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If all you have is "used" cat litter do you remove the "lumps" or do they help the clay stay together?
I admire your work with wood and aluminum but have a question about the sandblasting. How did you get the bottom of the letters blasted to the same depth so when you cast the aluminum letters would hit nice and flat and evenly when it contacted the wood? A word about safety while sandblasting. You really should wear gloves and sleeves to protect your skin. Sandblasting will embed grains of your media in your skin and years later will cause some very painful abscesses to develop. I've seen it and it is isn't pretty!
My 1st grade teacher showed us how to get a hard boiled egg in an old fashioned milk bottle. She removed the shell from the egg, dropped two or three small pieces of paper into the bottle after lighting them with a match and quickly sat the egg on top of the bottle. After a few seconds the egg was sucked into the bottle. After letting it cool and turning the bottle upside down she used her finger to hold the egg up so the ashes dropped out of the bottle. She then, with the bottle upside down, put the bottle to her lips and blew really hard and the egg was forced out of the bottle! I'm Sixty six now and I doubt that I will ever forget seeing that.
As a retired firefighter I can tell you that I have seen many heat reclaimers being used on wood stoves and have never seen a chimney fire in one. I have seen many chimney fires especially where a wood stove insert was being used and in nearly every case it had been burning green wood and the chimney had never been cleaned. Another major cause of chimney fires is when the home owner loads the stove with as much wood as he can then closes the stove's air inlets so the wood will not be burned up the next morning and all he has to do is open the air inlets and load some more wood to keep the house warm and the fire burning. Closing the air inlets like that causes incomplete combustion which causes crud to build up in the chimney.
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