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Cast Iron Cleaning and Seasoning Help With and Tips & Techniques For Cast Iron Cookware Restoration

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  #1  
Old 02-24-2019, 09:23 PM
HParker HParker is offline
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Default My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.

Hello,

New here and never restored any cast iron. I asked for a cast iron skillet for Christmas one year and then it (Lodge 12 inch) sat in the cabinet for a couple of years as I didn't really know what to do with it. I finally figure it out one day when I found a recipe online which was made in a cast iron skillet. That was last fall. Since then, I picked up a 10 inch Texsport skillet at a thrift store. It had a little rust on it and a slight wobble which I figured out later after watching a little YouTube, but I use it almost every day and nearly every meal. I have a gas stove so the wobble isn't a problem and it has built up some really super nice seasoning. I think of it as my test pan. I'd rather mess it up than any of the Lodge.

With Christmas money, I purchased a some other Lodge skillets and three dutch ovens (2 qt, 5 qt and a camp 12 inch deep). We camp and I thought we'd use the Texsport and 12 inch dutch oven on our trips.

I've been back to the thrift store a couple of times and picked up two older, modern Lodge corn stick pans and avoided buying a huge dutch oven that I didn't know what I'd do with. It was super nice. I was back there again last week and to my excitement found a small 3-legged caldron with a wire handle and a gatemark and some other markings. I looked it over, but once I got it home in the daylight found that it is cracked parallel to the bottom. I've also found nearly identical caldrons online in near perfect condition and selling for not a lot of money. So my big find isn't really that valuable as far as I can tell and with the crack probably not worth much at all. The gatemark and age make it super cool though.

I still want to clean it up to be used for decoration. Do you think that I can do anything to it to make the situation worse? Or are there more preferred cleaning methods for more delicate items. Should I avoid heating it up? I really don't want to invest in a cleaning tank as I don't plan on restoring a lot of pans.

The piece is really rusted in a couple of places, but other places are not bad at all. I really like to clean up the rust and re-season it or whatever I need to do to keep it from rusting again. I like the seasoned cast iron look, but I guess I could spray paint it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Heather.
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2019, 09:45 PM
GTurner GTurner is offline
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Default Re: My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.

Using an e-tank will remove all the rust and crud. Once cleaned, mineral spirits will protect it. Without an e-tank, it will be very labor intense.

Do not heat it. It can cause it to crack more.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:00 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.

If only rusty, see the website article on cleaning using a vinegar/water solution along with a stainless steel scrubber and/or steel wool. For display only purposes, you can use mineral oil, also noted in the website seasoning article, to rustproof it.

http://www.castironcollector.com/cleaning.php#vinegar
http://www.castironcollector.com/seasoning.php#display
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:39 PM
GTurner GTurner is offline
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Default Re: My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.

Yes, mineral oil. Sorry Doug.
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Old 02-25-2019, 03:35 PM
SpurgeonH SpurgeonH is offline
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Default Re: My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.

Heather, I agree with using vinegar on the rust, but if you want to season it to give it a darker look (and if it fit in your oven, I think you would be okay to heat it in the oven. However, I would use a lower temperature method. Usually, I hear my skillets up to 500, but if is a more “fragile” piece, I only heat it up to 350 and I take it up to that temperature very slowly. If you’re not going to use it, and if it is for display only, mineral oil will prevent rusting.
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:31 PM
HParker HParker is offline
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Default Re: My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.

Thank you for your replies. Will look into what it takes to do electrolysis. Boyfriend is an electrical engineer and would probably think it was fun. Probably will start with vinegar. Can mineral oil be heated when seasoning or do you just rub it on when it the item is at room temp and that is it?

I've pet birds and been seasoning pieces on my gas grill outside which has a thermometer that I can see from inside the house. I've figured out which burners I need on at what setting to get the temp I need.

Before the crack was discovered, the only thing that I was sort of interested in doing was using it like a camp dutch oven at least once, but with the crack I'd still probably use it for display. I could use an oven bag or parchment sheets and it is tempting, but would feel terrible if I cracked the thing in half!

Although my boyfriend welds and probably could mend it somehow to make it a display item again.

Heather

Last edited by HParker; 02-25-2019 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:22 AM
Jeff S. Jeff S. is offline
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Default Re: My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.

When using mineral oil just warm the piece slightly so it is easier to apply then wipe it off when cool. Do not heat the oiled piece in the oven because inhaling the smoke is not recommended.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:39 PM
HParker HParker is offline
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Default Re: My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.

Thanks! It would definitely be easier if slightly warm.

Heather
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2019, 03:29 PM
SpurgeonH SpurgeonH is offline
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Default Re: My First Gatemarked Antique is Cracked and Needs Cleaning.

Depending on how badly it’s cracked, it might still be good for making cornbread!


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