I recommend you take a browse through www.sweetmarias.com - it is a great resource for home roasters. They have a lot of equipment, including a Whirley Pop stovetop popcorn popper. You'll get some of the plusses and minuses of using popcorn equipment for roasting coffee.
Good luck. I hope you don't run into any issues with the locla fire marshal.
I've seen sweet maria's. They recommend another West Bend model, one that's discontinued now. The one I linked to seems to be good for roasting because it has a large area where the beans can jump around.
Does anyone here use popcorn poppers at all (any model). If so, would you please comment on which model is good to use?
Gee, a huge percentage of the folks in this forum are professional roasters. There are a few that use fluid-bed, which is kinda like using a popcorn popper.
Having said that, I can share what some of my customers have told me. There are some modifications that need to be made to the popcorn popper - I think it has to do with temperature control. Check around...there is probably some info on that.
One or two customers have found the older popcorn popper at garage sales and even eBay. It apparently has better temperature control than the new one.
You might also look at Zach & Dani's roaster...for the $150 it seems to be a well-liked roaster for my customers who roast at home.
I've been using an old West Bend with a good temperature control. I would suggest adding an on/off switch to the side or back of the unit. It's easy and cheap to do. Check Ebay for the discontunied model but. Mine was $5 bucks from Ebay just to get started and it's the only one I use now. The only prob with air poppers is the limit of 1/3 cp of beans at a time and the chaff blow off. Happy roasting!