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-   -   Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite) (http://www.castironcollector.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2442)

JHJackson 07-29-2015 08:01 PM

Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
So I bought my first old cast iron pan on eBay, and it looks great except it's not perfectly flat edge to edge. Check out the first photo below (click to make bigger). I'd say the central 65% of the cooking surface is very flat (there is a very slight depression in the center 15%), but outside of that it starts tapering down, and it becomes abruptly deeper at around 85%. The effect is there is a little trough in a circle around the pan where it looks like oil will pool.

http://s3.postimg.org/lj6zad9un/DSC05873.jpg

The trough appears to be about 1mm to 2mm deep. I find it annoying to look at (admittedly I haven't tried cooking with it yet), but I'm not sure how common it is, or what is to be expected (I've only looked at a few other old skillets in person). I visited someone from Craigslist who had 5 or 6 on hand (unmarked Lodge, Wagner, etc.) for $20~$25, and I noticed none of them were perfectly flat either (had different issues... one of them spun nicely). Please let me know what your thoughts are on this skillet, and what your expectations are for flatness of these classics. I'm guessing a really flat skillet is a rarity, and would perhaps be fairly valuable... although I don't see any photos on ebay with a straight edge where you could really see the flatness profile. Are some brands (i.e. Griswold) better than others in this respect?

Also, any guess as to whether it was cast like this, or if this is heat damage? It was advertised as "sits flat with no warp."

Below are a couple more photos, showing the condition as received from the seller. Notice there is some built up crud in that trough (also extending up the sides):

http://s3.postimg.org/i7qlgnuov/IMG_8654.jpg

http://s3.postimg.org/4zr7npx5r/IMG_8655.jpg

And these are after I cleaned all the crud off of it (using computer power supply electrolysis, some credit cards, and 0000 steel wool):

http://s3.postimg.org/tq3kfopb3/DSC05874.jpg

http://s24.postimg.org/p67gpsl35/DSC05875.jpg

Doug D. 07-29-2015 11:15 PM

Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
My first experience with this situation was a skillet inherited from my grandmother, a Griswold #8 LBL smooth bottom. It also has an upward bow. Unfortunately, pans like these can honestly be said to "sit flat", but that doesn't mean they're not warped, just warped the opposite of expected. Cooking with them just means having to work with the issue a bit.

I've never paid for a skillet that didn't sit flat, with the exception of a Wapak I bought in person that was in otherwise good condition for $7. Spinners I've received advertised as flat I've either returned or been refunded.

David P Fortin 07-30-2015 06:32 PM

Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
I have been collecting older cast iron for a bunch of years and my experence tells me that a old BS&R skillet is almost never a spinner. Also, the newer Lodge, after 1960 is also usually perfect. David

JHJackson 07-30-2015 06:51 PM

Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug D. (Post 13154)
...Unfortunately, pans like these can honestly be said to "sit flat", but that doesn't mean they're not warped, just warped the opposite of expected.

right... actually I don't think the seller was dishonest... I think every seller's definition of "no warp" is probably a little different, and it definitely sits flat. Besides that, it was the cheapest Favorite made #8 skillet I could find and the proceeds go to charity, so I didn't feel like returning it.

I'm guessing there are skillets that are much more warped than this one. In fact, I wasn't 100% sure it was warped as opposed to being cast like that... although now I am more believing that it was indeed warped (it doesn't make sense that a company would cast it like this).

I did notice that the deepest part of the trough circle lines up directly over the heat ring, which I think aligns with the notion that it was warped.

David P Fortin 07-30-2015 07:14 PM

Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
I have been collecting cast iron for a few years and have found that pieces from BS&R are almost never out of round, Same goes for the later Lodge because they have a thick bottom. All the others need a closer inspection. David

JHJackson 07-30-2015 07:17 PM

Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David P Fortin (Post 13164)
I have been collecting cast iron for a few years and have found that pieces from BS&R are almost never out of round, Same goes for the later Lodge because they have a thick bottom. All the others need a closer inspection. David

good information David, thank you. Being new to this, I was most excited about the Favorites, because they have the reputation of being good and lightweight. However, I have found that the flatness aspect of it is also important to me, and it seems lightweight is also synonymous with warpage - particularly in the larger sizes (#8 included). Kind of disappointing, because the larger size is where the weight counts more. This 10" skillet weights 4 lbs, 1 oz, compared to a 2015 Lodge L6SK3 9" skillet weighing 4 lbs 8.6 oz. I might be looking for a BS&R or post-1960 Lodge in the future, though. I'm guessing they will weight between 4 lbs 8 oz and 5 lbs for a #8 10"??

I'm also considering putting my orbital sander to this one, to make it a little flatter... but I'm a little worried that would make the bottom too thin and might make warping worse when heating.

BenjaminO 07-30-2015 08:22 PM

Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
It's possible that the trough was created when the piece was being ground smooth after casting. My understanding is that the grinding process was done by a relatively small, spinning grinding stone that was passed down the sides of the pan, then across the cooking surface while the pan also rotated. It is possible that the person grinding this pan spent too much time on the corner edge and produced a trough. It may not have passed quality control, but could have been taken home by an employee or been sold as a "seconds" piece.

JHJackson 07-30-2015 10:38 PM

Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BenjaminO (Post 13169)
It's possible that the trough was created when the piece was being ground smooth after casting. My understanding is that the grinding process was done by a relatively small, spinning grinding stone that was passed down the sides of the pan, then across the cooking surface while the pan also rotated. It is possible that the person grinding this pan spent too much time on the corner edge and produced a trough. It may not have passed quality control, but could have been taken home by an employee or been sold as a "seconds" piece.

Very interesting theory... makes me wish I could find some more details about the manufacturing process back then (I'm trying to imagine how it could produce the trough ring, but can't visualize it exactly). Unfortunately, a quick internet search reveals nothing... except I realize I'm getting sleepy and it's probably time to hit the sack. :sleepy2:

BenjaminO 07-30-2015 11:53 PM

Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
I just read this last night, someone posted it here a while back. It's from The Foundry Magazine in 1921. The second section describes the finishing/polishing.
http://imgur.com/a/LzVzj

JHJackson 07-31-2015 06:36 PM

Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BenjaminO (Post 13172)
I just read this last night, someone posted it here a while back. It's from The Foundry Magazine in 1921. The second section describes the finishing/polishing.
http://imgur.com/a/LzVzj

Wow, that article is an amazing find... there is really a lot of detail in there! So yes, perhaps my skillet could have been a "seconds" piece. Thanks so much for sharing that!


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