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

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  55 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The Practical Pyromaniac combines science, history, and DIY pyrotechnics to explain humankind’s most useful and paradoxical tool: fire. William Gurstelle, author of the bestselling Backyard Ballistics and frequent contributor to Popular Mechanics and Make magazine, presents 25 projects with instructions, diagrams, photos, and links to video demonstrations that enable peopl ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Chicago Review Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Joe
Mar 02, 2014 Joe rated it liked it
The Practical Pyromaniac is a quick look at the history of human scientific interaction with fire -- our understanding of its nature and harnessing of its power -- as well as a how-to guide to experiments that help illustrate the nature of fire.

I was looking forward to the experiments, but ended up a little bit disappointed. I understand the limits of what can be done at home with only a short description from a book, but some of the experiments felt absolutely unnecessary. The title and descrip
...more
Sara
Jun 04, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it
Although I am too much of a coward to try the flamethrower, the science seems sound and the title seems awesome.
James Christensen
Feb 03, 2014 James Christensen rated it liked it
Fairly DIY - a little too much for my taste. I am going to give it to my friend with a shop.
Nathan
Jan 08, 2012 Nathan rated it really liked it
WOO HOOOOOOO!!!!
This book is great!
If you are looking at this book you already know what it is.
So decide do you want the book to have it sitting on the book shelf.
Fireballs and crazy stuff.
other then the fact it feels like it is burner prep I liked it.
Smellsofbikes
Aug 08, 2011 Smellsofbikes rated it really liked it
Awesome, with some really great projects. I wish it had about 120% more danger but some of the designs in here are so spectacular I can't actually be upset by the conservative designs.
Mike
Jul 01, 2012 Mike rated it liked it
Very good history of the science and inventions of fire. Nice mix of projects, some very simple and useful in everyday situations, some pretty exotic and interesting.
Douglas Tatelman
Oct 25, 2011 Douglas Tatelman rated it it was amazing
Mr Gurstelle is the science teacher I never had. He could have changed my life.

Fascinating combination of history, science and fun.
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