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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 11/5/2009 5:04:54 AM EST
I am in the process of sanding an old rusted cast iron pan. I have been sanding and its got all the surface rust, but I am working on getting the gunk that is cake on the sides of the pan.

My question is:

Is it ok that while sanding some of it has been sanded down to a metallic color, vs the rest of it that is grey?
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:07:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/5/2009 5:08:11 AM EST by Sig_Fan]
Originally Posted By bradinator:
I am in the process of sanding an old rusted cast iron pan. I have been sanding and its got all the surface rust, but I am working on getting the gunk that is cake on the sides of the pan.

My question is:

Is it ok that while sanding some of it has been sanded down to a metallic color, vs the rest of it that is grey?


Should be fine. Get that sucker cleaned up, coat it with a thick coat of veggie oil and bake it in the oven at high heat for an hour. Repeat as necessary.

I purchased a vintage cast iron skillet that was rusty/nasty. Did like you did and baked the crap out of it multiple times with oil.

Works great and is great for fried potatoes, egg, and pancakes.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:14:22 AM EST
I read a thread where a guy uses electrolysis to remove EVERYTHING from iron. You might search the web, it was linked from here but not an ARFcom thread. Came out looking BRAND NEW. He used a battery charger, a metal vessel, and a sacrificial electrode (or anode, not sure).

Rob
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:21:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By Sig_Fan:
Originally Posted By bradinator:
I am in the process of sanding an old rusted cast iron pan. I have been sanding and its got all the surface rust, but I am working on getting the gunk that is cake on the sides of the pan.

My question is:

Is it ok that while sanding some of it has been sanded down to a metallic color, vs the rest of it that is grey?


Should be fine. Get that sucker cleaned up, coat it with a thick coat of veggie oil and bake it in the oven at high heat for an hour. Repeat as necessary.

I purchased a vintage cast iron skillet that was rusty/nasty. Did like you did and baked the crap out of it multiple times with oil.

Works great and is great for fried potatoes, egg, and pancakes.
thanks.

Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:22:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By JoseCuervo:
I read a thread where a guy uses electrolysis to remove EVERYTHING from iron. You might search the web, it was linked from here but not an ARFcom thread. Came out looking BRAND NEW. He used a battery charger, a metal vessel, and a sacrificial electrode (or anode, not sure).

Rob

Sounds interesting. Im about done with this, but Ill try to remember that for the future. The ones I am working on are my parent's, so I will need to get a set of cast iron once I finally move out.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:26:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/5/2009 5:27:18 AM EST by nightstalker]
Some people use their self-cleaning oven to clean up these cast iron items.

Only thing to look for is cracks.

ETA their color is gray when they're made. After being coated in oil and fired they turn black.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:26:25 AM EST
Personally, I would not sand it. Due to the pores, you would take off alot of metal to get all of the rust out. I would either sand blast it (you can take it to a local machine shop) or do it the old fashioned way and burn it in the coals of a campfire.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:29:06 AM EST
Sand it all you want.

Then:

coat it with veggie oil, lard or bacon grease... dont use corn oil.

put it in 400 degree oven upside down for 30 minutes.
After it cools, scrub it down good and repeat 2 or three times.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:31:38 AM EST
Brush blast and season. Sanding will not get out everything due to the pores in the casting.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:31:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By bradinator:
I am in the process of sanding an old rusted cast iron pan. I have been sanding and its got all the surface rust, but I am working on getting the gunk that is cake on the sides of the pan.

My question is:

Is it ok that while sanding some of it has been sanded down to a metallic color, vs the rest of it that is grey?


Media blasting might be best, quickest, easiest. I found an old Vermont Castings enameled pot at the dump. Only prob w/ it was the enamel was coming off, not leaks, dings or damge (other than the finish). I took it down to the local grave stone shop and they media blasted it for $10. It was all ready to prime and paint when I picked it up.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:32:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By bradinator:
I am in the process of sanding an old rusted cast iron pan. I have been sanding and its got all the surface rust, but I am working on getting the gunk that is cake on the sides of the pan.

My question is:

Is it ok that while sanding some of it has been sanded down to a metallic color, vs the rest of it that is grey?

Certainly. It is gray iron, the gray is from graphite.

Cast iron is a misnomer because it is much higher in carbon than high carbon steel but we will call it cast iron just to keep clear. Cast iron is saturated with carbon when molten. When it solidifies, the carbon comes out of solution. In gray iron, the carbon comes out as graphite. This gives the cast iron beneficial thermal properties BUT it makes it more brittle.


Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:32:50 AM EST
Google the electrolysis procedure. Best way without a sandblasting cabinet. Or take it to a sandblaster, and get it cleaned up good. Sanding it will remove the cast iron texture you need to hold the seasoning better.
Veg oil can leave it stickey, even though it will work. I always use either bacon grease or even better, good old fashioned LARD! I put my oven on 450-500 convection, coat it good with lard (thin layer) bake it until it stops smoking. Pull it out and recoat wihile still hot and place back in oven. do this about 5 or 6 times and you will have a perfectly conditioned skillet ready to cook on. Build up the lard too heavy and it will puddle causing stickey spots, and can bubble off later. Also, a gas grill works great too. Won't fill the kitchen up with smoke!
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:33:32 AM EST
Big bonfire for a a few hours , clean it up then oil it up and bake a few times
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:34:14 AM EST
Scrub away then throw it in a fire with some oil on it and get it red hot . Its almost as good as Teflon ,its dang near amazing
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:52:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By JoseCuervo:
I read a thread where a guy uses electrolysis to remove EVERYTHING from iron. You might search the web, it was linked from here but not an ARFcom thread. Came out looking BRAND NEW. He used a battery charger, a metal vessel, and a sacrificial electrode (or anode, not sure).

