When I needed a part for a project that I just couldn't buy, I decided to try sand casting it. This was the first book I bought, and I don't regret it. It has a great deal of technical knowledge to offer, and it's written in a very accessible way for the amateur like myself. Mostly though, I get a great mental picture of Mr. Ammen when reading his words. I've known crusty tradesmen like I imagine Ammen to be, and it makes me sad to think that they are a dying breed. What a world, full of artists, amateurs, and pencil pushers, with few that know how anything really works. I think it's worth buying just for the colorful prose.
A topic like metal casting could fill an encyclopedia easily, so I think it is great praise of Ammen to say that this book gives you just enough rope to hang yourself. Besides, anybody who's ever done anything knows that the only way to learn how to do something is to do it. So get this book, mix up some green sand, and git'er done.