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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.
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