Welcome!


This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 3 pages for free.

[ Lost Username or Password | Pitmaster Club Information, | Join 30 Days Free | Contact Us ]

There are 2 page views remaining.

Meat-Up in Memphis

T-Shirts & More T-Shirts & More
Order men's and women's T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Aprons, Mugs, Caps, Tote Bags, Flasks, and more, all imprinted with the Pitmaster Club logo. There's even a spiral bound journal where you can make notes on your cooks.

Cool Embroidered Shirt Cool Embroidered Shirt
This beautifully embroidered shirt is the same one Meathead wears in public and on TV. It's wash and wear and doesn't need ironing (really!), but it is a soft cottonlike feel. Choice of four colors and both men's and women's.

Click here for more info.

Support ARC

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.

https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

BBQ Stars

SPOTLIGHT

Some Of Our Favorite
Tools And Toys

These are not ads. These are products we love and highly recommend. Click here to read more about our medals and what they mean.

 


Placeholder

Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

maverick PT55 thermometer

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there


If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

slow n sear

The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool


Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

the good one grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review


The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

the good one grill

The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review


Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only 9 delivered to your door!

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them


The Swiss Army Knife Of Thermometers

Placeholder

The smart folks at ThermoWorks have finally done it: The Swiss Army Knife of thermometers, two in one. Start with the industry standard food thermometer, the Thermapen MK4, (Platinum Medal winner) truly instant (2 to 3 seconds) precise (+ or – 0.7°F). Then they built in an infrared thermometer ideal for measuring the temps of pizza stones, griddles, and frying pans (also great for finding leaks around doors and windows in your house).

Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal.


Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

Placeholder

Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

NK-22-Ck Grill

Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


Placeholder

G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

Click here to read our detailed review

Click here to order from Amazon


GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

grill grates

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


kareubequ bbq smoker

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

Click here for our review of this superb smoker


Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

masterbuilt gas smoker

The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

Click here to read our detailed review


Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

masterbuilt gas smoker

Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


PK 360 grill

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only


Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

fireboard bbq thermometer

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review


Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Announcement

Collapse

Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
See more
See less

Restoring Cast Iron via Electrolysis Bath

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Top | #1

    Restoring Cast Iron via Electrolysis Bath

    In the past year, I have discovered an awesome new hobby. And I wanted to share just some of what it is all about.

    I am going to be restoring a few pieces that I recently picked up from a storage unit. The first one that I am doing is a large Lodge Reversible-Griddle. As far as restoration goes, I promise you, this is the best and easiest way to clean cast iron. (In any condition)

    You need to do this in a well ventilated area. This process does release Hydrogen gas. The amount released is really tiny but its always a good idea to take precautions. I do restorations outside, under an awning or in a well ventilated garage. This may sound dangerous, but its not if you take proper precautions.

    First thing is first, you need to find some Sodium CARBONATE, not Bi-Carbonate, which is baking soda. Arm and Hammer makes the most popular option found in stores. Below is a picture of the box you will need. You can find it in most places that sell laundry detergent. Check the back and make sure it says SODIUM CARBONATE. This will be our electrolyte in the water, which is our polar solvent that allows the iron oxide to flow from the Cast Iron to the Anode.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1023.JPG Views:	1 Size:	2.11 MB ID:	209922
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1024.JPG Views:	1 Size:	2.21 MB ID:	209928
    You will need a plastic vessel large enough to accommodate what you are restoring as well as the Anode(s). Look for something tall and narrow so you don't need 100-gallons to accommodate a 12 inch pan. I like to use a new 18-gallon Plastic trash can.( I didn't think I needed to post a picture of my trash can.)
    You also need a MANUAL battery charger. This is a must. They are harder to find these days but they are out there. If you get an automatic charger it will simply click off when you hook up the electrodes. Here is the one that I use. She's old but it works great.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1028.JPG Views:	1 Size:	1.91 MB ID:	209918