Rob


I've used this to clean motorcycle gas tanks.Fill it with saturated salt solution,stick in a piece of rebar as the anode and put the juice to it.Works like a charm!
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 6:05:55 AM EST
no need to sand. put it through a self cleaning cycle in your oven. Then heat it to 350. Wipe it with CRISCO –– not a liquid oil or bacon drippings, CRISO- and let it cook. Do that 3 time and you are good to go.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 6:28:42 AM EST
Bead blast and coat it heavyly with lard and throw into woodburning fire....
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 6:31:13 AM EST
Originally Posted By nightstalker:
Some people use their self-cleaning oven to clean up these cast iron items.

Only thing to look for is cracks.

ETA their color is gray when they're made. After being coated in oil and fired they turn black.


Works great for getting it down to bare metal/oxide, although you will still have to steel wool/sand any rust off. Once its done, rub down with vegetable oil while still warm and bake at 450 for an hour or so.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 3:08:54 PM EST
Make sure you warn the SO, and take out your smoke alarm if using the self-cleaning oven method. It can get a little smoky and smelly.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 3:29:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By Tekpc007:
Big bonfire for a a few hours , clean it up then oil it up and bake a few times


Yep, that should do it. Then coat with veg oil or crisco, put in oven 400-500 for an hour. I just seasoned my griddle and it is great.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 3:40:33 PM EST
I used naval jelly and washed with soap and water.
Then did the whole lard oven thing
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 4:09:01 PM EST
Burning off all the crap is the best was to go, sand/scotchbrite/bead blast then once you have it clean, coat the cooled pan with a highsmoke point oil like peanut oil/ canola oil.

Bake the oiled pan in the oven at 300-350F for an hour. Wipe the excess oil and let cool.

Never use soap or abrasives on a seasoned cast iron skillet or pot especially dawn dishsoap.
Although my grandmother had pans with decades of seasoning and use, always cooked with lard or bacon grease, that she could wash them with ivory dish soap with no problems.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 4:19:00 PM EST
I did safflower oil @ 470 or so for 45 minutes at a time when I was seasoning mine. It has a higher smoke point than peanut oil.

Here's a handy chart.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 4:40:55 PM EST
I used a stainless steel wire brush on an angle grinder to clean my grandmothers skillets when I got them, then bacon grease to reseason, I don't think they had been cleaned since Truman was president.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 4:49:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/5/2009 4:50:04 PM EST by Willz]
Originally Posted By edb66:
I used a stainless steel wire brush on an angle grinder to clean my grandmothers skillets when I got them, then bacon grease to reseason, I don't think they had been cleaned since Truman was president.


As long as they were not rusted severely there was no need to do more than scrub them good and get them hot to dry, then and re-oil them.

There is a reason they call it "seasoned" cast iron.

Link Posted: 11/5/2009 4:53:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sig_Fan:
Originally Posted By bradinator:
I am in the process of sanding an old rusted cast iron pan. I have been sanding and its got all the surface rust, but I am working on getting the gunk that is cake on the sides of the pan.

My question is:

Is it ok that while sanding some of it has been sanded down to a metallic color, vs the rest of it that is grey?


Should be fine. Get that sucker cleaned up, coat it with a thick coat of veggie oil and bake it in the oven at high heat for an hour. Repeat as necessary.

I purchased a vintage cast iron skillet that was rusty/nasty. Did like you did and baked the crap out of it multiple times with oil.

Works great and is great for fried potatoes, egg, and pancakes.

Yep, that's teh beauty of cast iron. No matter how badly it has been buggered up, you can always re-finish it.

I know this because my wife sent one of my cast iron pans through the dishwasher....
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:07:19 PM EST
well, I finished up all I am going to do for these pans. I just sanded and got as much gunk off as I could. Then I seasoned them by coating with crisco and baking upside down for 1hr. I did that twice and then tonight I cooked some bacon.

There is more I could do for them, and the sandblasting or electrolysis would probably do well but these are my parent's pans and they are very hard on them. Any good seasoning I get going with them will only last until the next time my mom or dad uses them. They don't quite get the proper usage of them, so it results in never getting a good non stick surface going.

Thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 5:10:37 PM EST
Go to the hardware and get a can of Lye crystals that are used for stopped toilets.
Get a container big enough to submerse the skillet/pot/griddle in.
Add enough warm water to cover the item.
Carefully add the lye to the water - DO NOT BREATHE THE FUMES! DO NOT GET THE MIXTURE ON YOU OR YOUR CLOTHES!
using a hook,heavy wire, or something similar,gently lower the item into the lye water
There will be a fairly strong reaction and many bubbles
After about 20-30 minutes,remove the item and hose it off.
Dig a hole and dump the lye water into it.

coat it with vegetable oil, lard or bacon grease... dont use corn oil.

put it in 250 degree oven upside down,on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes.
After it cools, scrub it down good and repeat 2 or three times

It's easy to crack cast iron utensils by putting them in a fire or dropping them on a fairly hard surface.
I have a large collection of Griswold items and the above is the easiest method that I know of to clean them.
Old Geezer
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