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I first experienced foundry work in my metalwork classes at school. I used sand casting techniques to produce a brass handle for a tankard and a shooting stick in aluminum amongst other things.

The fascination of forming objects from molten metal never left me and many years later I acquired a book "How to cast small metal and rubber parts", this fired my desire to again experience the satisfaction of producing objects from molten metal.

Looking at the equipment needed I decided that I needed to obtain suitable crucibles first, then the size and scale of everything else could be built around these items. The book gave me several addresses of crucible suppliers, unfortunately they were all in the USA. The cost of postage was prohibitive, so I reluctantly dropped the idea.

It was several years later that while restoring a pre war AJS motorcycle that I was having trouble finding suitable control levers that I can across a design to manufacture them myself, but it required the basic shapes to be cast in brass.

A search on the Internet located a firm who could supply crucibles slightly nearer than the USA but it was still overseas, in Holland. I changed my search criteria and started locating sites where home made furnaces were being described, on one of these sites I found a contact for a UK firm supplying foundry materials, including crucibles.

A phone call to the firm resulted in a catalogue and an order was placed. When I was informed of postage costs, over half the order value I found it cheaper to make a 400 mile round trip and collect the goods myself. I was now ready to start construction.