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I need advice on firing a portable forge


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Hello to all. I am new to IFI, bloging and blacksmithing.
This summer I bought a portable cavalry forge with a hinged lid, removable blower and legs. The box has 2 pair of sturdy handels and is 22.5" by 18.75" by 7" deep and has a 10.5" diamiter hand crank blower. The bolwer has "Champion Blower & Forge Co. Lancaster PA. U.S.A." on the side. The box has common brick around the edge but nothing protecting the bottom. I have not fired it yet, I thought it should have a refractory material in the bottom first.
I would like to know:
Do I need something in the bottom?
What would be best as well as easy/affordable?
What can you tell me about portable cavalry forges in general?
How old or from what time frame is this forge?

Thank you,
Mike

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