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2021, 08:16:35 AM »
On a serious composting note, there's a guy on FB WM group recently who saws for a living who had what he said was a fire caused by a Porta-Potty that caught on fire from what I gathered was poop that got hot while decomposing. It burned down his building, mill and a huge bunch of lumber. 
I've owned them before the one I just bought and never thought about it getting hot as flush water is in the cesspool of nasties. 

The place where we buy our mulch near Salt Lick, KY is located on an old saw mill site where the wood refuse piled over many years caught fire before I came here in 1973 and was burning down deep in the ground. They tried for years to doze deep trenches, far enough down to get it out and it took several tries over a long period before finally doused. I think the taxpayers paid the final solution bill. 
 Now it's a mulch plant where many local mills haul their de-barker bark & soil or sawdust for processing into natural or dyed mulch. Years ago all the white wood dust went to north to OH at the Mead Papermill, now composted at least partially. I buy a trailer load and the stored leftover mulch is piled under a tarp on a bank in the edge of the woods. It gets hot enough to make white ashes down deep in the pile but never seen it smoke any. 
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2021, 09:54:16 AM »
the fancy ones actually have a heating element that dehydrates the "product".  the only reason human waste is different, than say cow manure that we spread on fields for crops, is the low volume and low fiber and the idea.  If it is well composted outside, then their should be no odor, or risk of bacterial disease from the food that is produced.  the actual composting is not intended to happen in the bucket inside the shed.  the heated one actually puts out a dry odorless product (it says in the lit.).  If used a lot, I would make a receptacle away from the cabin to dump buckets, that helps keep animals, especially pets out.  I have been told that if used by one person or used rarely, that you can go several days with dumping.  I think I would dump daily if this is inside the cabin.  although at 2 am, I would wait till morning.  It takes a little gumption to use an outdoor commode in the dead of winter.  At Trappers you wonder if your bottom might stick.  It is best to be in  a short line, as the seat is not as cold.   :) :snowball:.  If for an indoor cabin, and Women are involved, I would consider a two seater, to sperate urine and feces.  It will keep the smell down.  or a seat that is piped outside for urine.  A weapon used at our local prison, it a mix of stool and urine, and it get thrown in your face.  I have known a few guys with a plastic jug fabbed urinal on the inside of their shop, plumbed outside.  OK I am done. 
@WV Sawmiller I guess you could cut the bottom out of the jug on your sawmill.  :D :D :D 
 
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Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2021, 10:26:33 AM »
Thinking of building one of these for the farm yard, and for occasional use, why not use a pan like Howard is using, and just dumping it out after using it?  Could just keep a bag of sawdust inside to replenish the sawdust. I have lots of plastic tubs left over from protein I feed to the calves.
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2021, 10:38:35 AM »
I think the mineral tubs are pretty big, and I would want a way to carry it so it does not get on me, like a handle on a bucket.  I think if it is an "outhouse"  you could do whatever.  If it is for a room in a habitable space like a cabin, you needed the saw dust to cover, or dump after each use.  In winter there should be less smell, as the liquid is less likely to evaporate.  Remember, that smelling is a form of tasting something inside you mouth and nose.   :o   :)  I think a bucket with a handle and a lid would be great for carrying it through the cabin outside.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2021, 11:00:32 AM »
I built one for a friend. Uses empty 5 gallon plastic buckets that originally held hydraulic oil. He doesn't bother emptying, just toss the bucket in the slab burn pile.
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2021, 12:24:55 PM »
the bottom layer of sawdust, keeps the poo from sticking to the bucket and pulls some moisture.  the top cover decreases surface area for rapid evaporation.  you can use it till nearly full and you will learn the ways of the dark side (sorry) quickly if you pay attention to what works and what stinks.  
remember if 100,000,000 million grown men in the US would pee outside 6 x a day and not use the 1.6 gallons to flush a toilet, it would save...  350,400,000,000 gallons of drinking water per year.
many places use dried dung to heat, even for cooking.  someday we will use our poop to run a generator to power our cars.   :)
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2021, 06:39:26 PM »
Well Doc, I for one pee outside , except the middle of the night. During the day Im not going inside to do it. In the evening sometimes I will hear you walked past the bathroom to go outside and pee . Just doing my part.😁

Offline btulloh

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2021, 07:34:26 PM »
Heck, Im saving the planet and didnt even realize it!  I need a sticker to put on my 14mpg Ram  5.7 that says I pee outside so I can just point to it when I get the dirty looks from a hybrid owner when hes filling up with his 13 pints of gas. 

Offline breederman

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2021, 08:49:04 PM »
In the evening sometimes I will hear you walked past the bathroom to go outside and pee . Just doing my part.😁 
 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2021, 08:20:04 AM »
For the record: I take a whizz in my gravel driveway most everyday, several times in fact. Three grand daughters this week crimps my style some but given they keep the downstairs bathroom busy I hold it until out of sight and don't have to wait. The moss outside my shop on the pond bank has orange spots where it gets doused. Maybe I deserve a medal from the tree huggers per Docs criteria?

