The Practical Pyromaniac: Build Fire Tornadoes, One-Candlepower Engines, Great Balls of Fire, and More Incendiary Devices [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
The Practical Pyromaniac: Build Fire Tornadoes, One-Candlepower Engines, Great Balls of Fire, and More Incendiary Devices

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$13.99 List Price

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What a fun, totally engrossing book! Gurstelle’s projects—everything from a tiny single-candle engine to a flamethrower—are both easy to build and hard to resist. But along the way Gurstelle also weaves in a fascinating account of how the mysteries of fire were deciphered by some of history’s greatest scientists. Think of The Practical Pyromaniac as a cookbook for the budding scientist in each of us." —James Meigs, editor in chief of Popular Mechanics

"If only I had had a reference like William Gurstelle's terrific [book] ... provides no-nonsense walkthroughs of a host of excellent, intriguing and magical experiments (with plenty of very sage safety talk and advice)."  —Mythbusters' Adam Savage in his review for The Wall Street Journal

"William Gustelle is the bomb—as well as the blowtorch, the catapult, the guided missile, and now the fire tornado. His enthusiasm for just-shy-of-catastrophic chemistry is infectious and inspiring, and once again he’s proven that science can be bold, captivating, and fun for all." —Thomas Goetz, executive editor of Wired and author of The Decision Tree

"A recipe book packed with fun (and safe) fire projects, fit for science geeks, garage experimenters and casual weekend flame-throwers."  —MSNBC.com

"When the zombie apocalypse comes, I want William Gurstelle’s books in my survival bunker. The Practical Pyromaniac delivers the history, science, and practical know-how needed to play safely with, and truly understand, Prometheus’s gift. To quote Beavis: ‘Fire. Heh. Heh. Fire!’" —Ken Denmead, publisher of GeekDad.com and author of Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share

"This book isn't just playtime for pyros ... [it is] full of cool things to build, sure enough, but it's also an educational and entertaining trip back through the history of science. This one deserves maximum exposure to both the build-it-yourself crowd and those fascinated by the cul-de-sacs of scientific history." —Booklist

"Simply stated directions and easy-to-follow illustrations usher readers through more than 15 incendiary projects ... The author renders otherwise dense and complicated scientific explanations imminently understandable." —Kirkus Reviews

“This book packs enough punch to fill a dozen weekends with high-powered hijinks that will amaze and delight the members of your secret garage science club.” —Mark Frauenfelder, editor in chief of MAKE
 
 
 

Kirkus Reviews

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 professional engineer, releases a powderkeg in this book, which blends history and science education with fire-inspired DIY projects.Beginning with a well-researched examination of flames and heat, he provides simple exercises for readers unseasoned in the art of fire, offering tips that can be applied both practically and recreationally. Safety is of the utmost importance to Gurstelle, who enumerates a myriad of thorough and clear stated warnings and precautions. The author overlooks nothing (there's even a guide to the proper use of fire extinguishers), but a section on burns and their treatment would make a welcome addition. Readers are urged to proceed with caution and begin by designing a simple flame tube—candles that produce long-sustained musical tones—before moving on to more complicated projects like assembling a propane-fueled flamethrower. Instructions are woven through with pivotal moments in the history of fire, from its discovery by cavemen to the scientific stylings of 19th-century chemist and physicist Michael Faraday. Gurstelle's simply stated directions and easy-to-follow illustrations usher readers through more than 15 incendiary projects.

The author renders otherwise dense and complicated scientific explanations imminently understandable.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569768884
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 413,570
  • File size: 952 KB

Meet the Author

William Gurstelle is a professional engineer who has been researching and building model catapults and ballistic devices 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 The Rake, Wired, and several other national magazines.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Keeping Safety in Mind 1

2 The Flame Tube 7

3 The First Lights 31

4 The One-Candlepower Engine 47

5 The Fire Drill 55

6 The Burning Ring of Fire 69

7 The Hydrogen Generator and the Oxygenizer 81

8 Exploding Bubbles 101

9 The Fire Piston 113

10 The Arc Light 123

11 Fireproof Cloth and Cold Fire 131

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

Index 207

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 11, 2011

    Pictures/images are missing

    Many figures and pictures do not appear -- just white space where the figure should appear. It seems to start occuring at chapter 8. A couple of the chapters are completely void of pictures or diagrams; ch 12 thru 14. I tried viewing the eBook using Nook for PC and no luck. Very disappointed. Should've bought the hard copy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)