You may remember that my wife and I were going to Wyoming on a prairie dog hunting trip and I had to cast some new handles for my gun case. Well they worked great! We had a fabulous time, the wife I think enjoyed it more than me. Se is certainly as cold-hearted and blood thirsty as am I. We killed over 100 the first day and over 50 the second day. Here is a photo of her and our equipment. We do our shooting off collapsible shooting benches but one has to shoot in about a 180 degree arc and constantly moving the chair and the bench is a pain. One can buy a swivel shooting bench as pictured in the second photo. These are like $150.00 each...but why buy one when you can spend hours and hours engineering your own. I found I had a piece of 3 inch exhaust pipe for the central tube [Material that I make my oil burner devices out of.] and years ago I tore apart the kids swing set and couldn't bear to throw out the tubes, so I had some nice light, thin wall 2" tubing for the legs. I needed to cast a central part to tie the legs to the central pole. So I designed something up and realized that I couldn't bore out a 2 inch hole for the legs, except on my lathe so I had to include in the design some clamping stubs so that the lathe could grasp the part. This was definitely a part that had to be lost foam....as much as I wanted to sand cast this, as I will be making 2.....There was no way. Plus...I have had bad luck with cores. In picture #3 you see my materials. #4, you see the cardboard pattern I made to make sure the part fit my lathe. #5 I had to try it both ways. #6 you see how I make rounds out of foam. #7 the fully vented pattern...I actually added even more venting, I went a little overboard and actually had a difficult time putting in the pouring cup. The small rounds are for clamping in the lathe and the big ones for the legs, the central hole was for the center pipe. I was very worried that this part was so large that my crucible wouldn't be big enough so I got a bucket, filled it with sand. Poured all the sand in another bucket, then Put the pattern in the first bucket and poured the sand back in. I was then able to see that the remaining sand would fit my crucible. I made several modifications to the pattern [note the lathe stubs are hollow among other things.] To get the part small enough. Seed pictures #8 and #9 Well the casting was an unmitigated disaster, my home made crucible cracked and started leaking!!! I had no place to pour the metal so I had to try pouring the mold...I ran out of metal. OMG!!! well....not to worry. This pattern was really a little too bulky, the next pattern is almost ready and much more elegant. More in the next installment.