Cracked fire pots?

Does anyone want to offer thoughts about the relative quality of firepots, one vendor to another? That is: do some mfr's (or sellers) firepots crack easier than others?
Are some more sensitive to "overwatering" than others? Our club bought and installed at least a dozen firepots from a certain company and about half of them have cracked. Some are as old as 6 or 7 years and some are as new as 3 or 3 years old. None of them are in everyday service. Most are used by trainees. For reference, the firepot I am using in my shop has been there since 1986 and shows no signs of any problems. (Different mfr'r). None of the firepots I describe are used to burn coke as a regualar diet.
Pete Stanaitis ----------------------
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From a casting point of view, casting these objects can be screwed in the melting phase. A dirty casting, may have too much porosity, if it's a remelt as opposed to a smelt may also cause this problem.
Usually if you find a bad product you tell the company that manufactured it and give them a chance to rectify the situation. If the products are still crap, you go with a good producer.
Pure iron is difficult to get these days, so the firepots that are cracking may not be iron at all.
I was thinking that with the alloys available today, you could feasibly construct a firepot, but you would have to select the right alloy in plate form. Plate is less likely to crack than a casting.
Regards Charles
spaco wrote:

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Pete,
As a couple have mentioned here, have you considered building your own? I have seen a great set of instructions on building a firepot that was shown in the book "A Blacksmith's Primer" by Randy McDaniel. Not only is the book a great resource for the firepot, it's a great resource for teaching beginners and intermediates as well. From your comments, it sounds like it would fit right in with the folks who are using these firepots. As I recall, the instructions were VERY clear, and used straight forward techniques to build the pots. Also, the book is still available.
Hope this helps, Paul
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