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Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, and Kilns [Paperback]

by Michael Porter
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 2004 1879535203 978-1879535206
"Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, & Kilns" is a do-it-yourselfers dream book, showing beginners how to make highly efficient gas burners inexpensively. These burners use simple gas accelerators as their central operating principle. All that is needed is a $2 MIG tip and some plumbing parts. This eliminates the need for a blower to supply combustion air, allowing the burners to be built in any size. Burners are featured, which are small enough to be used for a jewelry torch or large enough to heat any ceramic kiln. Because these burners are both powerful and portable, they can be combined with low cost space age insulating materials and common containers to build light compact heating equipment. Also described is a blacksmith's forge that can be carried anywhere and stored under a workbench; a portable metal melting furnace; a portable farrier's forge; a portable glass furnace/glory hole; and a mobile hot-work station that aids in combining several crafts. The burners and equipment provide an inexpensive way to get started in blacksmithing, foundry work, ceramics, or glasswork. General information and specific designs are given, enabling the craftsperson to build equipment tailored to their own desires.

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Editorial Reviews


Michael Porter’s fine illustrations match his excellent writing style. "Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, & Kilns" is absolutely the best. -- David W. Wilson, 10 February 2004

About the Author

Mike began learning ornamental ironwork at twelve in his father’s shop during the fifeties building boom. Low profit margin and high demand combined to make Southern California a center for technical innovation in trade work. First rate tooling was simply a matter of survival. Over the years his passions for exceptional tooling and for the crafts merged into a unified veiw of art; that vision and tooling are inseperable, for one will not outpace the other. His book is meant to help address the disparity between desire and ability that is holding up progress in the crafts today.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Skipjack Press, Inc. (February 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879535203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879535206
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Valuable info, but this book reads like a rough draft. October 18, 2004
First, the good news:

Michael Porter's book is one that has been sorely needed by those of us who are experimenting with building our own propane burners, furnaces, forges, and kilns. It is chock-full of detailed plans, with gorgeous, carefully executed pencil drawings showing the parts and assembly of each item. Full parts lists and construction details are provided. Mr. Porter also begins the book as he should, with an extensive chapter on safety. Several burner designs, along with plans for forges and metal and glass-melting furnaces follow. A nice chapter on brazing is included.

And now, the not-so-good news:

I have to admit to some surprise upon seeing all the five-star reviews here. Perhaps it's because it's so hard to find the kind of useful detail one uncovers in this book. (It's certainly been useful for me.)

Unfortunately, the book appears to be rushed to print without proofreading for spelling or grammar, and could surely use an editor's eye to improve its organization and consistency of style. Nearly every page contains an error. In many places sentences are missing one or two words, words are just plain wrong, measurements conflict, chemical formulae are wrong, typographical style changes from page to page, etc. Examples: a project requires "3 linear feet (or 42 inches)" of refractory insulation -- which one is correct? Hydrogen is wrongly listed as "H3" (with subscript [which I can't show here], but on other pages, some chemical formulae appear without subscripting).

