I'm new to the forum. I have run a search and couldn't find a specific thread on my questions so if there is one, sorry. Can anyone provide insight when it is a better practice to cast metal parts for a crossbow (e.g., trigger mechanism, roller nut, aluminum framing, sights, etc.) and when it is better practice to mill the piece from solid stock? I'm assuming that prods should be forged (by someone who knows what they are doing).
As a follow up, if you are just starting out building a small hobbyist shop, would it be advisable to buy a furnace that can melt at least bronze (tin and copper) and aluminum (and ideally steel) or buy a milling machine or lathe (I read here that a lathe is the correct choice for machines but I thought lathes can only work with symmetrical pieces along the relevant axis, which means it wouldn't work for a roller nut and certain trigger mechanisms, correct?) (I probably will enroll in a community college course on machining if I go that route before any major purchase as you can see I'm not that knowledgable).
If I go the furnace route, what crucible capacity would be sufficient to build an aluminum frame for a full sized crossbow (which should be the largest piece cast other than a prod, which, I assume, should not be cast at all)? I found this company online for furnaces that seem to fit the bill at http://devil-forge.com/metal-melting-furnace/ I'd assume the 5-10 kg size is more than enough, but is the 1- 2 kg too small?
I'm sorry for all the questions, but appreciate any insights that can be provided.