    For this griddle, I am using an 18-gallon PLASTIC trash can. (Don't use metal) Sometimes, I will use a 30-gallon tote but this one requires a tall vessel to accommodate the long griddle. Below, I have a picture that shows the neglected condition that I found this griddle in.
    As a preliminary step, I take a wire brush to the iron, just to get some of the surface rust off. It doesn't have to be clean, but I like to get the lose stuff off the surface. But don't kill yourself here. The bath will take it all off anyway.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1022.JPG Views:	1 Size:	2.89 MB ID:	209921
    The Anode
    As I mentioned before, you need something for the iron oxide to flow to. It doesn't have to be a clean piece of steel, but the cleaner the better. I use two pieces of sheet steel from a local hardware store. The one pictured below has been used several times, so it is a bit worn out. After your done, you can simply let it dry and scrub it with a wire brush and your good to go again. You can use one or two pieces of steel. I use two pieces, one on each side of the Cast iron, so I don't have to rotate the Cast Iron though out the process. DO NOT USE stainless steel for the anode, only use regular steel. You can use rebar, sheet metal, stakes any type of steel will do. The more surface area the better, which is why sheet steel is ideal.

    When setting up the anode, I drilled two small holes in the top of the plates. We will use these holes to string some steel wire through to connect the plates together. This way, the electricity will flow equally to both plates.
    Once you have them rigged up. Set them aside. We will put them in the bath once we have the water and the medium ready to go.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1038 2.JPG Views:	2 Size:	3.90 MB ID:	209924

    Next you need to find a piece a copper wire to attach to the Cast Iron you are restoring. I went to HD and bought some 8 gauge copper wire for 44 cents a foot. Three feet will be plenty. You want to wrap the wire around the handle of the Cast Iron. Then get something to span the top of the vessel. I use a piece of wood. It works fine and most people have something like this laying around. We will wrap the other end of the copper wire around the piece of wood so it suspends the cast iron into the middle of the bath. (Obviously don't use something that is conductive) Sorry for the poor picture quality on this one.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1025.JPG Views:	1 Size:	1.74 MB ID:	209917
    Once you have this rigged up set it aside and lets get ready to make the bath.

    To make the bath solution, you need 1 tablespoon of Sodium Carbonate per gallon of water. It doesn't have to be exact but the closer to this ratio you are, the better. I pour in the water, then slowly pour in the Sodium Carbonate, stirring along the way. Make sure that the mixture is well mixed after you add Sodium Carbonate. When filling, don't fill it too high, we don't yet have the Cast Iron added to the bath. You don't want it to spill every where.

    Note: This bath can be reused several times.

    1) Once you have the bath ready to go, place the steel plates in the solution, opposite from each other.

    2) Place the cross-member, with the cast iron attached, on top of the vessel. Make sure the cast iron and the plates are facing directly at each other. And the steel connecting wire isn't touching the Iron or the copper lead. Also, make sure they are not in the solution itself. (They are touching in the first picture but there is no soulution in the vessel, I just wanted to be able to show you what it looks like with out the murky bath solution)

    3) With the charger plugged in, take the negative lead to the cooper coil and the positive lead to the steel. (It will not work if this is reversed. Also, keep it out of the solution). In the photo, I ran a piece of rebar to the the plates, just so I could submerge the plates in the bath. They don't have to be totally submerged but this griddle was really long so I had too.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1027.JPG Views:	1 Size:	1.71 MB ID:	209919

    The bath after about 6 hours.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1031.JPG Views:	1 Size:	2.20 MB ID:	209920
    The bath will be much more clear than this when you first start. You should be able to see the tiny bubbles fizzing around the cast iron. And moving away, it will look kinda like its boiling, very lightly. (Like the picture below) If you don't, use some sand paper and clean the steel, where it is connected to the positive lead. You need a better connection. Normally, you want the pan all the way submerged in the bath. I had it elevated to make it easier to show you what to look for.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1030.JPG Views:	3 Size:	1.17 MB ID:	209927

    Once you have a good connection. You play the waiting game. I let mine go overnight. But 6 hours will work for a quick restoration, 12+ for really tough stuff.

