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Restoring Cast Iron via Electrolysis Bath

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    #46
    Spinaker great write up man! I saw this a while ago. Kinda dabble in this sorta stuff myself. I'm a huge Wagner buff, but I'll take anything CI.

    Here's a good resource just for folks like us. A bud of mine bought an old griddle for like 5 bucks at a shop the other day and I found out it was a first year Wagner. Good reading...

    http://www.castironcollector.com

    Comment


    • lonnie mac
      lonnie mac commented
      Editing a comment
      I sure do not but would LOVE to find some. Gosh, "Favorite" went out of business in '35. Never even seen one in these parts. Please if you have some, take a pic!

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't own any Piqua. I need to pick one up. Mr. Bones lonnie mac

    • Deaf Arty
      Deaf Arty commented
      Editing a comment
      This topic got me interested so I dug out my mom's old skillet. It says "The Favorite" on the bottom, but I can't find a reference showing that particular Favorite logo. Interestingly it's in electrolysis right now (thanks @Spinaker) or I'd send a pic.

    #47
    I had a rusty 12" cast iron frying pan and I took it into work and had it sand blasted down to grey metal then I seasoned it and it has turned out fine. I have given it Click image for larger version

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    Comment


    • lonnie mac
      lonnie mac commented
      Editing a comment
      Pic of the back too! That's as important as a pic of the front! Us people love our cast iron. Curious of the details.

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      I know life comes at ya' fast, an' keeps ya busy, like us all.
      I was wonderin' if'n ya had had a chance to snatch any more photos?
      No hurry, no worry, jus' wonderin'
      Patiently awatin' more info...
      Smoke on!!!
      Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 22, 2017, 07:14 AM.

    #48
    Great Post, you mentioned the older Cast Iron was smoother? Can newer pans be sanded, or polished? I have a few pieces, and it seems some is much easier to use than others. Is this a seasoning issue?
    Thanks

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, you can. I do it with some of my Lodge pans. They are rougher because the are no longer polished Or machined. Vintage pans were polished smooth.

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't use a grinder wheel. Use a paddle disc for the beginning, then use a disc sander. Grinding wheels will grind into the surface. We want to smooth and polish. πŸ‘Œ I finish with a 280 grit sand paper.

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      We will also want to wear a dust mask, very good eye protection, etc. Breathin' iron dust is a very inefficient way to introduce it into your bloodstream, an' causes respiratory complications.
      Jus' sayin'....

    #49
    Impressive, I will remember this when I need to do it.

    Comment


      #50
      Spinaker Most of ours are either modern or from my misspent youth as a vegetarian. My wife has one ancient 8" fry pan. I know it's ancient because it's smooth inside. I brought along a 12" saute and a 4qt saucepan. Not sure what happened to the 2qt - probably with the ex. Then there's that 14" (?) round griddle TheCountofQ just got. A couple of oblong hand presses. A waffle iron, A taco press. The BGE grid ;-)

      And if they count, enameled LeCreuset 14" saute pan, and a large oval Dutch oven.

      There may be more literally hanging around.

      Yep, forgot the 18" steak (oops, "saute") pan.
      Last edited by EdF; April 8, 2017, 10:09 AM.

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        To me, LC, an' other Enamelled CI count jus' fine. I recently got a Tramontina 6.5 qt DO at a Helluva steal.($39.95, shipped!)
        Who am I?
        Th' Guy who maybe has as much CI as Spinaker .
        Ain't never counted it ALL, LOL!
        Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 13, 2017, 04:40 PM.

      • EdF
        EdF commented
        Editing a comment
        Good on ya' Bones!

      #51
      Deaf Arty You found a gem my friend!!!! That is more than likely a Piqua skillet. Do me a favor.....post a picture of the skillet. If I can see the handle and back, I will be able to know for sure, the manufacturer and the year it was made. (+- 5-10 years) Plus, after the E-bath, all logos will become visible.

      Make sure you share your results!
      Last edited by Spinaker; April 13, 2017, 04:51 PM.

      Comment


      • Deaf Arty
        Deaf Arty commented
        Editing a comment
        Absolutely, Spinaker and Mr. Bones! I'll post pics as soon as I wash it.
        Last edited by Deaf Arty; April 13, 2017, 04:53 PM. Reason: Edited to correct misspelling of @Spinaker name

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Looking forward to it! Deaf Arty

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Ditto! Bated breath, here! If ya' got a Favorite Piqua, Suh-(deleted)-Weet!!!
        If not, ya' still gots a fantastic, smooth, very old vintage CI skillet to work with!!!
        Yer already miles an' miles ahead o' where modern (gaaack!!! ) consumer grade skillets start!
        Even US made ones.

      #52
      TheCountofQ
      Count,
      Here is a picture of my #8 Skillet and my #1 Sauce pot. It might be kind of hard to see in the photo, but the Sauce pot still has that Bronze Flax-oil sheen to it. I have never had it on the grill. However, the #8 has been baptized on the KBQ fire box and as well as taking a few runs in the BKK. The #8 is much darker, its almost totally black. It is phenomenal.
      Click image for larger version  Name:	Finex: SideXSide.JPG Views:	1 Size:	5.64 MB ID:	304647
      Click image for larger version

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      Also, there is a shot of the retainer pin on the brass-handle cap.
      Click image for larger version  Name:	Finex:Retainer Pin.JPG Views:	1 Size:	3.34 MB ID:	304646

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Color difference is quite readily apparent ! Spinaker !
        Now, tell me, Brother...
        Was th' No. 8 seasoned on th' KBQ an' BKK? Or used subsequent, like, on them?
        Tryin' to find my way, thanks fer lettin' me pick yer impressive mind, Amigo!