When I got married in January 1971, the first spring project at our KS cabin on the Kaw River was that I built an inside shower and commode room onto a newly installed septic system there for my bride. 
 Second project was not to build a composting toilet (as this thread discusses) but rather to de-construct the one I'd been using for 7-8 years.  :D
I used it for tool storage on one end and under the floor I found a bunch of stuff under the floor the pack rats had stolen-mostly plumbing hardware, fastners, etc..
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Offline gspren

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2021, 08:50:31 AM »
I'm not sure if lime should play a part in your composters or not but the out-house at our cabin functions as a compost toilet. Cabin is on state land so needed a sealed tank, we formed and poured a concrete underground tank for the outhouse 4'x4' x 3' deep with 6" walls so inside is 3x3x3, whenever we "dump" in there we give a light dusting of lime, looks like powdered sugar, no odor. We use this on occasional weekends and for a solid week or longer during hunting season but then there are periods of no use and the guys don't go in to pee. We cleaned it out after over 10 years of use by using the manual post hole diggers that work sort of like pliers, it was dry and almost like dirt, took 10 5 gal buckets worth out which I spread on the corn stubble field that winter.
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Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2021, 10:20:45 PM »
I attended a woods walk once that had one of those composting toilets located in a separate enclosed room of a small building. You know, much like a regular bathroom. It definitely had no vent. You knew where it was the minute you opened the door. :o :D

The men present opted to use the woods. The women I think opted to tough it out. :laugh:

Best make plans to incorporate a VENT!!!!!
That toilet wasn't being used correctly.  If slightly damp sawdust is used as cover material their is almost no smell.  If the chamber the bucket is in is vented there is less smell than a conventional toilet.
The vent can be a pipe through the roof.  A better vent is a black pipe running up the south side of the building.  When the sun shines on it it warms up and warm air rises and sucks air out of the chamber.
Another vent is a low power PC fan connected to a small solar panel or possibly a solar panel and battery.

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2021, 07:46:06 AM »
A conventional toilet flushes constantly into a sewer system far away-what's there to make much smell? My septic system has a typical large concrete box with left behind cesspool to smell some, but not noticeable as vents 30' in the air. 
I always used lime on my outhouse poop.
 
Outdoor flushes:
We used to fish this creek (called a "crick" in KS :D and a few other places like OH) that was a feeder stream into Mill Creek, near Paxico, KS and when we were not catching red ear sunfish, pumpkin seeds and small bass we had a tree, low across the water that flushed pretty well. My aunt in Burlingame, KS once had an outhouse built over the crick behind the house with the holes looking down into Dragoon Crick. 
I may get some flak over saying this but I've dumped my past porta-potty in a woods area thats far away from humans.  
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Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2021, 02:08:48 PM »
A conventional toilet flushes constantly into a sewer system far away-what's there to make much smell? My septic system has a typical large concrete box with left behind cesspool to smell some, but not noticeable as vents 30' in the air.

 
When you use a normal bathroom the vent tends to be in the ceiling.  So any smell from before you flush fills the room and eventually gets sucked out through the vent.
With a vented compost toilet.  Any smell gets sucked out before it can get into the room.  So a vented composting toilet  smells less than a flush toilet.

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2021, 09:56:47 PM »
   Sorry to be late commenting on several of these but @btulloh wins the award for the best suggestion of saving the planet. :D

    I know lime was thrown in outhouses and such but I would think it would stop or at least interfere with the composting process. I am still thinking odor means not enough sawdust. Someone mentioned adding Rid-ex and I don't see where it could hurt. 

   My housemate ran the waste treatment plant on a project we were on in Saudi Arabia and he dosed the waste heavily with chorine as soon as it was received and there was never any odor at the plant. He kept plenty of air added and kept the slurry stirred and the bacteria broke down the waste quickly.
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2021, 07:46:26 AM »
Underneath that layer of lime is lots of microbes doing their thing? 
I did a short search session online to see if there was a composting toilet I could consider for my cabin-I saw none I liked. Most of what comes up is somebody selling a plywood box with a bucket in it or a very expensive more sophisticated design I cannot afford. 

I'm open to ideas more attractive than my tallish porta-potty. Cabin water will be hauled in, but I thought about a gutter water cistern which is quite common near me, but has a larger expense to it. 
The version in this thread looks like the poop will be more stinky and harder to get rid of than my factory made porta-potty. 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2021, 06:20:45 PM »
At my cabin, we use something called Bokashi.  You just sprinkle it on and a week later the poo is gone. 

All natural.  It's just super bacteria that feasts on Poo.  Never a smell. 


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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2021, 07:25:02 PM »
Kantuckid,

The version in this thread looks like the poop will be more stinky and harder to get rid of than my factory made porta-potty. 

   If this is true since the plastic tote comes with a lid she can just replace it when full, put the lid on and drop it off at the next appropriate political meeting in her area. ;D
Howard Green
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2021, 07:39:49 AM »
Bokashi on Amazon is more expensive than I'll ever do! We compost our kitchen & garden waste using mother natures little friends and out away, well from the house. Possums munch on some of it. 

