What is your experience with using compost tumblers? Are they worth the trouble?
First off, nice video!
We have 2 tumblers gathering dust after less than one year of ownership. Both are plastic drum-style. One is big. Too big to tumble. And when it's full, it strips every bolt in it trying to turn it. At the end of the 2nd batch, we resorted to rolling it around the yard. The other is a dual-chamber. Finish one, fill the other. It has a nice drip pan with a spigot we installed to get the tea out easily. I do still use that for kitchen scraps and shredded cardboard. It's ok. But it doesn't make compost "fast,". as advertised. The chambers are just too small. The tea access is neat though. It's turnable when full, but stuff tends to clump into balls. They weren't cheap, either. And if I knew then, what I know now, we would have made creating a space for a ground heap a priority before we crash-tested the barrels.
So far, in my limited experience, no tumbler works as well as big giant steaming compost heap on the ground.
I would be concerned about a metal drum rusting out and what a mess that would be. I would expect it would need a lot more air holes, but that would make it dry out faster, and require more maintenance to keep it cooking. But without the air, like rainbowgardener observed, it will turn into a slimy yukky mess, especially if it's main goal is to compost wet and juicy kitchen scraps. Looks groundhog-proof enough though!
As a design suggestion, I wonder if small paddles or spikes could also be affixed to the center rod. We had a lot of clumps in our compost in the big drum. It had paddles inside too, but the spinning nature doesn't offer much in the way to break up and separate the ingredients.
I am curious, now that you have it built, and if it's full yet, how hard is it to spin it? Rolling by handling the drum will be a wet and icky process. Do you have a handle crank for the center shaft yet?
To answer your other question.... was it worth the trouble? For us, no. We don't have small critters to defend against. The big critters (3 large wolf-huskys that don't abide by foreign critters in their yard) are kept at bay by a chain link cage door. But, if keeping the compost safe from scavenging were a priority, I'd still be looking for a drum method that holds a LOT.
Let us know how it's working out as you use it more!