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Candle Powered Pottery Heater
Easy enough to get a large flat dish and melt the remnants of old candles into it Just mount multiple wicks in the base of it... or if you cannot be bothered, place half a dozen tealights in a glass dish... Tealights are really cheap and you can often get a couple of hours out of each
Metal cans heat very quickly but once the candles have burnt out the cans cool very quickly. Terracotta retains heat for a good while longer. It is also much easier to construct than using cans... remember how easy it is to cut yourself on a sharp tin edge... especially seeing as this may be something you do during a power cut when light might be an issue.
I like the idea of loading up on bits of metal. How about starting the bolt from the bottom with the small pot right side up and filled with what have you. (This would require a longer bolt, but there are always work arounds when you're in the garage or basement. I keep lots of "junk" around, and always pick up washers off the street. They are always needed for something, and this saves a trip to the HD. A washer, BTW, is worth far more than an equivalent coin you might pick up.) I have tons of small flat metal bars from lighting kits, as you can usually reuse the existing one when replacing a fixture. Older ones I KNOW were made of real steel. I would attach a few of these to the top. I would like to use a platform of bricks which might also become warm without becoming incendiary. Perhaps replace the Mason jars with more terra cotta pots, or better yet, those tall, slim terra cotta wine coolers from the 70's (thrift shops!). They might warm up some, too. Sorry to be so windy.....my ideas tend to expand.
BTW, I once read about how toxic those Made in China candles can be. I wonder what good old American candle makers use so as not to poison us all. As Jeremy has pointed out, however, this is for short-term emergency use, and you needn't stand over it and suck in the air.
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