Make your own dry toilet Part 3 The Seats continued

Welcome to the continuation of this project on making the dry toilet seats. If you have just landed on this page, then the first part can be found here.

DIY pallet wood dry toilet work in progress

For the seat itself I had selected some wood planking 140mm x 30mm (5½” x 1¼”) that I had intercepted before being thrown into a skip. Already planed smooth this was ideal. On  the very first seat I made (still in use) I used 20mm (¾”) pallet wood and this was okay except it did take some effort to plane it to an acceptable smooth and splinter-free finish.

make your own dry toilet from pallet wood
The planks were sawn to length and laid onto the top of the frame. Previously I had marked the centre of the frame with a pencil line and I laid the seat planks for both sides to this line. The seat supports remained clamped to the side frames and hence once in place a line could be drawn on the underside of the seat indicating the supports positions (image at start of article).

diy dry toilet from pallet wood work in progress

Each plank in turn could then be removed, turned over and drilled.

make your own pallet wood toilet seat

Prior to screwing I'd countersunk the screw holes on the top face of the seat planks and then ran a bead of PVA wood glue on the upper faces of the supports. I also ensured that the front edge of the seat projected about 20mm (¾”) over the front edge of the frame.

The shape for the hole in the seat I obtained simply by tracing the outline from an existing toilet seat onto a piece of cardboard. Once cut out, this became the template for the hole and could be traced around in the correct position on the seat planking.

making your own pallet wood dry toilet

When the glue bonding the seat planks to the supports had dried, the holes could be cut using a jigsaw. The buckets were put in place and the alignment was checked. As an additional support for the seat planks I glued and nailed laths of wood on the underside of the seat that were narrow enough not to impinge on the bucket rim.

making a pallet wood toilet seat

The upper edge of the hole was rounded, for user comfort and although it could be done with a rasp and sandpaper, I found it much quicker using a router fitted with a roundover bit.

  making a pallet wood toilet seat lid - hinges

To make the lid I cut 20mm (¾”) pallet planks to length and laid them on top of the seat, the plank at the back flush with the rear edge of the seat. The lid pivoted on the same dowels as the seat thus four ‘L’-shaped support arms were cut.

The shorter arm of the ‘L’ was long enough so as to be able to be drilled for the dowel to pass through. The long arm was laid onto the lid planks and the pivot hole in each one was drilled.

making hinges for DIY pallet wood dry toilet

To make this operation easier, each arm was held against the inside face of one of the outermost seat supports and the hole was drilled using the previously-drilled holes in the frame and support as the guide. During drilling I used a piece of wood to wedge the arm firmly in place.

NOTE: Because I had drilled and checked the hole alignment in the support frames I knew that the pivot holes were in the same position thus, all of the holes in these arms were drilled through the same guide holes.

finishing the frame of diy pallet wood dry toilet

Prior to fitting the lid, I nailed planking to the front face of the seat frame and chamfered and smoothed the top edge with a rasp and sandpaper.

With the lid planks in position,  each pair of arms were fitted onto their respective dowel and lowered into place. The arms were drilled and screwed to the lid planks.

 Making your own dry toilet systemNow all that was needed was to put the seat in place in the toilet cabin and this is where the design for the cabin works really well.
As the wall planks are not fixed in place, they can be slid out from their retaining bars until there is enough of a gap for the seat to pass through. This means that the seat can be fitted into a cabin not much wider than itself (about 50mm (2”)).

finished homemade dry toilet form pallets
With the buckets in place and sawdust in a separate container, the system is up and running!

.. and now if you'd like to, sit back and watch the film of the construction of the seats:

Making your own dry toilet - the seats in place
All the best and thanks for dropping by. Please feel free to share this article, comment and/or ask for further information.

Until next time!

Cheers, Andy
© Andy Colley 2015


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