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I saw another constructable fairly recently about a guy who used a dedicated blender for shredding/chopping into a finer form before melting. could that not be done with what you are doing? Also, a wire harness type thingamajig (love engineering nomenclature) and you could could centrifuge your cans and pipes while the material was still molten. Then dispose of the top half inch or so (where the air would give you a spongier result).
I'm surprised you didn't rig a double door or garage door or such. I have an old 65x14 mobile that I'm using for storage as I build my shop. the shop is a carport sheet metal building. when the shop is done (really, are they ever?) I was going to use it as a finishing room. I heat the shop with a wood stove, the mobile is heated with a 20000 but ventless propane heater with a blower. I had to live in the mobile for a couple years, the ventless does a good job. I had a stock tank with chicks and ducklings in my living room. Then I got married and the wife has decided I need to be civilised. Made me build a house and everything.
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