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Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2021, 08:15:38 AM »
The lime's purpose is to keep the PH at the proper level.  
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2021, 08:38:26 AM »
snobdds what sort of potty are you using at your cabin? 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2021, 08:43:50 AM »
  Then why does the road department put lime on roadklill? 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2021, 09:48:20 AM »
From Google:

It is used to capture the putrid scents of decaying flesh. Today lime is still used at mass grave sites to capture the scent of decay and keep soil pH high. Low pH soil is an indicator for a mass grave as the decomposition products are acidic and lower the soil pH.

In the Army we covered any possible waste with lime before leaving a location.  If we had no lime we used flour from the mess hall.  Looked the same and passed inspection.  ;D
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2021, 10:36:26 AM »
Bokashi on Amazon is more expensive than I'll ever do! We compost our kitchen & garden waste using mother natures little friends and out away, well from the house. Possums munch on some of it.


It's like 14.00 for a bag that lasts all summer. I think that is cheap, but I guess it's all relative. 

snobdds what sort of potty are you using at your cabin?


Just using a outhouse with a 5 foot hole dug in the bottom.  I guess some might call it a pit toilet. 

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2021, 11:19:08 AM »
Lynn,

  That comment about the flour caused a flashback to one time when we were getting ready for an IG inspection and the DIs were going crazy about the white film in the plastic stair treads and were never satisfied with our cleaning no matter how much elbow grease we applied. Finally we all grabbed our black shoe polish and brushes and passed inspection in short order. The DI was scratching his head when he came back for another reinspection and found it  all nice and spiffy. Just another dumb thing to get by in the military. Maybe it was just part of the training.
Howard Green
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Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2021, 10:45:28 PM »
Powdered Limestone is used to counter the affect of using fertilizer on farms, Lime lowers the PH after the fertilizer raises the PH level.  Makes your crops grow better if the PH is right. Animal waste raises PH as well as fertilizer.  I use a lot of animal waste, as after feeding cows all winter have a huge pile.  I compost the stuff, it shrinks to a more manageable amount, then use my spreader to put it on the poor growing areas of the farm.  Composting causes a lot of seeds in the manure to heat and lose their germination. My wife's garden is 100% compost. She is using old cattle watering tanks for container gardens. At first I thought her plants would burn up from too much fertilizer, but last year it did fine.  She waters often.
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2021, 05:42:07 AM »
I sell a hot lime or hydrated lime at work. This is used in out houses.
 I also sell regular lime that is used on garden and lawns. 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2021, 09:50:16 AM »
   I still don't understand the chemistry involved with the lime. I understand about raising the pH which helps some plants grow better but is that required to help the composting effect or does it just absorb and cover up odors and keep insects and such at bay? Does the lime kill some of the bacteria or make it more attractive to them?
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2021, 12:17:52 PM »
This thread has me rethinking a toilet in my new pole building that is still in the permit stage. I posted elsewhere that we are moving this summer and then selling the farm after building a 46' x 64' building at the new house. I was planning to dig a small septic pit and putting in a flush toilet for when I'm working and too dirty to go in the house but then I need to keep that room heated in the winter and it won't really be used that often since "stand-up" things can be outside behind the building. We often go away for a week at a time year round so maybe a composter would work better.
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2021, 01:25:07 PM »
   Sounds like this might save you some serious bucks and on an on-going basis since no heat required in the winter. I may be over or under thinking this thing but it sure looks to me like pooping into a plastic tote full of sawdust and maybe even lime will be cheap and easy. Just dump and wash the tote periodically as need. Heck, you could throw the tote away and replace it with a new one if you did not want the hassle. The last tote I bought for my next upcoming toilet (I have an additional order for one and 2 small sheds) only cost $5.33 tax included at Wal Mart.

  Since the box is free standing if you ever get to the point you don't need it, set the box aside or toss it and you still have a little shed for other purposes.
Howard Green
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2021, 10:35:12 PM »
I dug out the old concrete base that remains of my folks old outhouse.  The bolts are rusted and   wondering what to do about that.  But now just plan to build a wood floor small shed like WV Sawmiller, and using a protein tub  under a seat and sawdust.  For occasional use should be fine. Another project.  Right now it is time to put up hay, plant beans, cut wheat and plant more beans.  Then cut more hay.
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2021, 08:34:48 AM »
  I was thinking about a phone booth sized compressor room along one wall so maybe just make it a few feet longer to keep a bucket, would keep some air intake area at the bottom and leave the top open.
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2021, 10:03:37 AM »
We have a septic tank/drain field at the Cabin.  Simple, once and done.
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2021, 11:42:15 AM »
Lynn,

   Do you have to heat the cabin to keep the bathroom above freezing or do you drain the systems to keep it from freezing?
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2021, 04:59:19 PM »
I do not drain but I do cut the water off, Winter and Summer, when the Cabin is unattended.....just in case.  Nothing is ever done to prevent freezing but if I saw that we were going to have single digit cold I probably would light the heater pilots to put off a bit of heat.  Also flush the commodes and pour some RV Antifreeze in the bowls.  The Cabin is plumbed with polybutylene and PEX.

There has never been a problem but some kinda leak could be a $1,000+ water bill.  :o
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2021, 09:27:28 PM »
   Yes, this could be a case where a composting toilet would be an advantage. A properly balanced septic tank is pretty low maintenance. Waste goes in, the bugs do their work and the treated water flows out. I am reluctant to mention it lest I jinx it but we have done nothing to our septic tank/system for 25 years or so.

