Black Powder Manufacturing, Testing & Optimizing
By Ian von Maltitz
After Ian wrote his first book on Black Powder Manufacturing, he decided that there was a lot more to the subject than he had covered. So he started again. The excellent result is this new book, published in May 2003. If I had to have one book on small scale black powder making, this would be it. There is an incredible amount of meat packed into this book, far too much to be able to touch on here. Topics include: street-smart safety tips from somebody who''s obviously learned the hard way; using the right ingredients; a critique of various ingredients and alternatives including in-depth discussion of different charcoals and an effectiveness comparison of many different woods; entry level black powder; why granulation is important and when it isn''t; making charcoal different ways; tuning your BP for greater speed including more on pressing and granulation; a realistic discussion of the CIA method; comparison of various milling methods; a chapter just on ball milling including discussions about different media, wet and dry, and mill speed; "turbocharged black powder"--how to make the fastest (most efficient) possible powder; making black powder on a shoestring--where to get cheap ingredients--arghhh; the chemistry of black powder; alternative black powders; powder testing; historical testing methods, particularly eprouvettes; modern testing methods; and much, much more. This is a must-have book for any black powder maker. 8-1/2 x 11, softcover, 208 pages, profusely illustrated. Shipping weight 2.5 lbs.