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  #1  
Old 11-25-2016, 06:48 PM
RobHerrington RobHerrington is offline
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Location: Plano, TX
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Default Wire brushing and sanding

Hello. Here is my newbie question. If we are going to end up in many cases taking a wire brush or electric sander to cast iron, why go to the trouble of vinegar baths for rust and lye for crud? Some crud won't come off without a wire brush anyway so why not just start there and skip the other steps? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2016, 07:50 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Wire brushing and sanding

For one, there is a risk involved that damage will be done that will alter the original finish/surface patina. With collectible vintage cast iron, avoiding that is paramount. A manual stainless steel wire brush will not do that, but a wire wheel or a sander certainly can, and in inexperienced hands most likely will. Electrolysis and lye are both non-destructive and labor-unintensive, and the amount of carbonized build-up they typically won't remove is usually minimal. Vinegar used for rust is similarly non-destructive and involves minimal effort if used properly.
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Old 11-26-2016, 12:16 AM
EdP EdP is offline
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Default Re: Wire brushing and sanding

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobHerrington View Post
Some crud won't come off without a wire brush anyway so why not just start there and skip the other steps? Thanks.
RobH, from my experience, all of it will come off. My latest was a big 11-1/2 inch Griswold griddle. Using the lye bath/solution method for a few days, most of the old grease was coming off. But, it came to a point there was some stubborn old burnt grease that was not seemingly coming off at all as illustrated here>

https://goo.gl/photos/KsomgMZfraUGjYxq9

https://goo.gl/photos/VNLPgoyitUkLziSF6


So, I keep a can of EasyOff oven cleaner yellow can and sprayed all over and tie it up in plastic garbage bag and let it sit for a day or two. Repeat if needed. All of it came off down to bare metal as illustrated here >

https://goo.gl/photos/2EZR7LNvsfjx87a28

No grinding needed. Just patience. Then rinse in 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar and dry. Then re-season and you're ready to cook with it.

http://www.castironcollector.com/cleaning.php
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:03 PM
RobHerrington RobHerrington is offline
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Location: Plano, TX
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Default Re: Wire brushing and sanding

Thanks friends, and sorry for posting the same question again today (for some reason this thread was not visible to me when I started he second one). Your answers make sense and are very clear.

My very first restoration was going okay, but the crud (not rust, just carbon) on the sides would not come off after repeated "EZ off in the bag" applications.

I figured out that the ez off on the sides tends to slide off and into the bottom of the pan by gravity, so the bottom was VERY clean and smooth but the sides not at all. I took off the rest with a wire brush, and even THAT took quite a while.

I won't do EZoff again. The pan fully submerged in lye has to work better on the sides.

By the way, I am making a series of humorous videos on cast iron restoration and I promise you'll get a laugh, though you will already know more about the process than the videos will offer.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:48 PM
Kyle S. Kyle S. is offline
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Default Re: Wire brushing and sanding

Rob,
You need to set up an etank. It attacks both carbon and rust and does it pretty quick. I also use a Lye bath but the tank gets the job done fast especially if it is hardened carbon or rust you are after. Just my thoughts,
Kyle
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Old 11-27-2016, 03:22 PM
RobHerrington RobHerrington is offline
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Default Re: Wire brushing and sanding

I appreciate you, Kyle. Will look in to that!
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2016, 12:53 AM
DonnaM DonnaM is offline
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Default Re: Wire brushing and sanding

Rob, at the very end of your restoration, if you will use a Magic Eraser and cold, running water, you'll be surprised at how much additional stuff wipes off. You don't have to scrub--your ME will fall apart; just rub and rinse, rub and rinse, until the only color you get on your ME is a greenish color. ME's are expensive in the grocery store, but you can buy them by the dozen on Amazon for much cheaper.
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