 Except for the occasional freezing damaging/cracking the flush tank, toilet or lines they would work fine in unoccupied buildings too.

 I pretty much finished mine except for the trim for the 4 corners. One boo-boo I will have to overcome is I tacked the 4 sides together with a deck screw on each corner now I can't get 2 of them free. I can't reach them with my angle grinder or a hacksaw until I loosen the lag screws in the floor. I need to do that before the customer comes to pick it up.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #50 on: June 15, 2021, 11:05:36 AM »
I went to the cabin this weekend for the first time since October.  Looked down in the outhouse and there was nothing left.  Everything was gone.  

Bokashi works flawlessly. I made the hole and outhouse in a way that I could slide it forward as it filled up.  I don't think I will ever have to move it forward. 

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #51 on: June 15, 2021, 11:57:20 AM »
   I finished the trim, put knobs on the panel under the box and added a door handle yesterday. It is ready for the customer to pick up any time she wants it now.

   I have an order for another one and 2 small sheds to work on now.
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2021, 08:22:07 PM »
   My customer is supposed to come get her toilet Sunday afternoon. I started on another one. I got two 4X4 floor sections built and got one completely framed in. I just need to build the door, side and roof it for a small 4X4 shed. Looks like I will have to cut and saw up another 1-2 more spruce trees to  get enough framing for the next one and siding. I have basically enough framing to make a 4X8 shed also on the order.


 I'm about out of 4/4 ash for the floors too. I guess I'll be using poplar or maybe even some real scrappy maple in the future.

  When I make the floor framing I use a 1/2 sheer of 1/2" plywood as a jig to make sure it is square. Tack it on, flip it over, nail the flooring on then remove and re-use the plywood on the next one.

  Reminds me of the joke I heard the other day - A guy was driving down the road and a 3/4" sheet of plywood blew off the back of a Lowes or Home Depot truck and crashed through the window of his new Cadillac. He thought about suing them but instead just sold the plywood and used the money to pay for the repairs, a rental and a week's vacation while it was being fixed. ::)
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2021, 03:15:11 PM »
   Well the lady and her husband came and got their toilet. She seemed happy with it. The pieces are pretty heavy and I hope he can assemble them safely. I had 2 deck screws holding 2 walls together I cut with a chisel yesterday so we could disassemble it. I put them in as a temporary fix then after I added the windows I could not access and remove them (Should I be posting this in the "Did something dumb" thread). While we had the walls apart I quickly drilled out new pilot holes and added lag screws that do the same thing. 

   When we went to lift the front with the door I forgot about the fact there was nothing holding the bottom together when not bolted to the base so I had to cut and screw a 1X3 that was 4' long across there to hold it all together. That was a quick and easy fix. Next time I will remember and add such a piece across the inside before I disconnect from the base. 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #54 on: July 11, 2021, 09:42:34 PM »
    After what seems like an eternity I finally finished my 4X8 and my 4X4 shed. I put the roofs and corner trim on today. Now I just need to wall in, roof and build the toilet box on the 3rd one which is designed as a composting toilet.

  I e-mailed the customer they are ready now we just have to schedule the pick up. He had indicated he planned to move them intact with possibly just the roof removed so I am not sure if I will need to jack up the larger shed to get it on his trailer or not. I have plenty of cribbing just a few feet away and stout, long boards that will support them if I need to lift them so he can just drive under them. We may be able to back the trailer right up too them by coming through my barn access path but they are too tall to fit under the hay loft once loaded and we'll have to drive around the end of the shed.

  MY next project may be a stone and log sled similar to what I saw Eustace Conway and Preston Roberts build on Mountain Men a while back. I could use it to move sheds like this around the place. I will see if I can find a locust log with some curve for an up-turned front and throw it on the mill to make runners and plenty of locust posts or fallen locust trees for bottom/cross pieces. I already have the tenon cutter I use for bench legs that I can use to connect the bottom boards. Actually that should be a simple and interesting project.  If I make the runners 2" thick my tenon cutter leaves a 3" tenon and I might be able to have enough extra length left to drill a hole and peg them in place in case I ever wanted to take it apart for storage or transport in the future. I could use metal pins of such like you use on tractor implements. Or I could make the runners 3" and drive a sledge hammer wedge in the end for permanent connections. A big eye bolt in the middle for hooking to a singletree, tractor or ATV/UTV would be easy to add on. That may be another item to see if there is a market for.


