Well, just got finished doing my weekly cleaning of my Astoria, and decided to try Shortstuff's suggestion of using the metal tape over the screws. The Astoria has sheet metal screws that hold the auger flight in place, plus silicone to seal it. In general, the pellets seem to slide pretty well, as the side of the hopper are pretty steep, but I figured, "hey, what the heck". I had some Hi-Temp foil tape from re-doing the exhaust flue joints on the oil burner. I went over the whole hopper with 00 steel wool, vacuumed it, cleaned it with rubbing alchohol, and put 2 strips of the tape over the holes as smooth as I could. Then, I figured I shouldn't do a half-a** job, so I was all ready to go to the garage to get the car wax, when the light bulb went on in my head...... I headed for the cleaning closet, and lo and "Behold"....Behold!! That's right everybody, I used furniture polish, and let me tell you, the metal is as smooth as a baby's butt......and the stove smells good too!! :lol: And the final thought I had was that since many family's share the chores (men put the garbage out, cut the lawn, put pellets in the stove,etc, etc, women clean the house, cook, laundry, and do the dusting and polishing, I figured that since this is using polish, it falls under the other half's part of the household workload.....wadda ya think...will this fly???