"Portable" forge

Some years back I made myself a semi-portable forge - just a shallow box out of plate and angle iron with a blower - on big castors - but I lined it with firebrick to make it a bit more durable. I didn't want to move it more than just around the shop, and occasional forays onto the patio to use as a barbecue. I was persuaded to sell it to someone who came visiting.

Recently I decided to replace it to augment my ceramic chip gas forge, and looking at commercial portables they are just plain plate - no lining. I was going to go along with this design, but chickened out at the last moment and replicated my previous design with firebrick. OK it makes it much heavier, but the previous one lasted 10 years with no apparent deterioration.

So - do the plain steel plate ones last - is it worth putting in the lining - pros - cons ?

Andrew Mawson Bromley, Kent, UK

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Andrew Mawson
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but the previous one lasted 10 years with no apparent

Andrew I have used coal fire forges most of my life and have just now made a gas fired forge. Not unlike you I started with plate steal and fire brick. I soon changed that to a lighter fiber refractory (Kaowool). Im not sure what it is called in the UK . On the amount of time it last is up to the amount of use. I know of one smith here in the States that has had one in use for the past 14 years and has only replaced the lining ones in that time. Hope this helps. James Riley Rising-Sun forge Indiana,USA

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