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How to build an outdoor toilet

Toilets hide what no one wants to see or talk about, even though every person has to use a toilet several times a day. There are times when it would be convenient to have an outdoor toilet even if it is just to save on the costly gallons of water that get flushed down the drain. Toilets range in simplicity to complexity depending on your needs as well as your wallet, but you might find a rustic outdoor toilet useful.

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  1. Set up a privacy structure outside in a secluded area. Use a pre-constructed shed or a lean-to or whatever materials you have. Build the privacy structure at least 5-feet square.

  2. Set up the base for the toilet by cutting landscape timbers into nine 2-foot sections using a wood saw. Drill .5-inch holes in the centre of each flat side, 2.5 inches in from the ends.

  3. Cut six 4-inch sections from the landscape timber to use later for the back opening. Drill one .5-inch hole in the centre of each flat side, 2.5 inches in from the end.

  4. Stack the timbers in alternating layers, two on the sides and one over them in the front and two short pieces in the back for the first layer. Repeat for three layers, lining up the holes in each corner.

  5. Use a mallet or hammer to tap an 18-inch section of .5-inch dowel into the holes, adjusting the timbers to line up the holes, until the dowel is flush with the top layer.

  6. Cut a .5-inch thick piece of plywood into a 14-inch square. Find the centre point by drawing lines from corner to corner. Draw a 12-inch circle based on the centre point. Cut out the circle with a jigsaw or hand saw.

  7. Screw the plywood board onto the timber platform with 1-inch wood screws around the perimeter.

  8. Place a standard toilet seat cover over the hole and mark the bolt-holes in the back. Drill the holes with a .5-inch drill bit.

  9. Secure the toilet seat to the platform with the plastic bolts that came with the seat.

  10. Slide a 5-gallon bucket in from the back opening and centre it under the hole. Keep another 5-gallon bucket filled with sawdust next to your toilet. Use a scoop to sprinkle into the bucket after each use.

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Things You'll Need

  • 9 landscape timbers, 8-ft. long
  • Wood saw
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Mallet/hammer
  • 4-1/2-inch dowels, 18 inches long
  • 1/2-inch thick plywood, 14 inches square
  • Jigsaw
  • Pencil
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • Toilet seat
  • 5-gallon bucket

About the Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.

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