All those old film reels the automakers used to put out, showing the process of carving perfect mahogany patterns then pouring molten metals into massive sand molds to cast engine blocks and the like, make the process seem like something only somebody with billions of dollars in capital could ever take on. Do-it-yourselfers, however, know that’s far from the case, especially when it comes to casting parts in aluminum and using a process called lost-foam casting. Sure, anybody with programming experience could chuck a hunk of billet into a CNC machine, press a button, and see the end result a few hours later, but lost-foam casting uses an entirely different set of skills, as we see in this series of videos that Kelly Coffield made showing how he cast a custom intake manifold for a Ford V-8 engine. Designed to accept a pair of Autolite inline-four-barrel carburetors and mount atop a 351 Cleveland, the manifold looks rather straightforward but took a good deal of work with routers and jigs – along with one big oops that caused Kelly to start all over from scratch – to create a professional-looking and usable piece. Still, there’s little he used in the process – except perhaps the pouring setup – that an average home tinkerer doesn’t have access to, and Kelly explains in painstaking detail every aspect of his patterns and every step he took along the way. It’s enough to lead us to start thinking what other rare or custom parts we could start casting

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