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Total bill for parts was about $25.
For the mast I bought schedule 40 1-1/2 inch diameter PVC pipe. Schedule 40 is one of the top quality grades of PVC - very hard and dense. Hard enough to prevent squirrel claws from gaining traction.
My purchase at Lowe's consisted of:
I used 1/16th inch steel cable and ferrules to make loops for easy disconnections for when it's zero degrees outside when pan has to be cleaned and such other nasty winter conditions. I ran the cable through two screw-eyes to distance the pan from the mast. I used cheap carabiners from Walmart to connect the parts.
The project was built with only basic tools - none expensive or exotic, believe me.
Only one (that I know of) extremely smart squirrel ever made it all the way to the top -- and he never got close to the seed pan. I know he didn't use his claws to get up there -- I like to think he "hugged" his way up -- like I used to 'shinny' up trees. He looked a bit foolish and ungraceful when I chased him away. After all, I had another feeder nearby just for squirrels. But they like sunflower seeds just as much as the birds do.
I am fortunate to have a handy timber retaining wall to anchor the mast to. The seed pan ended up suspended less than 8 feet from my living room window so I got lots of picture opportunities - not to mention all the pleasure watching the different breeds feeding so close to my window.
By Chuck from Canton, OH