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I used to play knights & merchant as a kid so I was able to understand it :)

Why aluminium? Low temp, high availability?

Exactly. It is extremely inexpensive -- the majority of the aluminum I melt I found abandoned on the side of the road -- it melts at only 1200 degrees F which is an easy charcoal fire. It is easy to machine, doesn't corrode, is hard enough to build interesting things, and lightweight.

Have you considered or tried melting steel though?

As I mentioned in another comment, ironworking requires taking things to the next level in a pretty serious way if you want to cast it. Iron melts at 2800 degrees, you need ceramic crucibles, it is heavy, and so on. I'm not going to even consider iron until I have a lot more experience working with aluminum.

That said, I do have some friends who are experts at working iron, so if I do decide to take it up, I'll have a lot of good advisors.

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