4X8 shed front 

4X8 side
4X4 front 

 

4X4 shed - side view
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #55 on: July 12, 2021, 07:59:45 AM »
In your return to the stuff of the past-like outhouses and sleds you'd be well advised to read all the Foxfire Series books and magazines for how they lived and worked.  ;D Sleds made real sense for heavy stuff over bad terrain. The old pick & shovel coal mine on our lands back ridge was very likely a place a sled came into use to get bag coal back to the house.
We found an old outhouse miniature, a tourist trap trinket in my wife's, family's old home that she's getting ready for sale and cleaning out 100 years plus of "stuff" from closets. She found a WWII letter among the older ones that one of the boys in Europe was asking if they'd got the new indoor bathroom done yet. Made from ERC as were many such trinkets back then.
We tend to think of rural folks as those lacking modern facilities but when I was growing up in the 40's & 50's in Topeka, KS it was quite common, esp. in the 40's for sure, that people had an outhouse out back and many had livestock, mostly chickens, now and then a hog. Small towns it was very common.
Ya might want to work on a "moon slit" in yer outhouse doors? :D 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #56 on: July 12, 2021, 09:46:56 AM »
@kantuckid ,

   Odd that you should suggest that as I am currently reading FoxFire #5. I am presently reading about iron and steel making in Appalachia. I worked with a Steel Mill client a couple of years in the northern panhandle of WV, eastern OH & western PA and learned a lot about the process then later visited the last water powered steel mill in Norway which seems to have been very similar to what was used in NC/GA/AL/TN so combining the two was very interesting to me. 

    For those not familiar with the Foxfire series they are very interesting and informative. A teacher started the project by having her students do research on the history of the very rural area and had them start collecting and recording information about life in the area and how things were done in the early days when the area was first settled by outsiders from Europe and such. Their primary reference sources were their grandparents who were thrilled to pass along this info especially to their grandchildren. They got first hand info on daily life in the early days and recorded such which is a hand reference on how to build a log cabin, butcher a hog, dig a well, brain tan a deer hide, etc. They also collected ghost stores, tall tales, hunting stories, and personal recollections and traditions. A collateral benefit was the kids learned to appreciate the skills and hard work and conditions their grandparents had and had endured and developed respect for them and the kids and grandparents became much closer. 

   The last I saw there is 10-12 of the books of collected stories and they are a very good reference if you are interested in taking on such a task. While I am not one of those people who yearn for the "Good Old Days", as I saw what they were like working in and visiting remote and backward areas of Africa, the Amazon, and such, there is a time and place where some of them make sense.

   I really think a composting toilet using a plastic tote as a reservoir is easier to maintain than an old deep pit head which are pretty foul under the best of conditions. But there are people who need a toilet where they don't have plumbing accessible so there is a market for them.
Howard Green
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2021, 10:55:55 AM »
We had an outhouse when I was growing up.  Did not have an inside bathroom/toilet until I was 8 years old. I fondly remember the many times when my Dad and I would go out just before bedtime to the edge of the pasture to finish our #1 business and we would look up at the stars and my Dad would talk to me about life. I bet that does not happen very much at all anymore if at all. 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #58 on: July 12, 2021, 12:30:54 PM »
Danny,

   Did you have a two-holer? You were pretty upscale if you did, in fact almost "uppity". I saw them but never understood the concept of a two-holer as I never even wanted to be in there let alone with company. Maybe they were for the women as it is a proven fact when you go out to eat or for the evening the ladies always have to go in pairs. I'd ask some our resident female experts why this happens but I am in enough hot water with at least one of them at present. ::)

    I sure hope Kantuckid sends me a prototype for a crescent for the door. 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2021, 01:27:21 PM »
One was a two-holer. 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #60 on: July 12, 2021, 08:56:52 PM »
at Philmont the double hole out houses, were outside (no building, just a wood frame over the hole with a round seat hole), and either pilot to copilot, or pilot to bombardier.  and you were never to pee in them, as if filled them up and made them more stinky.   smiley_airfreshener smiley_smelly_skunk smiley_spider drop
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #61 on: July 13, 2021, 12:02:32 AM »
at Philmont the double hole out houses, were outside (no building, just a wood frame over the hole with a round seat hole), and either pilot to copilot, or pilot to bombardier.  and you were never to pee in them, as if filled them up and made them more stinky.   smiley_airfreshener smiley_smelly_skunk smiley_spider drop
And always use a stick to ensure the edge of the hole did not have spiders or other unfriendly critters.W a dug 'cat holes' which ranger encouraged. 

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #62 on: July 13, 2021, 08:22:05 AM »
Only as a means to the facts- I'll point out that Foxfire began as a GUY! not a "she", who began an oral history project at the Rabun Gap, GA school. It was wildly successful but ended badly as the end story for that Guy (google Eliot Wigginton and you'll find the whole story of how he went from hero to criminal) was that he cheated the school and stole money from the project as it became more of a success. The school, as I recall, has been absorbed by the local public system but the oral history idea lives on in many areas. At one time I was a subscriber to that magazine and have every one of the books. One absolutely lovely lady that was "found" by the Rabun Gap students was Aunt Arie who they interviewed many times and who also became the key object of a TV documentary. For my wife and I she sort of hit home as my wife's Granny on her Mom's side not only looked like Aunt Arie, she somewhat lived like her as far as the natural world aspect. 
I still think any outhouse lacking a moon cutout is off the mark?
I lived out on the Kaw River (across from Rossville, KS) as a young adult for many years with an outhouse and no telephone-until I got married then lots of stuff changed... :D My reloading bench in the LR went bye bye, outhouse gone the first spring, etc.. TV antenna went up.  