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Sorry guys I added those later on......I realized you could hardly see it in the first photo, so I added the second, under better light. TheCountofQ Mr. Bones

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        The #8 was seasoned in the BKK with a lot oak wood in the cooker. Then I took it to the KBQ on subsequent cooks. Right over the live fire. It turns the seasoning on the outside of the pan into a glossy finished when cleaned. Mr. Bones

      #53
      Spinaker and Mr. Bones here are pics of the Favorite skillet after about 9 hours in the bath. Going back in for a few stubborn spots, but it's looking great. I've included a closeup of the bottom logo so hopefully someone can tell me if this is indeed a Piqua pan (or maybe before they moved to Piqua??)
      Click image for larger version

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      Comment


      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Very nice!!! Looks like it coming along. One this I need to mention, always use COLD water when rinsing after the bath. This will help combat "flash rust" on the bare iron.

      • Deaf Arty
        Deaf Arty commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Spinaker. I hosed it off in the yard so the water was cold. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then, I Guess! 😁

      #54
      Deaf Arty This is part of what makes restoration so awesome!!!! You have a TRUE gem there. This is not a Piqua, as I speculated earlier.
      This skillet was made by the Columbus Hollow Ware Co. Somewhere from the mid 1880's to 1910. These are very interesting skillets. They were made with prison inmate labor! They had a 24 acre "walled city" that made a variety of products during that time. Some of these skillets have a makers mark on them. See if you can find a small cross in the casting. This was made by the inmates, themselves! Really cool! The company went belly up in 1910.
      This is a very cool find! It will look beautiful when you are finished. Please report back here as you go through the process! Great find, my friend!
      Last edited by Spinaker; April 13, 2017, 11:36 PM.

      Comment


      • Craigar
        Craigar commented
        Editing a comment
        Our resident CI whisperer. Thanks for the info Spinaker !

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        You got it man! I love history and cooking.......so Cast iron is a natural fit!! Craigar

      • Deaf Arty
        Deaf Arty commented
        Editing a comment
        Holy Smokes! I had no idea. My mom was born in 1909, so the skillet was probably my grandmother's, if they quit making these in 1910. Thank you so much for the info. I'll certainly post the results. BTW it was your excellent instructions that got me interested. Thank You!

      #55
      So Spinaker , when you get to be an old guy like us, are you going to have the Internationally Famous CI Museum?

      Comment


      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        I would love that, if people would actually come and see it!

      • EdF
        EdF commented
        Editing a comment
        You'd be surprised where people will go for entertainment! IOW, there are other CI fanatics in the world!

      #56
      Hey Spinaker! Novelty item for you? https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...e=24dsa.fnd.to

      Comment


      • EdF
        EdF commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, especially fat!

      • EdF
        EdF commented
        Editing a comment
        Or as Dilbert once said: "We're really good at automating what we shouldn't be doing in the first place"!

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting.......Can you imagine scraping that bad boy after a less than stellar cook? No thanks! With a smooth skillet it's not a big deal but this thing would be a chore. Part of the reason why I am not a huge fan of grill pans. If you want grill marks, use the grill!! EdF Mr. Bones

      #57
      Thank you, Spinaker for the instructions and inspiration (and history research)! Here are pix of the pan after 4 rounds of seasoning. I've since put a 5th on, and there'll be bacon fried in it tomorrow morning to celebrate.
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      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Lookin' mighty fine, Deaf Arty !!!!
        Beautiful job, wonderful ol' skillet!!!
        Even if I had six thumbs, they'd all be UP!!!
        Sehr KΓΌhl!!!

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        WOW!!!! Looks beautiful!!!!! Nothing like frying bacon for the first time in a freshly seasoned skillet. It just feels right!

      #58
      so I have a question. do you recommend electrolysis over sand blasting with the correct medium to minimize damage? it seems that either method will require seasoning. PS. I use to do this technique as a kid with a toy train transformer to make hydrogen as an experiment you could collect enough in a jar to make a nice little pop when it was lit. surprised I survived my youth sometimes.

      Comment


        #59
        Amajeff99
        I recommend electrolysis over sand blasting. Some people use sand blasting and I would love to try it myself. IMHO, this is easier. You hang the CI in the bath, plug in the charger and let it soak. There is little mess, the ingredients are readily available, you don't have to take it to a shop or buy a sand blaster.

        It is true that both methods will require re-seasoning, but that is what you want. It is removing all surface rust and seasoning from the surface. When restoring cast iron, you want to start with good, clean, bare-iron. It allows you to achieve a perfect base layer for years of use.

        Argoboy would be the man to talk to regarding sand-blasting. I don't have a sandblaster, and I don't think many people do. That is one of the reasons recommend Electrolysis. Again, I would love to check out a pan that has been sandblasted........

        Comment


          #60
          The sand blasting was pretty easy, my 10" pan didn't take five minutes to do both sides. I seasoned it on the gas grill a couple times and we used it to cook some bacon last Sunday with good results. We have cabinet blasters where I work so it was no trouble. A glass bead blaster would also work.

          Comment

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