Originally Posted by Twinlakes
That's great & your more than welcome!
I'm especially interested in learning more about the "new & antiqued" Kettles you've sourced. Are they significantly less expensive?
Regardless of your direction, I wanted to add that if you end up getting an original piece and spend good money-why not Liner the interior area. It's relatively easy if your lucky enough to find a relatively smooth piece(for sealing aspects). Not only will it help preserve the pieces $$$ value; it'll save it from getting eaten up by way of environmental causes(fertilizers, etc.). Fertilizer will be your main culprit. Adding fish to the equation only affects it more.
As far as the roots affecting the pump(say you found an original syrup kettle):
1.It being round will allow more freedom as you'll be able to "go deep with barrier"(if using a submersible with fabric).
2. If it's preserved("out of sight") the value will only increase over time. I say "out of sight" because it can be done & still retain it's appeal.
Even though it seems as though you've found a suitable alternative; I'd really appreciate some pictures of the final project.
Heck, why not take some along the way.
Sounds like it would be a fun project if...$$$ were right.
What paint would you recommend for it. I know it'll be just about impossible to get a clear coat to keep the patina with out further rusting.