I grew up with an indoor toilet, first 4 years during WWII, then my Dad returned to the apt where my Mom rented and I met him there. Then lacking any money or enough space for 3 people- we moved in with my granny who lived in what's often called a shotgun sort of house. It could have been called a garlow too? It was narrow, 3 rooms in a row stacked behind each other- had a front LR, then the only BR, then a kitchen with a shed indoor BR attached on the side. FWIW, as a historical note- she was a Gold Star Mother and the tiny front LR was a shrine to my Uncle David who went down with the Arizona @ Pearl Harbor. A small sideboard was covered with his pictures. 
Indoor toilet no doubt added by my uncles who looked after their mom as she had a deadbeat husband who'd left them during the depression at a very low moment in Harveyville, KS where they lived in the storeroom of my Great Grandpas store in that one room.
  That indoor toilet had a cast iron tub, a pull chain commode with overhead tank and a pull chain and a water heater that I remember as steel riveted tank painted with silver paint all over next to the commode. Yep, real fancy. next door in an actual mansion lived one of the richest Jewish business men in all of Topeka, KS. On the other side was a very modest, larger house where a doctor lived and had his practice in his home. Now days that small homes lot seems like a narrow space between two bigger houses. Our backdoor neighbor kids were all the time running around knawing on a chickens foot as their snack. I have no idea where they were from but they lived in what I'd call a shack on the alley. Not a fancy locale, huh? In the Jewish mans mansion I remember it as always smelling like garlic & onions. They had a fancy chandelier over the dining table that sticks in my memory box too. Maybe the first one I'd seen? 

Back to outhouses...
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #63 on: July 13, 2021, 09:16:48 AM »
Kantuckid,

 I remember the Foxfire movie with John Denver. I will have to work on the crescent moon but I hope people don't confuse it with a mosque.

 I may have to include audio and the below music playing every time someone opens the door.



Sam,

 I remember the cat holes and slit trenches. I missed the burning of the pooh like in Viet Nam (Remember Lt. Dan first meeting Forrest Gump and Bubba). Well, actually I never missed it. ::)

 I have said before the bane of my existence in the USMC was when we would hold a a huge, joint service exercise at Camp LeJeune near Jacksonville NC and I would have to rent every porta-john in the area. I kept a drawer full of base maps I had gotten from G-2 and would order the PJs be delivered to a 6 digit grid coordinate (Generally a major road intersection in or near the area of operations) and we would move them with tactical fork lifts and hide them under camo. I'd end up with some frizzy headed young man in my office and me giving him map reading classes so he would know where to take them. (Ever pizza guy in the area seemed to be able to find us including the one who walking into the TOC during a commanders briefing but that is another story.) We'd have to stop the exercises periodically and go admin to empty them. We'd send an escort so the truck could find them. On one big exercise the guys truck broke down and the health gurus nearly shut us down. The CG was all over my CO (HQBn CO) and he was all over me. I finally told him the guy was a civilian and I could not court martial him so all I could do was refuse pay which I had already suspended pending service. I still wake up in a cold sweat thinking about porta-johns.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #64 on: July 13, 2021, 10:11:41 AM »
 :D
One of the most productive spots to dig for antique bottles in the Kansas Flint Hills was an old house sites out house or dug well along with under the foundation. Also VG to collect snakes that bite. i never thought about taking a nip on the throne but was obviously a great place to hide the habits bottle evidence. We ordered a pizza delivery on Ft Hood, TX one time and the guy drove like 30 miles to us-it's a very big place at that. 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #65 on: July 13, 2021, 12:38:44 PM »
   That sounds like another really good reason not to take up antique bottle collecting if you ask me. :D

    I understand most of the black widow bites occurred in outhouses. 

   Now let's see - Poisonous snake bites. Black widows. Splinters. Frostbite. Pranksters (tying them shut and turning outhouses over used to be great fun I hear). Remember the cowboy on The Unforgiven. Really foul smells.

   Above is just a short list of things to tell your buddy the next time he starts talking about "The Good Old Days".

    Our comm center were the ones who were bad about ordering pizza in the field as they could call an outside line while the rest of us could not. Kids today may not believe that but in the old days there were no cell phones and everybody could not just call anybody from any location like they can today.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline btulloh

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #66 on: July 13, 2021, 12:46:46 PM »
I actually knew an old fellow who sat down in the outhouse and a black widow bit him on the descenders. He said it was the worst pain he ever felt, not to even mention the emotional aspect. He went on to live a long life, but He never went into detail (thank goodness) about any long-term localized effects on the abused anatomy. 

I am really a big fan of modern plumbing and facilities. 

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #67 on: July 14, 2021, 08:27:22 AM »
Just yesterday I was reading the Terminix pest control people's list of insects they considered outside their normal pest control contracts-Brown Recluse spiders and Black Widows were on that list along with so many kinds of ants you'd need a PHd in bugs to sort it out... :D 

My Ft Hood pizza story was pre-cell phones-I think we had somebody who had gone into built up areas order it after we'd seen a pizza guy in the boonies. Scorpions like that place insect wise and they got in everything each nite.
 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #68 on: July 15, 2021, 07:56:29 PM »
 

 

Well, I finished my construction of my last toilet or as Brandi calls them "Pooh house" including the box/seat and toilet seat today. Instead of a crescent moon I am thinking about getting some wooden cut-outs for future use of Winnie the Pooh and market these as Pooh Houses. I may have to print something off the internet for this one. Thanks Brandi.