    Once your done, unplug the charger, disconnect the leads and remove the cast iron. Dip it in a bucket of clean, fresh water and scrub lightly with some fine steel wool, then dunk it again in the water. It should be good and cleaned. The black seasoning should wipe off and the rust should be gone. (stuck to the anode) If you have some spots that didn't get totally cleaned give it more time. I have done numerous pans, skillets, griddles and dutches this way. This is an ideal method for those tough pans that have a lot of nooks and crannies. (think corn pan) This is, by far, the best way to completely restore cast iron. IMO

    Here is my griddle after a 6-hour session. This one is going back in the bath for another 6 hours. Also, it is still wet from the rinsing but you can tell all the rust and most of the seasoning have been removed. In fact, in the top photo, at the very bottom of the griddle, you can see where it wasn't totally in the bath. I did this so you could see the difference from where I started. Normally you'd completely submerge the cast iron. (which is why you use the copper lead)
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1037.JPG Views:	1 Size:	5.28 MB ID:	209929Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1036.JPG Views:	1 Size:	5.96 MB ID:	209930

    After the bath is complete, you can save the solution for another cleaning, or you can dump it. As I mentioned before, I have used batches several times before discarding. Once your done, follow your normal seasoning processes and it will be like new. I will post the results of this beauty when I am done doing a few Flax oil rounds.

    I really hope this is helpful to anyone looking to restore old cast iron. It's become one of my fun new hobbies and it gives you great satisfaction when you see the results.

    Thanks for reading!! Keep the smoke rollin'!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Spinaker; April 6th, 2017, 10:41 PM.

  • Top | #2
    Great write-up! Makes me want to go find a rusted up Griswold just so I can try it!!

    Comment


    • FireMan
      FireMan commented
      Editing a comment
      Ditto. I just did a Griz, but not this efficient & fast

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      How did you do it? FireMan

    • texastweeter
      texastweeter commented
      Editing a comment
      I have always used salt and a potato, but this looks a lot less labor intensive, and more thourough

  • Top | #3
    wow, that's cool

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks!

  • Top | #4
    I agree - a great write-up. If I ever buy an old, rusty piece of cast ion, I'm sending it to you... LOL

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Please do!!! Id love to have it!!

    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      Ahhh - I think you mis-understood. I'd be sending it to you for cleaning... LOL

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Hahahahaha

  • Top | #5
    Nominating for sticky.

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank You. Its just a great hobby. And one that doesn't cost a fortune. (yet)

    • DeusDingo
      DeusDingo commented
      Editing a comment
      second

  • Top | #6
    Thanks for posting, awesome!

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks man!!

  • Top | #7
    I think this bears repeating, due to the science behind the magic: "take the negative lead to the cooper coil and the positive lead to the steel. " It won't work if this is reversed. The sacrificial "anode" needs to be on the "positive" or red connection to the battery charger. also.. keep the clip attached to the anode out of the water...it's mostly copper and will erode very fast.

    Comment


    • FireMan
      FireMan commented
      Editing a comment
      The hip bone is connected to the what bone?

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank You for your additions. I am always miss something.

  • Top | #8
    Cool Spinaker! Is'nt MCS fun? Great report & helpful pics.

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank You. I hope you found it interesting

  • Top | #9
    FireMan
    the drinking bone's connected to the party bone....

    Comment


    • FireMan
      FireMan commented
      Editing a comment
      Ki yi yippie yi ay, yippie yay!

  • Top | #10
    What would happen if you got the griddle sand blasted? I think that would easier if you have access?

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      It would work well as long as you avoid pitting the surface. I would give it try. I would make sure the sand isn't to abrasive though.
      Last edited by Spinaker; August 17th, 2016, 08:44 AM.

    • Craigar
      Craigar commented
      Editing a comment
      For the blasting media you would probably want to use baking soda instead of "sand".

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      For delicate (read:non-destructive) media blasting, I have often seen walnut shells used.
      I have not personally tried this, but thought it worth mentioning.
      You can always blast something more, but you can't (easily) undo over-abrading something.
      My ¢2

  • Top | #11
    Thanks for the post Spinaker . Good job!!

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      You bet man! Thank You

  • Top | #12
    Thank you taking the time and effort to explain the steps. I will use this on a couple of yard sale skillets I picked up for use, SOMEDAY, in my kettle. The day is now much closer.

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Cool. Let me know if you have any questions on anything. It really is easy. And the results are amazing!

  • Top | #13
    If you would like to see a video of this process here's one from youtube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOYLQ86IdUk

    Comment


    • Top | #14
      Very nicely done!

      Comment


      • Top | #15
        Great write-up! You can also try a chemical etch, which also works quite well

        http://www.genuineideas.com/Articles...seasoning.html

        Just follow all the safety warnings.....

        Comment


        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank You. Feels good to get the thumbs up from the Doc!!

        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          Try that at the lab. Not so much in the condo.
      Working...
      X