I was wandering through Rona today and had a bit of a brainstorm when I passed by their expandable foam section. Seeing that at some point in the near future I'm going to be casting some fairly intricate parts that will most likely require a lost-foam type of process, I thought I'd pick up some up and do some experimenting with it.
I'll be doing some tests to see how well it will hold a form's shape and how well it will 'get out of the way' when 1300 degree aluminum hits it.
Also, I came across a $7 thermocouple. This things are used for the safety cut-off in gas appliances. They're the litttle things that sit in the pilot light and cut off the gas if the pilot light blows out. It puts out a voltage depending on how hot the thermocouple gets. I'm going to do some tests to see if I can use it to get an idea of how hot the inside of the furnaces get when melting aluminum.