    Another trick I learned is on the front of the box/seat I made a 12" tall panel by joining 2- 1X6's then I simply stood it in place and locked it in with two dirt simple rotatable wood strips. Just rotate them 90 degrees and you can remove the panel for service/cleaning, etc. Last time I used two short 1X12's and two pairs of hinges. This is cheaper, faster and much easier. I will likely get my belt sander out in the morning and touch up the surfaces and knock off the mildew on the top 1X4  and generally smooth out the top a little.

   The customer has already paid for all 3 structures and is coming to get them tomorrow. I have been studying how to load these buildings especially the 4X8 shed which is the heaviest. I think I will use by 5X8 utility trailer. We will remove the roof and I suggested the customer bring a long ratchet strap to reinforce everything during loading and transport. I can put some cribbing under the middle of the shed to make a pivot point, back the trailer up to the shed, push down on the back end raising the front end. I can even disconnect the trailer off the ball and raise and back it under, add about a couple of 4.5' long posts as rollers and push/roll it on into the trailer. We'll move the trailer to the customers trailer and slide/roll it off doing pretty much the same thing in reverse.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #69 on: July 15, 2021, 08:51:47 PM »
Well, I finished my construction of my last toilet 

  
oh good, I thought you said finished my "last constitution" in my toilet, and the customer is picking them up tomorrow.  My daughter would caution you about copyright, but she is very honest.   :)
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #70 on: July 15, 2021, 09:34:21 PM »
Doc,

Do you think they will me let bring my laptop in my cell a and still log on to the FF or do you think I will end up in solitary confinement for life? If not will you and OGH and Brandi still write to me in prison? You are probably right. I'll spend the rest of my life in lockdown for my copyright infringement of my "Pooh Houses" while unnamed famous comedians are released for much more serious crimes I'll get the book thrown at me and end up under the jail. ::) Maybe Robert will feel sorry for me and get together a bunch of his fishing buddies and make up a petition of War Eagle character references and get me an early release. Oh well, I guess I should not hope for early parole for good behavior then. :(
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #71 on: July 16, 2021, 07:05:33 AM »
Maybe since a newspaper funny strip like pooh bear has become a rarity you'll slip by? Our local "pooh bear" stole our large plastic trash can last month. No sign of debris so never found as yet. We hope it's down deep in the branch blow the house so when leaves drop we'll see it. 
Do they get into outhouses? if so the real pooh bear might be the issue. Looking inside I got this thought that it's a very dark place once that door closes. Brown recluse spiders should enjoy moving inside... 
No need for a magazine rack inside cause they are gone like the newspapers & most magazines. Good thing cell phones light up cause thats probably the modern throne room entertainment? Call the above "pooh muses"? :D
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #72 on: July 16, 2021, 07:55:02 AM »
You shouldnt be counting on a lot from the Pink Pachyderms. 
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #73 on: July 16, 2021, 08:15:00 AM »
Kantuckid,

  It is dark in there. If it were for my personal use I'd buy one of those battery powered LED lights you just press to turn on and they go off automatically. We have a couple in the house in the closet where my wife keeps most of her camera supplies for some extra light.

  I know the old standard was to keep the old Sears and Roebuck or Penny's catalog in the outhouse but it could be a regional issue. Where I grew up in N. Fla it was corn cobs. They had to be stacked and used in the right order - 3 red ones then a white one. Further south it was Spanish moss and I don't remember if folks stored it in the outhouse or just grabbed a handful off the live oak outside as they went in.

  As to bears in outhouses I never heard of one getting there but they may. I guess even bears have some sense of pride. And since they have such a strong sense of smell I can see why they would not want to hang around there. I understand there were a lot of bear deaths on the railroad out west and Alaska and such because originally the toilets on the train used supposedly dumped right on to the tracks and the bears would feed on it - I guess they were getting the corn - and they'd get hit by the next train.

  That reminds me - deer and other animals are often found around old outhouses because of the salt in the old urine. They tend to think of it as a salt lick.

Danny,

  Yes, I realized and mentioned that if I had to wait for the PP crew I might as well not even expect parole for good behavior. :(
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #74 on: July 16, 2021, 11:51:43 PM »
 

I got up this morning and touched up the toilet box and knocked some black mildew off with my belt sander and touched up the surface a little to reduce the chance of splinters. Here is an open view with the panel removed so you can see the plastic tote 

Here is a closed toilet seat view with the front panel on hiding the tote.


