Cast Iron Collector Forums  
Google

Go Back   Cast Iron Collector Forums > General Discussion > General Cast Iron

Notices

General Cast Iron General Cast Iron Cookware Topics and Q&A

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-29-2015, 08:01 PM
JHJackson JHJackson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 7
Default 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.



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):





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



Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-29-2015, 11:15 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,731
Default 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.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-30-2015, 06:32 PM
David P Fortin David P Fortin is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Chesnee, South Carolina
Posts: 42
Default 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
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-30-2015, 06:51 PM
JHJackson JHJackson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 7
Default Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug D. View Post
...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.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-30-2015, 07:14 PM
David P Fortin David P Fortin is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Chesnee, South Carolina
Posts: 42
Default 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
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-30-2015, 07:17 PM
JHJackson JHJackson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 7
Default Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)

Quote:
Originally Posted by David P Fortin View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-30-2015, 08:22 PM
BenjaminO BenjaminO is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Residing in the calm sunshine of Santa Cruz, California
Posts: 262
Default 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.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-30-2015, 10:38 PM
JHJackson JHJackson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 7
Default Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminO View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-30-2015, 11:53 PM
BenjaminO BenjaminO is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Residing in the calm sunshine of Santa Cruz, California
Posts: 262
Default 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
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-31-2015, 06:36 PM
JHJackson JHJackson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 7
Default Re: Not flat edge to edge: my first skillet (Puritan 8D by Favorite)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminO View Post
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!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Advertisement

This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn
advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com or its affiliates.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.