carlherrnstein, thanks for your help, I sent you a private message, but it didn't need to be. If we post here, then we might get some more input. the message I sent said - I finally liberated the burner, auger and auger tube from the Combustioneer. I tried air chiseling out the refractory around the tuyeres as you suggested, but was not very successful. So I took my plasma cutter and torched the whole thing out from the bottom, auger tube and all. I found an interesting thing - the auger tube has two slots cut in it on the top near to where it enters the retort. These slots allow air from the pressurized air box to enter the retort with the coal. They look like an afterthought because the retort casting itself has a good sized hole cast in it that looks like it was designed to get air to the retort with the coal, but the auger tube covers up this retort hole on the inside. Do you or anyone else know what I am referring to? I am trying to design my replacement air box/retort holder and would like to know if I should allow the air to go through the hole in the retort casting by cutting back the auger tube near it's end, or keep it shut off and cut slots in the top of my new auger tube. Also, do you see any advantage/disadvantage to making the auger tube out of stainless? It should last longer, right? I can't believe after 3 years thinking about this project I am finally actually starting to cut metal!!!