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Hi everyone! Please, I know, before you bash me, this has been asked hundreds of times. The problem I have is that I have ABSOLUTELY no access to any of the 2000C° plus refractory linings. I live on a small island in Portugal, there are no blacksmith, no forges, so no forge related stores. And due to EU regulations, most refractories contain chemicals not really suitable for exportation/importation so any outside shops I find, don't ship them here.

I managed to buy a decent amount of ceramic blanket, but I'll be getting my cancer through smoking, so I need to coat it. So I was thinking if I could basically make a thick steel box, stuff as much blanket as possible in there and make another square box thing to use as the inside walls of the forge. I wonder if the heat would cause so much warpage that the steel would just unweld itself, also thought about expanding gases inside the insulation so I would drill tiny hole just to vent the extra pressure so it wouldn't blow up on me. 

Any help, someone who could send me some castable refractory, is greatly appreciated. 

TL;DR : Can I use steel plates as my forge lining? 

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I use a mix of zircopax and colloidal silica to face the ceramic fiber - I call it an eggshell face.  

Zircopax is a zirconium glaze opacifier and can be purchased at any ceramic supply online so it may be OK to ship to you.  Colloidal silica can also be found online.  I talk about where in Forges 101 on page 44:

 If you go back earlier a few pages in Forges 101 you will find me discussing my eggshell facing for ceramic fiber. It's thin, heats up really fast, reflects heat, and is easy and quick to put on.  Negative is it is much more fragile, but if you bump and crack it you just paint on some more after it cools.  It is resistant to flux, but if there is any crack the flux will eat through.  

You will need something like a kiln shelf for the bottom inside of the forge as eggshell is not strong enough to take much abuse.  I guess it could work if you are careful, but not with any fluxes.

Hopefully this might be a workable alternative.  

See if there is a ceramic supply on the island/internet, or a local ceramicist who might have some supplies (their kilns use the same technology).

If you can purchase Insulating Firebricks you can make a forge with that as well.  They might not be a problem to ship as they are in a stable form.

Steel won't work for many reasons.

Good luck,


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I currently have a firebrick forge but I as looking to upgrade as the temps aren't really consistent nor, I feel like, high enough. 

I found this in amazon, hopefully that's it? 

West System 406 Collodial Silica 275g https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004QXLKT2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_JCZKDbNMF5AAN


Thank you for your experienced inputs! 

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2 hours ago, Kako95 said:

West System 406 Collodial Silica 275g

Don’t know. This is for thickening epoxy. You’d have to test it to see if it works. The colloidal silica I used is for making ceramic slurries for molds to cast metal. There are a lot of different types. I posted one that I’ve tested and comes in small batches on page 44 of forges 101. It’s called colloidal silica Nalco 1144. It comes in pints. Google it and see if they’ll ship to you. Otherwise you might google casting supplies in the UK. 


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