The Dowel Method

To connect the parts we are going to use a doweling jig. A doweling jig will help us drill holes in the wood precisely where we want them so we can place the dowels inside and connect the different pieces. 

  • The dowel jig first lets us drill the holes.
  • Next we will be able to place the dowels and wood glue.
  • Lastly we connect the two parts and let them dry.

Now that you have an idea of how we'll be doing this, we'll start by connecting one of the legs with one of the short connectors.

To properly place the dowel jig, we'll first have to draw some reference points on our pieces.

  • First use a ruler to find the midpoint of the length of the leg. Then draw a line through that midpoint extending onto the connector.
  • Next use the ruler to draw a line on both sides of the midpoint line you just drew. Draw the line from the leg extending onto the connector.
  • Now draw a line, extending from the center, right and left lines you just drew, down onto the end. Then draw a line through the center of that connector's end.
  • Repeat that process for the leg by extending the three lines onto the end and also drawing a midpoint line on the end to get the three "cross hairs".

The Doweling Jig

  • Grab the doweling jig and make sure it is set to the 3/8" setting.
  • Now clamp it onto the connector, placing the "cross hairs" we drew directly in the center of the 3/8" hole.
  • Pull out your power drill and make sure you are using a 3/8" drill bit.
  • Take a dowel pin and draw a line in the center.
  • Put the drill into the doweling jig and with out drilling yet, use this pin to measure with the drill how far the drill stopper should be screwed onto the bit. This will prevent the drill from going too far into the wood.
  • Go ahead and drill into the wood until the stopper stops the drill.
  • Now repeat these steps with the leg.
  • Place dowels in holes and fit pieces together.

Rinse, Repeat

Repeat these steps with each of the connectors and legs until you have the whole structure fitting together.

Using Wood Glue

  • Next, take apart the tumbler and re-piece it back together glueing each dowel connection one at a time.
  • Feel free to use a hammer to set the pieces deeper.
  • Let the structure dry overnight.


  • Hold a caster wheel on a leg and draw an outline of each hole.
  • With a 3/8" drill bit, drill 4 holes on each leg.
  • Screw on each wheel.

And voila! That's it! Now you have yourself a handy compost tumbler and you made it all on your own.

*Note, you may have to do some sanding or add some cardboard to some of the legs to make sure the structure is level and steady.

This guide was first published on Jun 27, 2018. It was last updated on Jun 27, 2018.

This page (Connecting the Parts) was last updated on Jun 26, 2018.

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