If you want to know what tools I use, check the list below. If you click on links many of them are affiliate links which pass along a small portion of the cost to me. If you don’t see something, contact me and ask. I would be glad to add any missing items. Here they are:
Crucible – I use a #6 clay graphite crucible from McMaster-Carr. I have also ordered #6 crucibles from Amazon, but I received #8 crucibles instead. They may have fixed the labeling problem, but if you feel like rolling the dice you could try that one and may end up with a larger crucible at no extra cost.
Sand – I use Green Diamond sand with Southern Bentonite. I bought them both from Lancaster Foundry Supply in PA. Shipping costs are high and may be a deal breaker for you. I mixed the ingredients according to the ratio prescribed by the supplier for aluminum casting. I now highly prefer lost foam casting: done in cheap play sand from the local big box store. If you plan on casting lots of identical aluminum parts, green sand will be great. If you do lots of one off castings, give lost foam 10 tries. You’ll be glad you did, and after the 10th try you can switch to something else if you are not in love.
Surface Plate – I picked up my 18″x24″x3″ surface plate at WT Tool in Charlotte NC. I have family near by so this was convenient for me. Having a ~150lb block of granite shipped is not cheap, but the $85 surface plate might even make that tractable for some. Possibly a more economical option is to purchase the Grizzly surface plate.