There are also frequent cross-references to other chapters, and to a "Notes" appendix so long that one wonders if some of the material would be better placed in the original chapters, either as part of the text, or as footnotes on the citing page.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gas Burners Served Up Homestyle June 30, 2004
It took some time to figure out what I liked about this book. Eventually it became clear: All of it. The whole treatment and presentation takes me back to a time when books were intended to convey information which you could put to use.
The author wrote from the assumption that you were an adult with some measure of skill and common sense. Words weren't wasted and pictures were there for their information value instead of decoration. Often there were no photos because line art was easier to reproduce and could more clearly convey necessary details.
That is exactly what Mike Porter has done with this book. It is clear and easily understandable without wasting words. It is illustrated by hand-drawn line art... the perfect match for the information presented.
And there is a lot of information here... probably more than in most books with twice as many pages. It is presented in a matter-of-fact manner without "talking down" to the reader or using show off buzzwords.
The first burner I built from this book came entirely from my scrap pile. I have no doubt that, in only three months, this burner has cut my oxygen/acetylene bill enough to pay for the book.
Herein lies another tip: although the details are there and you can use a cookbook approach to burner building, there is also plenty of discussion to allow one to "freelance" a bit in fabrication. You CAN go to the hardware store and buy everything you need exactly 'by the book" or a skilled junkmeister can improvise from materials on-hand.
The range of burners, furnaces, kilns and forge projects presented in this book make it a sure bet to be well worthwhile to anybody who plays with fire.... lots of very intense fire.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Blacksmith's Slant on Gas Forges March 2, 2004
Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, & Kilns by Michael Porter
216 pages and 111 illustrations by the author
ISBN 1879535203 Publisher: Skipjack Press 2004
Mike Porter has written a great book for the person who needs to build a gas forge, a melting furnace, a gas burner for an existing forge or needs knowledge about propane and burners in general. This book begins with a discussion of the safety required when storing and using propane, the proper use of tools, and doing shop work in general. The author emphasizes safety throughout the book. Chapter two includes a detailed discussion of just what a burner is, the considerations that go into an efficient design, discusses the fuel, propane, at some length, and describes the hardware that is involved in a successful, proper design. The remainder of the book describes how to build different size burners, forges, forge carts and furnaces. Each chapter/project has a list of materials needed, the tools needed for the basic project and some extensions of the design to make the design more efficient. To avoid lengthy repetition of processes, the author refers one back to an earlier chapter where the process is described in detail. Included at the end of the book are a glossary of terms, a list of notes cited in the text, and an extensive list of resources.
This book contains all the knowledge needed for a reasonably mechanically-handy person to build and operate a state-of-the-art, gas-fired burner, forge or furnace. The author gives credit to others who helped develop and refine the designs used in this book.
Is this the ultimate book of burner or forge design? No, it's not. However, it is the best book we have at the present time. This book is well worth its cost. I encourage people to buy this book either as a reference for propane-fired equipment or as a guide to build your own propane-fired equipment or just as a reminder of how incredibly resourceful the human mind is.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, and Kilns [Paperback] by Michael...
I didn't want a thesis on the subject when I ordered "Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, and Kilns" in Paperback by Michael Porter, rather I was interested in what I needed... Read more
Published 6 months ago by CDP
4.0 out of 5 stars I made a burner
I made a burner somewhat following these instructions. I was also partially copying a burner that I had purchased. Read more
Published 9 months ago by A. Willis
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for blacksmiths and metalcasters
I have been learning blacksmithing and metalcasting as a hobby for over a year. i have found troves of information on the net and in forums about propane burners for use in forums... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Russell Reid
3.0 out of 5 stars You should NOT follow this step by step
The majority of this book could be summarized with engineering drawings and short sentences. While the safety section is VERY useful and I learned a lot from the text, actually... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Matt Purdy
5.0 out of 5 stars Gas Burners
Well written and well illustrated. Very informative. Highly recommended. What more can I say it's a very good book for it's purpose..
Published 13 months ago by Gary M. Pewitt
4.0 out of 5 stars I built a good gas forge with the help of the book
Lots of good practical information to help the design and construction of a working propane gas forge. A good investment for information in one place.
Published 14 months ago by C. Ray Pearre Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY HELPFUL
Since this is my first book on the subject, I can't compare it to any others. However, after reading and using this book, I don't find any immediate need to buy any others! Read more
Published 15 months ago by JOSEPH MISIOLEK
4.0 out of 5 stars Good homebrew book
Just finished going through the book and anyone with a average to slightly better than average abilities with hand tools can make the burners to make their own forges. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, and Kilns
I was very dissapointed with this book because I thought it would talk more about theory about building a propane burner for forges, furnaces, and kilns. Read more
Published on August 21, 2011 by Darwin
5.0 out of 5 stars Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, and Kilns
A must if you plan on making your own gas Forges! This book is great. I bought this after I made one but wish I had had it before. It would had saved me some money and time.
Published on March 29, 2011 by Thomas Johnston
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