I'm a semi retired grumpy old guy that hasn't cast anything in well over a decade. I have a couple of projects (too many) that will require some aluminum castings and I'm too cheap to sublet the work. That means resurrecting my casting hobby and upgrading significantly the hardware and my knowledge base. This desire lead to this forum. Been lurking for a while now and have learned a lot. The pics below is of the few patterns left from those days and some of the castings from the recycle bin. These were done using charcoal and a large flower pot setting in a 5 gallon paint bucket of sand. I did eventually get usable parts. I had collected all the hardware to build a nice propane fired unit but life took a turn and it all got put on hold. I still have most of that hardware but........... The parts I want to make are quite a bit more complex than I have ever done and are better suited to lost wax than sand and the quality of the final product needs to be pretty good. Also my work area has changed quite a bit over the years and clean electric heat seems to be a better fit today. I was pointed to this thread today: Muses about a low mass electric furnace More ideas to assimilate. Low mass was one of my design parameters and I had planed to cast my own light weight refractory. From my days working in a Halliburton lab* I know how to make 6#/ft^3 cement with a 500 PSI strength and had thought about using the same method, but with refractory. I'm rethinking that pending tests of my original plan. Attached below is the spread sheet I worked up to design the coils for my planned 6kW unit. I decided on 4 coils to reduce the gauge of the Kanthal thinking it would be easier to wind using my 3D printed (untested) winding tool. Change the file type from *.txt to *.xlsx to open * No I couldn't find a source of bentone back then even with my Halliburton contacts. I bought Petrobond.