here is the best view right at dark. The toilet is on the end of the trailer and the 4X4 and 4X8 sheds are on the trailer ready to go home to the customer. The rep came about 5:00 pm. We'd load the buildings on my 5X8 trailer by jacking or tilting them and backing my 5X8 trailer under them and using some 4.5' buckeye rollers to roll them on. I'd strap them down and  tow them to the customer trailer which was in a dip so my trailer extended over his. He'd winch them off and we'd go back and load the next one. This customer left them intact except for the roof. In the past they took them dismantled. It was after 9:30 pm by the time we got them loaded and strapped down good for his 100+ mile trip back to Charleston WV. In fact, I forgot to include his sawdust so I'll e-mail and tell him any time he is in the area to come get some. This has been a very long drawn out affair getting these built but the customer has been nice and paid well and I am glad to see them go to a good home. 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #75 on: July 17, 2021, 08:25:44 AM »
Big project, nicely done! I hope he made it back OK, I see his hood is open in that last photo. No matter, you got the SGU's in your pocket. Looks like outhouses/deer blinds/bus shelters/sheds is turning into a fine little piece of your business!
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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #76 on: July 17, 2021, 09:11:03 AM »
Tom,

   Yeah that is important but of course I want him to get back safely so he can come back again. His hood was open because he ran a jumper cable to the battery on his winch as his winch battery was pretty flat when he got here. Things like that was why it took so long as the loading on to my trailer, towing with my new ATV then sliding it off on to his trailer were pretty straight forward affairs. Hard work but not rocket science. The guy who picked it up has a Cooks mill and we talked about it so he probably has sawdust available but I'll e-mail and offer some anyway.

   I guess the next step I will do is make another toilet seat/box for stock and to advertise at flea markets and such. They are pretty simple to make - just 4 scrap 16" 2X4's for legs, 3-36" long 1X4s with 2 along the top of the legs on the top at the front and back one along the back at the bottom as a stretcher, 4-20" 1X4's along the ends on top and bottom leaving a 16" tall X 20" deep X 38" wide frame with no bottom stretcher on the front. Then I make a 12" X 36" panel to close in the front that is just held with in place with 2 scrap boards that each rotate on a single screw attached at the corners of the front 1X4.  I don't worry about covering the ends or back as they are not exposed anyway. Then I make the top starting with a wide 1" board with the toilet hole marked and cut out with a jig saw. I've been using some 20" wide ash I had in stock. At some point I may have to make them out of 2-1X10s when I run out of wide stock. I  center this on the frame then fill in to cover the remaining top. I make the top 22" deep with 2" overhang on the back to bore the holes and attach toilet seat. A toilet seat/lid from Lowes or my local hardware cost about $11 and makes it all look more professional. You could just cut out the hole and hinge a wide board to fold down and cover it. I do lightly sand the top to improve the appearance and reduce the likelihood of splinters. Then I just buy a plastic tote from WalMart or the dollar store to fit the space under the box/seat and add a feed sack full of sawdust and you are ready for business. There may be a market for just the seats and let the customer provide his own shed - or not.

   The whole unit is free standing and easy to move around and service by removing the front panel or just tilting the whole box back if you are so inclined.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #77 on: July 17, 2021, 02:14:21 PM »
thanks for giving us the poop and scoop on your structure.  feel free to come-post anytime!  you are a gas! :)
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #78 on: July 17, 2021, 03:27:14 PM »
Doc,

  Thanks for the kind words. Maybe we can work out a business arrangement. During your exam after the finger wave you can tell your patients "Oh, I can see you may be interested in a composting toilet. I have a contact who can build you just the thing." We'll have to work out your fee and the 5% to the FF. I hope this business deal works out better than the last one where you and Lynn collaborated and I lost my shirt. ::)
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #79 on: July 17, 2021, 03:31:47 PM »
.....for the record, I do occasionally think of things to say, that I choose not to say...  mark it on your calendar, it is a family site! :D
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #80 on: July 25, 2021, 05:49:50 PM »
  I made another toilet box and took it along to a couple of Flea Markets this weekend. Saturday was in Beckley WV. The crowd was not great and the other venders seemed to be bring a lot more junk and small crafts than the flea markets I usually visit. I did get several comments about the toilet and ultimately I sold 2 Red Oak Lichtenburg engraved benches which made it a decent day. I also sold several bird houses.
 
   Today I went to the Pence Springs Flea Market which is the one I usually go to. It has a more rural patronage and more and bigger crafts, some poultry and such.


 

 

One new idea I tried was putting a trash bag in the toilet for a liner and actually I think that will work very well. In the picture above you can see the toilet box/seat, the front panel is leaning on the box and you can barely see the plastic tote inside and can clearly see the trash bag as a liner extending down into the plastic tote. I got lots of favorable comments and planted lots of seeds and I'll see if I get sales in the near future. People really liked the liner idea.

  I told people all they had to do was insert the liner, use and keep adding sawdust till full then pull the tote out, tie the bag shut and go ahead and mail it to Washington DC. :D Many agreed that was a good disposal plan. ;D

  I sold a few birdhouses and planters and talked with several about future sawing jobs which I think will ultimately pay off even though today was mostly a bust. I did drop off a 30" and 36" RO bench top that I cut to length, sanded and bored the mortises in place with my friend there to do the Lichtenburg engraving. I'll pick them up next week.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Composting toilet
« Reply #81 on: July 26, 2021, 08:49:11 PM »
  I sent pictures of the "toilet liner" idea to the last customers who bought the composting toilets and sheds from me. The lady in Covington Va sent back pictures of her toilet at their barn and she was happy with it. The last guy replied and said he wanted another shed built. Both liked the liner idea.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"


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