Practical Pyromaniac: Build Fire Tornadoes, One-Candlepower Engines, Great Balls of Fire, and More Incendiary Devices

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Chicago Review Press, Jun 1, 2011 - Science - 224 pages
Combining science, history, and DIY pyrotechnics, this book for the workbench warrior explains humankind’s most useful and paradoxical tool: fire. William Gurstelle, author of the bestselling Backyard Ballistics, presents 25 projects with instructions, diagrams, photos, and links to video demonstrations that enable people of all ages to explore and safely play with fire. From Franklin’s stove to Diesel’s engine, explosive and fascinating tales are told of the great pyromaniacs who scientifically revealed the mysteries of fire such as “Gunpowder” Joseph Priestly, who discovered oxygen; Antoine Lavoisier, the father of chemistry; and Humphrey Davy, whose chemical discoveries and fiery inventions saved thousands of lives. By following the directions inside, the curious can replicate these breakthrough scientists’ experiments and inventions from the simply fascinating one-candlepower engine to the nearly magical fire piston and an incredible tornado of fire.
 

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THE PRACTICAL PYROMANIAC: Build Fire Tornadoes, One-Candlepower Engines, Great Balls of Fire, and More Incendiary Devices

User Review  - Kirkus

Learn to play and build with fire—and not get burned.Gurstelle (Absinthe & Flamethrowers: Projects and Ruminations on the Art of Living Dangerously, 2009, etc.), pyrotechnic aficionado and ... Read full review

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I have learnt a lot by reading the few pages about the history of fire and the scientists. etc. shalom, Ackufyaa.

Contents

1 Keeping Safety in Mind
1
2 The Flame Tube
7
3 The First Lights
31
4 The OneCandlepower Engine
47
5 The Fire Drill
55
6 The Burning Ring of Fire
69
7 The Hydrogen Generator and the Oxygenizer 81
81
8 Exploding Bubbles
101
12 The Extincteur
147
13 The Photometer
155
14 Thermocouples
165
15 Technicolor Flames
175
16 The Fire Tornado
183
17 Great Balls of Fire
193
Epilogue
201
Bibliography
205

9 The Fire Piston
113
10 The Arc Light
123
11 Fireproof Cloth and Cold Fire
131

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About the author (2011)

William Gurstelle is a professional engineer who has been researching and building model catapults, ballistic devices, and flamethrowers for more than 30 years. He is the author of Absinthe & Flamethrowers; The Art of the Catapult; the bestselling Backyard Ballistics; Building Bots; Whoosh, Boom, Splat; and Notes from the Technology Underground. He is a contributing editor at Make magazine and writes frequently for Popular Mechanics, Wired, and several other national magazines. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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