Steve Chastain has written a modern, comprehensive "how to" guide on the construction and operation of small cupola furnaces. I have built and operated a 10 inch cupola furnace using his book as the major reference. The chapters include:
1) Cupola theory and design considerations
2) Building a 10 inch cupola
3) Cupola operation
4) Air supply and blowers
5) Designing centrifugal fans
6) Construction of centrifugal fans
7) Construction of a Pitot tube and manometer
8) Calculation of Air Flow
9) Additional Cupolas based on the 15 inch shell
10) Oxygen enrichment
11) Purchase of Coke
Airflow through pipe
This 128 page book is a treasure trove for the amateur foundryman. It is absolutely packed with accurate information. I have operated a small propane fired crucible furnace for several years and needed larger volumes of cast iron. Without any prior experience I was able to build a functioning 10 inch cupola furnace. I made mistakes along the way. The two most glaring were not following the blower selection and cupola operation exactly. You can not take shortcuts, period. I was intimidated by the thought of building a powerful blower and tried to substitute insulation and dust collection blowers. It didn't work. Re-reading the book explained why in eloquent detail (with straight forward math to back it up). I had never built and balanced a blower before. Following the book I had a blower that worked the first time and exceeded design specifications. I picked the wrong size coke for the furnace and produced a disappointing quantity of cast iron as a result. Using the correct size coke and following the instructions remedied the situation. If there are limitations with this small book it is that the author expects that you will read and comprehend the book before you rush off and start building the furnace. Do not take short cuts. This will ultimately save you time, money and frustration.
I can recommend Mr. Chastains book with enthusiasm.